Review: Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Review: Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer

crabbie's ginger beerThe whole “ginger ale/ginger beer” thing is extremely misleading. As any partaker of the occasional can of Canada Dry can tell you, there’s no “ale” in there — it’s really just ginger-flavored 7-Up.

Ginger beer and ginger ale aren’t the same thing (The difference between the two is simple: Ginger ale was actually invented as a soft drink. Ginger beer is actually fermented and brewed.) But in reality, even high-end artisan ginger beer products like Fever-Tree don’t have alcohol in them.

Enter Crabbie’s, a ginger beer which, as the name suggests, has alcohol in it, putting the beer back in ginger beer. While the product has only been on sale in the UK for a few years (and is new to the U.S. as of this past fall), the company claims the product has been brewed for 200 years, “produced using real ginger, natural fruits, and a unique blend of spices carefully selected from Asia. Genuine ginger beer, not beer flavored with ginger.” (That said, I’m not clear what the details of the production process are.)

It’s a solid product with a strong, but not overpowering, slug of ginger in the glass. Sweeter than most artisan ginger beers, it has a citrus character in the mid-palate and a touch of bitterness on the finish. It’s difficult to taste the alcohol here — at 4.8% abv there’s not much of it anyway — but that’s not such a bad thing, I guess. Then again, it kind of raises the question… what’s the point?

B+ / $4 per 16.9 oz. bottle /

Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Gip on May 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    sweet very refreshing drink.But try Crabbies Black at 6% even better but we only make enough of the Black stuff for uk lol Best Drink out there.

  2. Terry on May 11, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    It has a medicinal taste i cant identify and an artificial sweetener aftertaste. I rate it about a 4 but havent tried it in the recommended way with ice and lemon yet.

  3. Joe McBlow on March 16, 2023 at 10:40 pm

    Way to sweet, couldn’t get it down. One swig and the rest went down the drain.

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