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Locally produced Ginger Ale in San Diego?

Any place making their own Ginger Ale? And not just serving stuff out of a bottle or (gasp!) a can?

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  1. Top Chef plugs getting to you? ;-)

    3 Replies
    1. re: keena

      No, a coworker.

      (And, ironically, I haven't been really watching TC this season.)

      1. re: keena

        I'll get railed for this, but PF Changs makes their own ginger ale and it's quite delicious. And it is made to order.

        1. re: Dagney

          That's interesting to know. Thanks.

      2. I hope you get lots of replies. As a child I have very fond memories of visiting relatives in Michigan and having freshly made, "real" ginger ale at the Vernor's plant...That was a long time ago.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wrldtrvl

          I grew up within walking distance of the bottling plant. School trips to the assembly lines there (and many other Detroit/Michigan area assembly lines) were normal. Vernor's is the only ginger ale. It was a treat then and because it's more expensive than other beverages, is a treat now.

        2. I haven't had it, but I *think* Local Habit makes their own? I know their kombucha is made in-house.

          1 Reply
          1. When I was in Rotterdam they had very fresh locally made ginger ale both non-alcoholic (like in the US) as well as real ginger beer. It was a nice change of pace and several of the restaurants used both kinds in several mixed drinks which were quite good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: oerdin

              First it was Berlin, then it was Montebello, now it looks like we'll have to put another stamp in the passport in search of good food <sigh> ;-)

            2. I grew up in north northern Indiana (like right on the Michigan border), and what I'm about to say will be sacrilegious. Vernor's is overrated. Is it decent? Sure. Is it exceptional? No. It isn't all that much better than Canada Dry, IMHO.

              So there.

              3 Replies
              1. re: RB Hound

                I may just be quite a bit older than you. I agree that the current Vernor's is a shadow of its former self. I personally still think it has more flavor than Canada Dry. However, in the really old days the bottled Vernors, back before it was distributed across the nation and was definitely diluted, was very good indeed. Imay be wrong, but I think it is bottled by Coca-Cola now days. I miss the original version.

                1. re: wrldtrvl

                  Yes, RBHound, you are being sacreligious. But you probably did not grow up with it being the only pop (other than Red Pop, Orange or Rock n Rye, all made by Faygo) in your home.

                  Vernors was a strong flavored multi-tasker. Mom would heat it and add honey and we would sip it when we had colds, or when it was just cold out. It was poured over vanilla ice cream to make a "Boston Cooler" in the summer. Drinking it chilled was a special treat when we'd go for Coney Islands, on Michigan Avenue just down the street from Briggs/Tiger Stadium. The flavor now is similar, but a watered down version of what I remember.

                  It's owned and bottled by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group now.

                  1. re: Cathy

                    How about some good Birch Beer.

              2. If there's no other alternative, look in a Caribbean, Latin or health food store for ginger beer from Jamaica. Awesome stuff, with a touch of gingery peppery-ness.

                1. Have yet to find decent ginger ale in San Diego. I grew up in Detroit where Vernor's Ginger Ale, the oldest ginger ale brand in the US, was developed in the middle 1800s but since they were bought by Cadbury and switched from cane sugar to HFCS the taste just hasn't been the same. It is a "gingery" rather than a "dry" soda like Canada Dry Ginger Ale. You can get Vernor's at most supermarkets and/or beverage stores around San Diego. Its better than most ginger ales but not as good as it used to be. If you feel adventurous, here is a link to Alton Brown's recipe for homemade ginger ale: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...
                  Good luck.

                  1. One interesting thing about Ginger Ale. My wife and I live in Japan, and there is one sugar-free GA imported from the U.S. that we've started drinking in the past six months. It uses two sweeteners and the ginger flavor is very pronounced, which totally wipes out the off flavors from the artificial sweeteners. In short, it tastes pretty good, and is priced about 1/3 of locally produced Ginger Ales.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Tripeler

                      Oh, c'mon, don't tease us.

                      At least give us the *name* ...

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Likely it is made by Shasta, but he brand is "Zero Calorie Ginger Ale from U.S.A." and it is sold for 38 yen a can (VERY cheap) at Daiei supermarkets. Likely you can find something similar at a BevMo or some other huge chain. Perhaps what Safeway sells under its own brand. We bought it on a lark and ended up liking it.

                    2. I was going to ask here about ginger beer vs ginger ale, and then sure enough there's a thread on the topic: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/391817

                      I had thought I'd had some very gingery ginger beer/ales at The Grill at the Lodge but couldn't remember the brands and if any were local.

                      1. Is it quality or the process of making from scratch that you care about? Because if it's the former, ginger brew at Urban Plates (and Tender Greens, for that matter) is good and popular. Made by an independent beverage company. If it's the latter, make your own at home. We used to.

                        Whole Foods in Del Mar now sells a pretty decent rendition of actual ginger ale in canned form. Between this and UP/TG, we've stopped making it at home.

                        1. I honestly don't know any local Ginger Ale producers but I have been to Rosie Lee's British Foods in University Heights where I had a really great ginger beer. That's ginger ale for grown ups. ;)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: oerdin

                            Rosie Lee is closed I think, I would think out of business or relocated due to lack of traffic.