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Locally produced Ginger Ale in San Diego?

ipsedixit Jan 31, 2013 03:47 PM

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

  1. o
    oerdin Mar 18, 2013 04:31 AM

    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
      polldeldiablo Mar 18, 2013 12:46 PM

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

    2. r
      royaljester Mar 17, 2013 02:59 AM

      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. p
        pickypicky Feb 3, 2013 10:10 AM

        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. Tripeler Feb 3, 2013 12:32 AM

          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
            ipsedixit Feb 3, 2013 10:46 AM

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

            At least give us the *name* ...

            1. re: ipsedixit
              Tripeler Feb 3, 2013 04:29 PM

              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. s
            sandiegomike Feb 2, 2013 11:28 PM

            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. e
              emu48 Feb 2, 2013 12:15 AM

              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. r
                RB Hound Feb 1, 2013 11:41 PM

                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
                  w
                  wrldtrvl Feb 2, 2013 07:36 AM

                  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
                    c
                    Cathy Feb 2, 2013 08:14 AM

                    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
                      c
                      cstr Feb 2, 2013 09:40 AM

                      How about some good Birch Beer.

                2. o
                  oerdin Feb 1, 2013 05:57 PM

                  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
                    DiningDiva Feb 1, 2013 06:39 PM

                    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. Seiji Feb 1, 2013 01:27 PM

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Seiji
                      ipsedixit Feb 1, 2013 01:33 PM

                      Indeed it does. Thanks.

                    2. w
                      wrldtrvl Jan 31, 2013 10:31 PM

                      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
                        c
                        Cathy Feb 1, 2013 04:21 AM

                        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. k
                        keena Jan 31, 2013 06:26 PM

                        Top Chef plugs getting to you? ;-)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: keena
                          ipsedixit Jan 31, 2013 06:57 PM

                          No, a coworker.

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

                          1. re: keena
                            Dagney Jan 31, 2013 06:59 PM

                            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
                              ipsedixit Jan 31, 2013 07:10 PM

                              That's interesting to know. Thanks.

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