History of Ginger Beer

How did we get started?

As young as 6 years old I began making Ginger Beer with my Grandmother Sue in her Farmhouse Kitchen. My Grandpa Roly loved to drink the ginger beer. It continues to be a source of inspiration for me in my brewing hobby and career. The ginger beer recipe and instructions captured in our kits allows you to share and enjoy our recipe too.

History of The Ginger Beer Plant

Back in the day before soda fountains sprung forth many of the modern chemical based fizzy drinks, Ginger Beer was THE soft drink of choice alongside traditional lemonade. Ginger came about from overseas trading in the far East and due to its ability to keep well as a dried powder was brought back to the UK as an exotic and refreshing foreign taste. Until fairy recently microbes weren’t very well understood and certainly pasteurisation hadn’t been invented so drinks had to be bought regularly or made fresh at home. The ginger beer plant concept lasted well into the 20th century and provided a household with a reliable and regular supply of exotic refreshment in the form of fresh ginger beer for the week.

Social Networking!
As the ginger beer plant is a living culture it can be readily shared with friends, relatives and loved ones by simply passing them a portion of your ginger beer plant in a nice clean jar. As a result of this easy networking and the demand for summer refreshments the ginger beer plant cultures of the past would quickly spread across communities in the summer months. From door to door up streets of houses and no doubt through local social groups. As a result of this ferverent activity the plant undoubtedly picks up a few friends along the way, namely a mixture of friendly bacteria which live happily with the yeast and create a complex culture. This reportedly results in a more sour or complex tartness to some of the ginger beer made from these plants.

The plant is a true social phenomonon and I wonder how many conversation starters and relationships it brewed over the years? We love to hear how everyone has gotten on with our kits over the years, so please leave any feedback using the contact page.

Bottles?
Many people may have seen the earthern-ware jugs / bottles that used to be delivered door to door full of Ginger beer or traditional Lemonade. Often these are now decorating pubs and museums. Good quality and mass produced glass bottles weren’t available till the early 20th century. Now plastic is readily available and much better at safely coping with the fizz.
Childhood Nostalgia
Ginger Beer has remained a part of popular culture in Britain and often crops up in the childhood fantasy folklore such as The Famous 5 books and children’s stories such as just William, Swallows and Amazons etc. Typically lots of ginger beer is referred to as “lashings” of ginger beer.

The feedback and stories of fond childhood memories we receive at events is astounding. Nurturing the ginger beer plant and making the ginger beer is often a task given to children as much for entertainment as education and thus the kits are quite pleasantly nostalgic for many people. I’d be delighted to hear any of your stories or feedback on the contacts page on this site.

Click here to get started making your own ginger beer

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