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Where to buy ginger beer?

kcrawford55 Sep 10, 2008 12:31 PM

I'm putting together a "dark and stormy" basket for a gift and I'm having trouble finding ginger beer! I just moved to the area, so I'm not sure where to look. Recommendations?

  1. s
    sfernando Jul 20, 2009 01:45 PM

    Of all places, Barritt's is sold at Virginia ABC stores (at least the one near me in Alexandria) as a "dark and stormy" package with Goslings.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sfernando
      Transplanted Texan Jul 22, 2009 05:31 PM

      The Barritts distributor tells me they're sold at Bradley Food and Beverage.

    2. m
      msarap Jul 17, 2009 05:39 PM

      I have bought ginger beer at Total WIne & More stores.

      1. m
        MelandEd Jul 17, 2009 04:47 PM

        Rodmans in Wheaton/Silver Spring

        1. t
          treetop tom Jul 17, 2009 10:58 AM

          By chance, me and my workplace soda tasting crew are testing 10 different ginger beers this afternoon: BARRITT’S, MAINE ROOT, D&G GENUINE, JAMAICA’S FINEST, REED’S EXTRA GINGER, GOYA, GOSLING’S, COCK ‘N BULL, SARANAC, & STEWART’S. I was able to find them at various stores along the DC/Baltimore Corridor including Roots, Fresh Market, Giant, Harris Teeter etc. The Barritt's was found at a liquor store on US 40 in Ellicott City. Almost every Giant will have the D&G Genuine Old Jamaican Ginger Beer in their ethnic food section - it is very good. Can one of the American upstarts take down D&G and Barritt's? We'll soon know.

          4 Replies
          1. re: treetop tom
            ivysmom Jul 17, 2009 04:34 PM

            Roots in Clarksville, MD carries a good ginger beer, but I don't remember the maker. My husband is a ginger beer fan and he thought it was good.

            1. re: treetop tom
              biscuit Jul 18, 2009 09:04 AM

              Maine Root is amazing. Reed's just ok. Haven't tried the others.

              1. re: treetop tom
                treetop tom Jul 18, 2009 12:38 PM

                According to the 14 people who participated in our ginger beer tasting, Barritt's had the best mix of taste, bite and burn, followed closely by Jamaica's Finest (bottled in Natrona, PA, of all places). Third place went to Cock 'N Bull. Reed's Extra Ginger was voted worst - it had a completely different taste due to being sweetened by pineapple juice and honey. Probably OK on its own, but such a different taste it didn't compare well to the other 10 (we tried Australia's Bundaberg also). The Maine Root had the biggest bite - probably twice the ginger of any of the others. Barritt's we found at the Pine Orchard Liquor Store on 40 West in Ellicott City and the Jamaica's Finest was at Wilson's Country Store just west of Hagerstown.

                1. re: treetop tom
                  scala Jul 20, 2009 11:22 AM

                  Barritt's has been sold; bought by Gosling's. I have been meaning to do a taste comparison, but haven't yet. If you see Barritt's buy it; it'll soon be gone.

                  updated: Barritt's is trying to get their production back up; in the meantime Gosling's is aggressively getting their product onto shelves.

              2. discojing Jul 17, 2009 09:48 AM

                almost all supermarkets sell them.
                I've seen them at Safeway, Wegman's, and Whole Foods.

                I like the Ginger People brand the best ^_^.
                It'll be by the cream soda and root beer as it's a "soft" beer and has no alcohol content. There are also some usually in the international aisle as there are Jamaican brands that are quite popular.

                1. j
                  jck Sep 11, 2008 09:27 AM

                  Do yourself and the gift basket recipient a favor.....look for Barrett's Ginger Beer. It is the only brand they use in Bermuda (made there) and nothing else tastes the same when mixed with Goslings Rum. Take no substitutions...I have tried them all. That being said, you should call around to quality wine/liquor stores to find it. I have a couple of secret locations in Balto area but you should be able to find same in DC.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: jck
                    daves_32 Sep 11, 2008 11:57 AM

                    Barrett's can also be bought online from their website.

                    1. re: jck
                      Jack Burden Sep 12, 2008 09:03 AM

                      Definitely seek out Barritts. http://www.barrittsgingerbeer.bm/. Barritts and Goslings makes the quintessential dark and stormy. I brought some back from the Bahamas but now its all gone (sigh). Reeds is an adequate substitute but not nearly as good.

                      Please post if you find Barritts anywhere around DC.

                      Stay away from Goya Ginger Beer. I bought some and found it undrinkable. Ginger Beer should have some bite, but this stuff burns. One of the ingredients is capsaicin -- ouch!

                      1. re: Jack Burden
                        ChrisTendle Jul 17, 2009 09:57 AM

                        I had a Barritts ginger beer last night at Redwood (bethesda) (dark and stormy cocktail.) Love that stuff, it burns so good!!!!

                        You could ask them where they buy it from...

                      2. re: jck
                        jillycakes Jul 17, 2009 07:43 AM

                        would you be willing to share the identity of any of the Baltimore locations? I'm desparate to find some and haven't had any luck. I'd be most grateful. Thank you!

                        1. re: jillycakes
                          jck Jul 20, 2009 10:50 AM

                          Jillycakes....here you go: Graul's Liquor Store in Ruxton (not the grocery store), Ridgely Liquors in Timonium (my main depot!) & I believe the Wine Merchant in Lutherville may also stock. At Ridgely you can buy by the case..I do!

                          As I said in earlier message.....there are no substitutions!!!! jck

                        2. re: jck
                          Transplanted Texan Jul 17, 2009 09:59 AM

                          Oh, gosh, I love Barrett's. A friend gave us a case for Christmas. It is wonderful.

                        3. HSBSteveM Sep 11, 2008 08:16 AM

                          This post brings back the best of memories of BDA!! Have been through two hurricanes there.

                          1. h
                            homesmax Sep 10, 2008 06:51 PM

                            Reed's ginger beer is awesome. Along with the classic stuff, it comes in a few flavors, including extra ginger and cherry ginger, which is really good...you can get it at whole foods for sure...maybe trader joes....hit it don't quit it

                            (they also make delicious ginger ice cream, although it is kind of hard to come by)

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: homesmax
                              Puller9 Aug 9, 2011 03:33 PM

                              I just had Gosling's Ginger Beer and it knocked Reed's out of the ballpark. Now, other than Bermuda, where can I find Gosling Ginger Beer?

                              Ginger beer can also be found at Apple (or Red Apple) Market in Langley, MD near College Park.

                              1. re: Puller9
                                Doh Aug 9, 2011 05:39 PM

                                Gosling is sold by the MoCo liquor store near me (in one of those odd quirks, I think they aren't allowed to sell most mixers, but since Gosling primarily sells rum they are allowed to sell the ginger beer too). The Giant near me also has it.

                                Last summer I found Barritts at the small Brookeville Supermarket in Chevy Chase but I don't shop there regularly so I don't know if they always carry it.

                                Barritts is a little better than Goslings, but either is much better than Reeds.

                                1. re: Doh
                                  Indy 67 Aug 10, 2011 06:16 AM

                                  Ditto for finding Goslings in the Virginia ABC stores.

                                  Our friends swear by Goya Ginger Beer which is really cheap and available at Giant stores in the international aisles. Drinking the soda straight, it definitely had a strong ginger bite and made a perfectly acceptable Dark and Stormy.

                                  I use Goslings, but I add grated fresh ginger. I buy a piece of ginger root, peel it, and then, grate it on a very fine micro plane. I do this by instinct but I'd say I rub the ginger root back and forth about six time times. When I scoop the grated ginger pulp off the underside of the micro plane, I'm probably adding about 1/2 teaspoon of ginger. My husband and I definitely like the addition of the fresh ginger! This gets close to the version at RIS which I think has no equal!

                                  1. re: Indy 67
                                    katecm Aug 10, 2011 06:48 AM

                                    Gosling's is at Premium Liquor on 9th by the Convention Center.

                                    1. re: Indy 67
                                      agarnett100 Aug 10, 2011 10:20 AM

                                      You should try a Dark and Stormy with some homemade ginger beer

                                      1. re: agarnett100
                                        Indy 67 Aug 10, 2011 03:08 PM

                                        Happy to do so! Do you have a great recipe you'd care to share?

                                        1. re: Indy 67
                                          katecm Aug 11, 2011 09:38 AM

                                          I finely chop a good-sized gnob of ginger. Say a cup. Throw it in a pan with an equal amount of sugar if you like it sweet and less if you want it more spicy. Top off with a good deal of water, then simmer it down until it's syrupy. Keep tasting so you can get it to the right stage. Pour some in a glass and top off with club soda.

                                  2. re: Puller9
                                    Transplanted Texan Aug 13, 2011 08:38 PM

                                    They sell Goslings and Barritts at Wegmans in Frederick.

                                2. h
                                  HowChowBlog Sep 10, 2008 03:18 PM

                                  Minger's suggestion of Shopper's Food Warehouse is probably the most likely to be near you.

                                  But if you don't have a Shopper's, look at West African markets. I know that Julie's International Market in Elkridge carries ginger beer. I think that Accra Foods in Laurel may as well. Those are Howard County, but you may have West African markets near you.

                                  This is a link to addresses for Julie's and Accra: http://howchow.blogspot.com/search/la...

                                  1. k
                                    katecm Sep 10, 2008 01:31 PM

                                    World Market usually has a few options.

                                    1. c
                                      CIAinDC Sep 10, 2008 01:28 PM

                                      whole foods has "reeds" ginger beer which is the best

                                      1. m
                                        Minger Sep 10, 2008 12:41 PM

                                        Trader Joe's, Whole Wallet, Shoppers Food Warehouse.

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