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Where to find ginger beer?

OK, I don't know how I've lived this long without discovering ginger beer, but now that I have, I'm in love! Anyone have recommendations on where to find good, spicy ginger beer? I'm open to both bars/restaurants as well as grocery stores, so I can enjoy it out and at home. Anyone have brands that you recommend that have nice heat from the ginger? I've only tried Fever Tree so far (which I ordered off the Internet), and now I'm on a quest to discover my favorite. Thanks!

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  1. I've found Saranac in local (UWS) supermarkets, and it's not bad. West Side Market (Bway and 76-77) has it.

    You might want to check out this discussion of ginger beer and its variants: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/391817

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    Westside Market
    2171 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

    1. Whole Foods typically has a decent selection.

      I like Fentimen's and Bruce Cost. Here's where to find Bruce Cost:

      http://www.freshgingerale.com/where-t...

      Also the high end cocktail lounges like Pegu Club, Milk & Honey, etc. make their own ginger beer (non-carbonated).

      See also:

      http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/07/gi...

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      Pegu Club
      77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

      Milk and Honey
      134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

      3 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Tried the Bruce Cost ginger beer last month at Jack's Stir Brew near the seaport. (I'm a fan of Cost's cookbooks and enjoyed a meal or two at a long-closed restaurant of his in San Francisco.)

        Nice quaff! Robust hit of ginger, with lots of rooty sediment in the bottle. A tad sweet for my taste, but I always say that. (It may have even forestalled a cold. But I succumbed anyway a few days later.)

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        Jack's Stir Brew Coffee
        222 Front St, New York, NY 10038

        1. re: squid kun

          Yes, I found the Bruce Cost at Gourmet Garage and gave it a try last night. It's come the closest so far to the heat and spiciness of Fever Tree. Also found Regatta there, but only in the diet version, so I passed. As info, the Gourmet Garage folks told me they no longer carry the regular Regatta, only diet.

          I'll keep on the quest to find and sample all your suggestions!

          1. re: edwardspk

            You can also try making your own. Homemade ginger beer can always be calibrated to the level of heat you prefer!

            http://www.slashfood.com/2010/07/08/g...

      2. Not sure where you live, but two surefire bets for finding ginger beer are 1) groceries that cater to Caribbean/West Indian clienteles and 2) liquor stores that sell Gosling's Rum, which along with ginger beer is the basis for "Dark and Stormy's." As for brands, some like Reed's, though I find it too weak and sugary. Reed's does market an Extra Ginger version, which is sufficiently gingery but still inferior, in my opinion, to the products of Caribbean-based distillers. One such is Desnoes and Geddes "Old Jamaica." For the purpose of mixing Dark and Stormy's, some purists insist that a Bermudan rum should be paired with a Bermudan ginger beer. Barritt's has been the standard but is now hard to find. Goslings now markets its own brand of ginger beer, purportedly identical to Barritt's, but not all agree. Any of the above, with the possible exception of Reed's, should give satisfaction.

        1 Reply
        1. re: erikschwarz

          liquor stores in NY can't sell ginger beer b/c it is not alchoholic. but jamaican restauirants (including golden krust) sell ginger beer.

        2. Luscombe's Hot Ginger Beer available at Dean & Deluca is by far the best I've ever had.

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          Dean & DeLuca
          1 Rockefeller Plz, New York, NY 10020

          1. In Brooklyn Caribbean restaurants / food stores often sell their home made versions. Probably the same in Manhattan. On Governors Island a few years ago there was a Caribbean food cart that sold homemade beverages.

            1. I went through this same love affair after I had a Dark & Stormy at The Great Jones Cafe using Blenheim's Ginger beer. I had to order that one online. But, believe it or not the Goya brand is really good if your taste in Ginger Beer runs to the spicy. My preference is for the hot/medicinal ones, so keep that in mind. Good luck!

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              Great Jones Cafe
              54 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

              1. Thanks to all for the replies so far. At this point, I've only been able to find 2 brands locally, after checking lots of corner groceries, liquor stores where they sell Goslings (they had the rum, but not the ginger beer) and Whole Foods. Found 2 brands at Whole Foods that I bought to try - Reed's Extra Ginger Ginger Beer and The Ginger People Ginger beer. Neither have the heat/spice that I get from Fever Tree. I'll keep looking for the other's recommended and post back as I find them.

                If anyone else has tasted Fever Tree Ginger Beer and knows of something that tastes like it that I can find in a store here, please let me know. It has a bite that warms the back of your throat from the spiciness of the ginger. Seems like living in NYC, I shouldn't be limited to ordering from Amazon!

                BTW, in the mean time have ordered some Blenheim's Extra Hot. Will let you know how it tastes, too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: edwardspk

                  alright people, i'm not trying to get too technical on you here, but ginger ale and ginger beer are distinclty different, though i do enjoy both. Blenheim's and the previously mentioned Bruce Cost ARE NOT Ginger Beers, though they do tickle my fancy better than other ales. One of the major differences you can note immediately is that both are much more translucent than most ginger beers(unless you've lightly shaken the bruce cost which contains MUCH shaved fresh ginger). Blenheim's looks almost like a beer with a bright golden color, but no cloudiness at all. I very much prefer their hottest(with the pink cap), and having previously lived in south carolina where the plant is, had easy access to it - and cheap. Bruce Cost is not that spicy, but it does have a wonderfully refreshing, crisp, and clean flavor.

                  On to the beers though.. I like the taste of D/G, but i'm irked by the natural flavors, and the hfcs.. I just want to find goya in brooklyn and i know it's around, but every store i check doesn't carry it. they carry plenty of goya products, but never the ginger beer...

                  I'm totally open to home brewed stuff if anybody has the info on the good spots!!

                2. I've never sought out ginger beer on it's own, but I did have a lovely Moscow Mule (that I'm pretty sure is just ginger beer+vodka, but I could be wrong) at St. Dymphnas on St. Marks, which is right across from Crif Dog. You could call them or stop by and ask what type of ginger beer they use!

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                  Crif Dogs
                  113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

                  St. Dymphna's
                  118 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jess321

                    Note to Dark and Stormy drinkers seeking Ginger beer:
                    Barritts as we know is the holy grail but it's almost impossible to find in manhattan. A friend of mine called the distributor and got a list of retailers in NYC and we visited each one and none were stocking it. So for Barritts you're going to have to order online by the case. Not a bad option actually as you'll end up with a huge supply to keep shipping costs down.
                    I have yet to find Goslings brand anywhere in manhattan. It's all over the burbs in those big liquor marts but hasn't made an entree here yet as far as I know.
                    But there is an option and that's Regatta brand. Tastes just like Barritts and you can buy it at Gourmet Garage and Garden of Eden. In fact if you ask they both will sell it by the case from the back room.

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                    Garden of Eden
                    7 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: Jess321

                      I think a Moscow Mule, one of my favorites, also includes fresh lime juice.

                    2. Sort of random, but the Dosa Man on the south side of Washington Square Park (near Sullivan St.) has this really awesome, spicy ginger been that he has shipped in from India.

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                      New York Dosas
                      Washington Sq S and Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                      1. This stuff is crazy good - NY company too: http://www.freshgingerale.com/

                        1. Just a heads up to this old thread. Gourmet Garage, on Broome Street in Soho, did have one 4 pack of Fever Tree Ginger Beer on hand when I stopped in.

                          1. My favorite is Reggatta and they sell it at Fairway. Try it with Dark Rum for a Dark and Stormy or with Vodka for a Moscow Mule.

                            1. The best ginger beer I have found in stores is Maine Root Ginger Beer. (http://maineroot.com/). The Whole Foods near our apartment carries it (although sometimes it is not in stock...a bit of a hit or miss at times). I also like spicy ginger beer, and Maine Root remains my favorite. For reference, I have tried:

                              Barritt's (definitely my #2
                              )Reed's (not very good imo)
                              Regatta (not very good imo)
                              Goslings
                              Ginger People

                              Any higher end cocktail bar makes their own ginger beer (as others have said). I recently read Pegu Club's recipe for making ginger beer, and hope to find the time soon to peel pounds of fresh ginger!

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: Pago77

                                Interesting with the dislike of Regatta. Direct contrast with the last guy to respond. You actually thought Goslings was okay? I bought two cans of it just to make sure I had enough in case the 4 bottles of fever tree ran out. I don't expect too much from a ginger beer made with high fructose corn syrup.

                                1. re: sdanzig

                                  Truth be told, I haven't had Regatta or Reed's since I found Maine Root and Barritt's. I always thought they were too sugary. My Gosling's judgement may be off due to lack of trying them in recent succession. That said, I firmly stand behind my Maine Root recommendation. Sure it's sweet (all ginger beer is), but it delivers when it comes to the gingery bite.

                                2. re: Pago77

                                  Pleased to stumble across this thread after a few years! So to report back, I've tasted pretty much everything you kind folks have mentioned, and then some. Have settled on Fever Tree as top choice. In a pinch, Gosling's ginger beer will do for a dark and stormy (since the black rum has such a strong flavor). But when it comes to a Moscow mule or a ginger tower, it's got to be Fever Tree.

                                    1. re: princeofpork3

                                      I'd like to know too, since I bought the last 4 pack from Gourmet Garage. It was SO good by the way. edwardspk is dead on when he says Fever Tree is awesome. For now, found FreshDirect has Regatta and Reed's, including an "extra ginger" version... so we'll try those out this weekend. We also have a couple cans of Goslings which we'll try.

                                      1. re: princeofpork3

                                        I was at Whole Foods at 24th and 7th today, and they had 2 4-packs. Except, now that I've been there - they don't!

                                        1. re: princeofpork3

                                          I've seen Fever Tree at Forager's, I believe.

                                          1. re: coasts

                                            Fairway carries both Gosling's and Fever Tree.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              Not the one on 2nd and 31, was there today. Only Reggatta.

                                    2. any deli around Nostrand and Bedford in BKlyn has it.