Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer has appeared in the US by way of St. Killian Importing. Popular in the UK (where it is available in flavors such as strawberry and lime and Scottish raspberry), Crabbie’s is the official sponsor of the Grand National Festival, an annual handicap steeplechase held in Liverpool, England. St. Killian’s has been importing Crabbie’s into the US for the past couple of years, and it’s currently available available in 18 US states.
Style/Type: Malt beverage
Description: Flavored with imported ginger cold-steeped for a period of up to 6 weeks, then combined with “four secret ingredients.”
How to serve: In a tall glass, over ice, with a slice of lemon or lime.
Stats: ABV 4.8%
Tasting notes: Has a lovely spicy ginger flavor that provides the gentle, back-of-the-throat burn that ginger lovers will appreciate. Both the original and the orange versions are dominated by ginger flavor, and as is typical of other malt beverages, the alcohol is almost indiscernible. The sweetness is prominent, as in nonalcoholic ginger ale. Because Crabbie’s isn’t technically a “beer,” I won’t use the ASTMO standards in my review.
Comments: Although I don’t typically choose sweet beverages, I enjoyed this one. It’s sweet but crisp, spicy, and very refreshing. It has a complexity of flavors that, for me, worked well with the sweetness. I can see why the words “alcoholic” and “for grownups only” are used in all the labeling.I’d like to try this in a shandygaff, the British version of the shandy, which mixes ginger beer with ale. (Click for my Lemon Shandy recipe.) It’s not the sort of thing I’d drink with a meal–I prefer straight-up beer–but it’s a nice summery change of pace from hard lemonade or cider for patio sipping. I’ll be stocking this one over the summer for sure.
Disclaimer: I received samples of both the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer and the Spiced Orange for tasting and review. My review is not compensated, and all opinions are mine.