What Does Ginger Beer Taste Like? Explained (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Ginger beer has become a popular drink in recent years. It packs a refreshing taste of distinctive ginger punch, making it the favorite beverage among many. 

While the best ginger beers are now common finds in most grocery stores, like Fever Tree, Q Mixers, and Barritt’s, what does ginger beer taste like?

If you’re new or just looking for a refreshing beverage with a kick, you’re in luck. 

What Ginger Beer Tastes Like

Homemade Bottle of a Ginger Beer and a glass full of Ice

Ginger beer is a fizzy beverage with a distinctive spicy and ginger taste while providing just the right amount of sweetness as an aftertaste. 

While depending on the ginger beer ingredients, brewing, and fermentation process, it may also have a slightly tangy, citrusy, or sour taste.

Ginger beer is usually made with natural ingredients such as fresh ginger root, sugar, water, ginger beer plant or ginger bug (as a substitute), or lemon or lime. 

NOTE: Some ginger beers may contain artificial flavors and sweeteners, especially commercial ones.

How Does It Actually Taste?

Pure Ginger Beer

The ginger beer delivers a strong ginger flavor and an intense kick of spiciness, quickly felt on the tongue and in the back of the throat while soothed by a mild sweetness.

It is often dominated by the unmistakable taste of ginger, which is often described as pungent, peppery, and slightly earthy.

However, some ginger beer can have a slight tartness or sourness.

When Mixed 

Other Alcoholic Beverages

Ginger beer can add a spicy kick and a unique depth of flavor profiles that complement any beverage with alcohol content.

It can bring out the smoky and woody flavors in whiskey and enhance the tropical flavors in rum, both of which can be added with a touch of sweetness and a slight kick.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Ginger beer can add a spicy and refreshing twist to any non-alcoholic drink, such as lemonade, pineapple juice, and more, turning it into a much more refreshing drink.

“My parents would read those books to me as well but they used to make me starving when I was a kid because they were always eating ham sandwiches with the crusts off and drinking ginger beer.”

— Mike Myers, Canadian Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, and Producer

It can create a tangy and slightly sweet drink with a zesty kick in lemonade and add a tropical twist in pineapple juice, both of which can be added with a unique flavor profile.

But what does Blue Moon beer taste like?

Compared To Other Mixers

top view shot of a glass full of ginger beer

Ginger Ale

Both ginger beer and ginger ale are carbonated soft drinks that contain ginger extract, but ginger beer has a more pronounced ginger taste, while ginger ale has a relatively mild flavor.

Furthermore, ginger ale can be incorporated with club soda and other flavorings and is often sweeter than ginger beer, and is typically used as a mixer.

Root Beer

Root beer is a sweeter drink with a smoother taste than ginger beer. Due to its ingredients, it has a distinct, complex flavor and a creamier texture.

Read: Our Favorite Root Beers


Sprite is far sweeter than ginger beer and lacks the spicy, gingery flavor and hints of pungency.

While they are both carbonated beverages, ginger beer and Sprite differ significantly in taste.

Is Ginger Beer Spicy?

Yes, ginger beer is a spicy drink inherited from ginger root. When ginger is fermented with sugar and yeast, ginger beer retains spiciness.

Furthermore, ginger contains gingerol, a phenolic compound that activates the tongue’s spice receptors [1], delivering a distinctive peppery and slightly hot taste.

Can You Drink Ginger Beer Straight?

Bottle and a Glass of Ginger Beer

Yes, you can drink ginger beer straight since it is a carbonated drink with a unique and refreshing flavor.

If you’re one who enjoys the taste of ginger, this could be your favorite drink.

However, it’s worth noting that it can be pretty spicy for those not used to spicy foods or drinks.

How Do You Drink Ginger Beer?

Ginger beer tastes best when served cold from the refrigerator or poured over with ice cubes in a glass, and then you drink it like any other soft drink.

Furthermore, ginger beer makes an excellent mixer; you can mix it with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages until you achieve your desired flavor profile.


Can kids drink ginger beer?

Yes, it’s perfectly legal for kids to drink ginger beer, provided the beverage’s proven health benefits, and it is carbonated, which can be treated as a soft drink.

Is ginger beer alcoholic?

No, ginger beer is generally a non-alcoholic beverage, even though it is brewed and fermented like a traditional beer.

However, it contains alcohol content below 0.5% from fermentation but is not labeled as an alcoholic beverage [2] since the alcohol in its content is incredibly low.

So What Does Ginger Beer Taste Like?

Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic, carbonated beverage that delivers a strong taste of ginger with spicy and slightly sweet hints. 

Lastly, it is a refreshing and unique drink that can indeed be enjoyed on its own or used as a mixer in cocktails.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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