Gateways To Drinkery: Savor the pleasurable burns of ginger beer

Welcome to Gateways To Drinkery, where The A.V. Club offers an entry-level course on our favorite libations, and some suggestions on where to start drinking them.

Ginger beer

The lowdown: When the British decided centuries ago to brew an alcoholic drink from ginger and sugar, they used a curious ingredient known as the ginger beer plant. It’s not an actual plant, but rather a live culture resembling brown tapioca, one that aids in the fermentation process and produces a naturally fizzy, lightly boozy drink. These days, use of that live culture is rare, and most ginger beers forego the alcohol altogether. But as a supporting character for Moscow Mules and Dark ‘N’ Stormy cocktails, or even straight from the bottle, ginger beer remains a fine temperance beverage with internal warming effects, one that’s best consumed ice cold.

Among ginger beer enthusiasts, there exist two camps. There are …

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