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Around The World In 80 Beers Interlude #1: Bundaberg Ginger Beer
I threatened to do this during my last meeting with thefoxaroo. The title should be something clever and witty, but "Jerking Around" is taken by someone who is wittier and cleverer, and I respect Trav too much to rip off his title.

So here is a soft drink interlude. Hey, it's a beer, right? And it's ginger. I love ginger. When oceansedge and james_b visited last time, they dropped in a 1/2kg packet of lumps of crystallized ginger. It lasted me a week.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Pours a pale beige. Almost, but not quite, clear, with large bubbles of carbonation.

First sip: Sweet, but not sickly sweet even though it contains a lot of sugar. Also has a faint lemon flavour that vanishes quickly, followed by an even fainter but persistent ginger flavour with the smallest amount of bite. A lot of carbonation on the tongue. Mouth-feel is thin but not watery.

Admittedly this is one of the mass market brews so the ginger taste is a bit watered down - a little too watered down for me. Even so, it is refreshing and a nice one to drink at any time. My only complaint is that the bottle lid is a rip-top rather than a screw top, so you can't reseal it once opened.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks P/L
Sweetened with cane sugar
375ml bottle
690kJ / 8% Daily Intake

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Bundaberg is one of my favorite drinking ginger beers, maybe my favorite. There are others with more bite that do better as mixers, but aren't as nice drinking straight.

we rather liked Bundaberg Ginger Beer, aye it is a mass market brew, but it's one of the better ones :)

I have stuff set aside here to try doing a batch here at home, just haven't gotten around to it yet

Give me Cascade over Bundaberg any day... if you can find it!

Cascade is MUCH better!

I miss being able to get 750ml bottles of it at Woolies. CJ's coffee shop @ Central Station usually carries the 300-odd ml bottles though, so I can at least get it on a regular basis.

Rum is my favorite alcoholic beverage. When I visited Australia, someone - it might even have been you; it certainly wasn't sheramil - introduced me to Bundaberg Rum. And then I discovered that they sold Bundaberg Rum already mixed with either ginger beer or cola, in cans, which meant I could keep a few cans in the mini-fridge in my hotel room, for when I wanted adult refreshment without having to go out. The rum and cola was slightly disappointing, because the cola bore almost no resemblance to Coca-Cola, the definition of "rum & Coke" (my favorite drink). But the "Dark & Stormy" (rum and ginger beer) was pretty good - although the rum wasn't quite as dark as it might have been, so it was probably a "Cloudy With A Change Of Showers". Still, I'm sorry that they don't ship Bundaberg rum to the US at all.

I'm surprised you have trouble finding candied ginger. I was surprised at how easy it was to get in Australia, compared to here. Specifically, chocolate-dipped candied ginger; I can only get that in a few very pricey hand-made-chocolates kind of places. But they sold it everywhere in Melbourne - I even once saw it in a supermarket. I bought some to take home on my first trip, and it disappeared so quickly that I thought to buy a larger amount on my second trip. I bought a kilo of it when I arrived, and I did try to restrain myself, but I was there for two weeks. I had to buy another kilo at the airport on my way home. (I love chocolate-covered candied ginger so much, I learned how to "temper" chocolate to make my own. And then I discovered that the candied ginger I'd been buying was grown and candied in Australia.)

I don't know what other brands of ginger beer you have in Australia. Here in the eastern US, I can get various Caribbean brands, especially Jamaican, Bermudan, Cuban, and Puerto Rican. (The same is precisely true for rum.) There's also a delicious ginger beer made in Brooklyn, but they don't make rum in Brooklyn...

I'm not so keen of rum but I will drink it. Bundy Dark is nice.

Candied Ginger is in large packets at Woolies, and I have to limit myself - one small bag only. And with restraint that lasts a few days.

All ginger beers here are local. I have not seen any imported brews.

Edited at 2014-07-20 01:12 am (UTC)

So far, out of all the ginger beers I've tried, I like the one from Brooklyn the best. (Did you know that many well-known brands of ginger beer contain capsaicin, to intensify the "burn" without having to add more ginger?)

By my rather jaded standards, Bundaberg rum is "so bad it's good". It is nothing at all like the mellow, aged, flavorful rums of the Caribbean; it's simple and crude and powerful-tasting, and sometimes that's precisely what I want.

There's a kind of liquor called cachaça, from Brazil. It's made from raw sugar-cane juice, where rum is made from molasses left over from boiling that juice down to sugar. I'm just a tiny bit surprised that someone in Australia isn't making cachaça, since you've got plenty of sugar cane (although you don't seem to have very many Brazilians). The national drink of Brazil is the caipirinha, a mixture of cachaça, sugar, and half a lime, with one ice cube in it. When it's first served, it tastes like something you might burn in a camp stove, but give it five minutes or so, and it becomes pleasant, almost mellow. Makes you want to put on a bikini and learn to dance the samba :-)

If you have a Trader Joe's near you, or have visitors who have one near them, you can get dark-chocolate-dipped candied ginger easily and at a reasonable price. Since TJ opened up a store in Houston, we're rarely without it.

Thanks - that's good to know! There's a TJ I can get to, although I don't shop there very often. Now I've got an excuse :-)

I love ginger ale, and have used this recipe often. It beats anything on the market six ways from breakfast.


2 cups unpeeled, washed, fresh ginger, roughly chopped
2 cups sugar
6 cups water
8 cups club soda or sparkling water, chilled
Process ginger chunks in food processor or blender until finely chopped. Place in a large stock pot.

Add sugar and water and stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer of medium-low heat and cook for about an hour until a rich syrup is created.

Strain the syrup twice through cheese cloth or sieve into a large jar or pitcher. Set aside to cool.

Fill a glass with ice. Add 1/3 cup of ginger syrup and top it off with club soda or sparkling water. Add a squeeze of lime if you’d like. So good!

I am so stealing this recipe, TY :)

That does look good! I've tucked it away.

Happy Birthday, Batty Den!

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Thank you!

mmm that sounds good. What if you use lemon instead of lime?

When we lived on the farm, we had a "ginger plant" (ginger yeast and sugar) growing in a jar.

It made excellent ginger beer.

My friend bibulb makes his own ginger beer, and it's really tasty. If you want to ask for his recipe, tell him I sent you.

My favorite ginger beer was Old Tyme; I haven't seen a six pack in ages and I'm really not supposed to drink it any more but I don't give a tinkers cuss about that if I can find some decent stuff. Heck, all ginger tea is is crystallized ginger powdered and put in a tea bag (or not) and steeped. Run on sentence, ole! :D I really should try making my own.

Edited at 2014-07-20 02:00 am (UTC)

I love Old Tyme, but I think something must have happened to them; like you, I haven't seen it in ages. Reed's Extra is a decent substitute, though.

I am thefoxaroo and I approve of this LJ post - very much so! :D

A delightful read as always. The only thing missing is the "Same again?" question.

Now... you absolutely MUST do the grape fanta! :D

I like my ginger beers with plenty of bite, usually (Saxby's is nice), but Bundaberg is perfectly acceptable too (and available in more places than most other brands).

We've tried home-brewed ginger beer a few times, but it was disappointingly low on bite, and (ironically) not sweet enough for my tastes ... probably a sign that I've been spoiled by the soft drinks.

Might have to try that ginger syrup recipe, though, that sounds more like my kind of thing.

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