Dark ginger ale

I used to remember two different kinds of ginger ale growing up…Pale Dry (What we still got around today), and a darker variety.
What was the official designation of the darker brew?

I don’t know as how it has a generic appelation that’s used across different brand names.

Kist (which may or may not still exist) called theirs “Golden Ginger Ale”.

Buffalo Rock (which is definitely still around) just calls theirs “Ginger Ale”, although the can has some other descriptives that let you know it is dark and strong.

Jamaican (available in NYC) puts out “Ginger Beer” instead.

Maybe the absence of “pale”?

What I want to know is, where can you find GOOD ginger ale. Sweppes (sp?) tastes like carbonated sugar water.

The local health food stores offer Reed’s Ginger Brews. They are fantastic! Their website has a store locator, too. I was surprised at how many hits I got when doing a search on Jamaican ginger ale. My guess would be that the darker sort of ginger ale is now called Jamaican Style, but that’s just a guess.

There’s ginger ale, with a little ginger and a little sugar. Then there’s ginger beer, with a lot more ginger, giving it a darker color, and more sugar. Personally I prefer the ginger beer. Used to have to go out of my way to find the good stuff, like Olde Tyme Jamaican, or Stewarts, or Sioux City. But Gravity is right, Reed’s is the best, and Reed’s extra strength ginger brew is the best of the best. It uses lime juice along with ginger, and sweetens with honey and pineapple juice, to give it a much better flavor, with fewer calories than other ginger beers. Gods, I sound like a commercial!

Anyone else notice that the relationship between ginger ale and beer is precisely the inverse of the relationship between real beer and ale? (i.e., darker/stronger vs. lighter/pale)

Qadgop is almost correct, Reeds is excellent, but for a smooth ginger taste with a spicey finish, Vernor’s is still the best. Other worthy candidates, IMHO, are Stewart’s, Cock and Bull, and a local (Pacific NW) contender called Outrageous Brew. Schwepp’s is definitely lower echelon.

Vernon’s Ginger Ale has a distinct bite to it and a good ginger flavor. Ginger Beer has a helluva bite, almost too much for me 'cause it burns, but it is good.

If you want real good ginger ale, buy some fresh ginger root and, if you have a juicer, juice a small piece, about 1/2 inch of the root, add it to the bottle and carefully, lid on, tumble it a few times to agitate it. The let set, chill and drink. If no juicer, place a sliver of fresh ginger in a glass, lightly mash it with a spoon, add ice and regular ginger ale.

Good stuff, but you can add too much ginger and get your teeth cleaned by the resulting sizzle.

Ahh, an opportunity to boost my favorite, Blenheim Ginger Ale. Primarily available in the Carolinas, this is an old brand that had been bought and revived years ago by the owner of “South of the Border,” an enormous ticky-tacky tourist trap (and proud of it buckaroo!) on the NC/SC border.

This is the real stuff. None of it is dark ginger ale, but it’s spicy stuff. The extra hot stuff will make you sweat blood and pop your ears.

They can be reached at 1-800-270-9344.

I’ll go third on Vernor’s here. I just drank off a can with some Philippine soup. Another name to look for is Boyland Bottling Company. I’ve begun to peruse their offerings with nothing but good results. Their ginger ale was of good character, the more so because they use refined sugar instead of that insipid corn sweetener.

However, Vernor’s remains a standout from the crowd. I believe that they have a strong vanilla note in the brew. It’s almost like a ginger ale and cream soda blend. I find it distinctly refreshing.

Vernor’s is certainly halfway decent, but nothing compares to Buffalo Rock except maybe Kist Golden Ginger Ale, which I haven’t seen in decades.