Q Ginger Beer

History

The forbidden fruit

Ginger’s story starts over 5000 years ago, when the underground stem, or “root” of the wild ginger plant was first used by healers in Southeast Asia to treat indigestion and joint pain.

By the first century AD traders had brought the root to the Mediterranean and by the Middle Ages, ginger was coveted throughout Europe. It was also very expensive: one pound of ginger would get you a live sheep. In the sixteenth century, Henry VIII was recommending it as remedy for the plague while his daughter, Queen Elizabeth, invented what now we call the gingerbread man.

Flash forward to Yorkshire, England in the mid-eighteenth century, when ginger beer was first made. Who knows whether the inventor was curious, drunk, or merely unsatisfied with his beer, but powdered ginger was added to a beer and stirred with a hot poker, creating “ginger beer”. Soon thousands of local taverns and breweries across the United Kingdom and its colonies were brewing up their own varieties with an alcohol content of up to 11%. Some even poured their concoctions into earthenware bottles and exported them all over the world.

Unfortunately, the centuries have not been kind to ginger beer. While visionaries have figured out that it’s great to mix with spirits, ginger beer today is almost always way too sweet and often not spicy enough. Enter Q Ginger Beer....