Ginger Beer vs. Root Beer: How Do They Compare?

Ginger Beer vs. Root Beer: How Do They Compare?

As society moves forward various foods and beverages fall out of favor. That includes dishes like tuna casserole, desserts like tapioca, and beverages like "tea water". But every so often something from the past manages to make its way through time’s natural filters and find a place in the contemporary world. Ginger beer and root beer are two good examples. Both became popular during the colonial period in America yet somehow have managed to endure right into the digital age. In this post, the team at Rocky Mountain Soda Co. will compare the two and maybe even shed some light on why they survived while so many of their contemporaries did not.

Let’s start by taking a look at the origins of both of these beverages as well as what goes into producing them.

Ginger Beer: A Brief History

Ginger beer first appeared during the 18th century and enjoyed immense popularity in the UK and among British colonialists in the Caribbean. Inevitably it made its way to the US where its popularity peaked in the 19th century. Although that popularity waned during the 20th century ginger beer has never gone entirely out of fashion. Interestingly, the rise and phenomenal popularity of the Moscow Mule cocktail in the 21st century has brought ginger beer back into the mainstream.

Ginger beer is produced by fermenting ginger, sugar, and water and typically has a spicy flavor that separates it from most contemporary soft drinks. While ginger beer was originally an alcoholic beverage almost all ginger beer sold today (including our vegan and gluten-free Golden Ginger Beer) is of the non-alcoholic variety.

Root Beer: A Brief History

The history of root beer is long and convoluted. It first gained popularity in the U.S. in the 19th century but its true origins go back centuries earlier to a time when Native Americans used sassafras and other ingredients to create a tea-like beverage. European settlers took the Native American recipe and added sugar and yeast to create a carbonated version of this traditional drink.

A lot of people are under the impression that root beer and sarsaparilla are two names for the same thing. But that’s not the case. While they are similar there are some subtle differences between the two. The primary one is that root beer is made from the sassafras root as we mentioned above, while sarsaparilla is made from the sarsaparilla plant.

Root beer has never really experienced the kind of severe dip in popularity that ginger beer went through before being rescued by the Moscow Mule. Root beer floats have been a perennial favorite for people of all ages for a hundred years and huge root beer brands such as Hires have invested heavily in marketing to keep their product in the public consciousness.

Ginger Beer's Flavor Profile

"Bold" and "spicy" are two adjectives that are most often used to describe the taste of our Golden Ginger Beer. These qualities, along with the fact that it pairs well with both sweet and citrus flavors, make it a popular choice for mixing into cocktails. Especially some of the more involved, care-fee summer cocktails.

Root Beer's Flavor Profile

Our Rocky Mountain Root Beer has a sweet, creamy profile that separates it pretty effectively from other types of soda. If you have a well-developed palate you may also pick up on some vanilla and caramel notes that complement the sassafra base. And if you are a true connoisseur of non-alcoholic beverages you may also discern a wee bit of sarsaparilla and cinnamon that provide a delightfully spicy finish.

Try All-Natural Soft Drinks From Rocky Mountain Soda Co.

Ginger beer and root beer are seeming anomalies from the distant past that somehow managed to retain their relevance right up into the current digital age. Both have a hearty, bold flavor that distinguishes them from other popular soda flavors of today and maybe it’s that ability to provide a tasty alternative that has allowed them to stay current.

If you are looking for a better kind of soda that will quench your thirst and tickle your tastebuds, one that’s kosher, vegan, and contains no GMOs, try Rocky Mountain Golden Ginger Beer or Root Beer today.