* Prices may differ from that shown
After trying crabbies alcoholic ginger beer on Saturday and really liking it, we were going to get some from Sainsburys with our weekly shop, (it says they stock it on their website). We looked and looked for it, and couldn't find it anywhere, so we got this instead.
I am not a massive fan of ginger, but I really enjoyed the Crabbies that we tried, so I was feeling brave and gave this a go, but I found this very unpleasant.
My husband who loves ginger flavoured things, thought this drink was brilliant, but I found it quite a painful experience, it has a very intense flavour, and it makes your lips and your throat sort of burn when you drink it. I only about 4 or 5 gulps of this and had to give up.
The bottle is quite attractive and a 750ml one cost us about £2.50, which was great value for money, and my husband seemed to enjoy it immensely.
If you like crabbies, but not ginger, I wouldn't recommend this, however if you are a fan of ginger, I imagine you would love this. I have to mark it down just for the burning sensation it causes and because it's not to my taste, but I don't think it's a bad quality product.
Everyone always talks about a proper ginger beer. For me a proper ginger beer is a tasty, flavoursome beer that most importantly gives you a fiery kick. This is precisely what Fentimans Ginger Beer does, and is the primary reason why I fell in love with it.
Ginger is a very strong spice, and so I am always disappointed when brands produce weak ginger beer. In the fentiamans, you can taste the strength of the ginger, and the lovely fizzy bubbles which give you a great tingling sensation on the tongue.
The bottle is an old fashioned style bottle, and has a lovely delicate label. The tops are usually bottle caps, but you can sometimes get screw tops.
Now, here is where the issue comes in. For quality, you're going to have to expect to pay, which is the reason why I can never understand why people moan and groan about paying £1.20 for a bottle. I would prefer if they increased the size from 275ml, because after that amount you really want more, however, I'm sure the production and quality justify the price.
All that's left is for you to go and splash out and treat yourself.
Fentimans Ginger Beer
I had never tasted a Fentimans drink until I moved to Newcastle. Mr Siamese is very proud of the fact that they are produced here though and introduced me to them. One of my favourites is the ginger beer variety.
This isn't the cheapest drink on the market, a 275ml bottle cost me a staggering £1,35 from a local shop. It can also be difficult to find this stuff as it isn't stocked as much as it should be. Having said all that, if you do ever see this on the shelves, then please do try it because it is delicious.
It comes in a brown glass bottle with the Fentimans logo on the front and a screw top lid. You have to shake the bottle before you drink it to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and that there is no sediment left at the bottom.
What makes this more delicious than other ginger beer drinks is the fact that it is really gingery and spicy tasting. Each mouthful is mouth wateringly good and really refreshing. It is fizzy without being too fizzy, so that it doesn't go up your nose!
Ingredients are as follows;
Water, carbonated water, fermented ginger root extract (water, ginger root, wort syrup, yeast), sugar, glucose syrup, natural flavourings: (ginger, speedwell, juniper, and yarrow extracts.) Pear juice conc., cream of tartar, citric acid.
I really rate this drink, and also some of the others in the range so do look out for them. This is definitely the best in my opinion, and goes really well with vodka and a splash of lime for a drown up treat!
Look out for this drink, and others in the range too - they are worth paying a little extra for. Don't forget to shake!
Ginger beer is a fermented non-alcoholic ginger based drink. Fentimans comes in a 275ml bottle, in a four pack from the supermarket or also available at some pubs. I usually buy it from Ocado at a price of £3.91 for a four-pack.
The beer is bottle conditioned, despite being non-alcoholic, so you do need to pour it (carefully!) into a glass to avoid the sediment.
The ingredients are: Water, carbonated water, fermented ginger root extract (water, ginger root, wort syrup, yeast), sugar, glucose syrup, natural flavourings: (ginger, speedwell, juniper, and yarrow extracts.) Pear juice conc., cream of tartar, citric acid.
With ginger featuring twice on the list, you can tell it's going to be full-on ginger, and it is; the flavour is deliciously gingery, with the side notes of speedwell, juniper and jarrow, giving it a full gingersnap taste, almost like a cardomom or mace undertone.
This drink delivers a pleasant warmth to the mouth. Although carbonated, there is none of the unpleasant taste associated with carbonation in cheap products, and the drink is not overly sweet to cover the carbonation up. If you laugh, you'll still get bubbles up your nose, but the texture is smooth, not sharp.
All round, if you like ginger, this is the drink for you.
This is really the proper stuff. It's not sweet and dilute ginger flavoured water, it's proper ginger beer with all that involves.
The ginger flavour is strong but not overpowering, although the timid might be suprised by the considerable heat that it generates in the mouth, the sort of warm almost spicyness that you really don't get from anything else. It does have enough sugar to balance this out, but it's not primarily catering for the sweet tooth unlike so many other fizzy drinks. There is also a nice sophistication and depth provided by a number of botanicals, to be honest I couldn't pick them all out unlike the sister-drink of cola they produce it's not too distracting from the main show.
This product has the kind of intensity and vision that you would imagine when you were a kid reading wonka's chocolate factory, and that's something I really appreciate. The branding taps into that sort of nostalgia and there is something pleasantly old-fashioned about the whole experience. In particular the chunky bottle which is ten times nicer to drink from than a can.
I whole-heartedly recommend this, and in fact I see it as something of an example of what products could really be like if the manufacturers really tried to push themselves into something brave.
When I was a child I had Ginger Ale at Christmas as a treat, because I thought it was alcohol but it was sweet and mild and I liked the taste. I did not have it for years and then as an adult I saw some ginger beer and declared I loved it as a child and bought some - boy was I surprised when I glugged some back! You see, there is a huge difference between ginger ale and ginger beer. Once you have tried ginger beer you might well wonder if there is any ginger at all in ginger ale. Ginger beer is really biting. The ginger is strong and sharp. You have to really like ginger to like ginger beer.
A short while ago I tried Fentimans Ginger beer for the first time. I have tried some of their other products, such as their traditional lemonade and curiosity cola and always found their drinks to be traditionally good. They are a traditional company, specialising in traditional beverages in traditional packaging. Their ginger beer tastes old fashioned... totally in a good way.
There ginger is stronger than I have tasted in any other ginger beer. In fact on numerous occasions I have breathed in too closely to the bottle before I have taken a sip and ended up coughing and spluttering because the ginger fumes have been so strong. There is ginger sediment in the bottom - it is best to shake this in before you drink otherwise the last few sips can be really overpowering.
This drink gives you a warm feeling when you drink it, probably due to the strength of the ginger! I love it!
I love the old fashioned brown glass bottles. I can imagine them for sale in an old corner shop, alongside shelves of other similarly packaged drinks. The bottle tops look like ones that require a bottle opener to remove but can actually twist off - much like they do on American TV!
My favourite tipple is White wine, however, those that know me, are surprised to learn that I do actually enjoy the odd soft drink !! Of all soft drinks, Ginger Beer is my favourite....the hotter 'n spicier the better, but Hey, that's me all over ! Normally I buy the artificially flavoured Ginger Beer, that is , until I discovered Fentiman's traditional Ginger Beer, and what a discovery !!!
In 1900 Thomas Fentiman was approached by a fellow tradesman asking for a loan, Fentiman obliged, in return for a handshake and security, as was the way in those days. The security he accepted was in the form of a traditional Ginger Beer recipe not yet marketed.
The loan was never repaid, this was to be the making of Fentiman, for he then proceeded to use the recipe to his own advantage, marketing the product and thus making his fortune !
*****Brewing and Fermenting*****
Mulled ginger roots were put into copper steam pans and left to bubble and simmer, releasing the full flavour, then herbs, sugar, natural flavouring and brewer's yeast were added and the whole concoction transferred to wooden vats, which, in turn, were left to ferment. Then the mixture was bottled, corked and left to mature for 1 week.
Nowadays the addition of carbonisation replaces the carbon dioxide lost in the pasteurisation process, meaning longer life and ensuring the alcohol content does not exceed 0.5%.
Other added natural ingredients include:
Capsicum, Lemon, Speedwell, Juniper, Yarrow, Cream of Tartar, Citric Acid
Fentiman's package their Ginger Beer in traditonal brown glass bottles, rather like the real ale bottles you get. They have a rather unique milled, twist off top, although you can use a bottle opener if you prefer. I found the top twists off easily and you can twist it back on if you don't want to drink it all in one go.
The simple labelling details all the aforementioned ingredients and the main logo is of an Alsation dog. This is based on Fentiman's own pet Alsation called 'Fearless', who, incidentally, was double winner of Cruft's obedience class ! They say their logo is testament to the fact that 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks when it comes to producing superior refreshment !'
*****The Taste Test*****
Due to the sediment in the product they recommend you up end the bottle before pouring to unlock the flavour......This I did....my apologies to the more refined reader, but I am afraid I dispensed with the need to dirty a glass (I am also lazy) and proceeded to glug straight from the bottle !
Well, the taste really is something quite sensational, the ginger flavour hits you immediately, it is not as sweet as the cheaper Ginger Beers, and then a lovely warmth follows as it slides down your gullet...delicious, it leaves a lingering spicy and rather pleasant aftertaste, and is not too strong.
In my opinion , this is a very versatile drink, it is refreshing on a warm summer's day and also a warming treat on a cold winter's eve! I would recommend chilling in the fridge before opening, even in the winter as the Spiciness of the Ginger warms you on it's own !I am also reliably informed that Ginger Beer goes rather well with Lime, but am yet to test this.
*****Price and availability*****
I purchased mine from Sainsbury's at 95p, but it is available from most supermarkets and some corner shops. The most expensive I have seen is £1.30, and the cheapest 95p. It comes in a 275ml bottle.
Fentiman's produce other soft drinks, none of which I have yet tried :
Dandelion and Burdock
Fentiman's have a website, although I did find it incredibly difficult to read:
If you want to ask any questions they suggest you E-mail them
90 Grey street
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 01434 609847