For those of you craving that spicy, woody taste of ginger root in an ice cold cocktail or just straight out of the bottle, this article provides a summary of the best ginger beers that originated in California and are headquartered and bottled in California.
Non-California Ginger Beers
Let’s start out with a list of great Ginger Beers that are available in California but are not headquartered in California. As a beverage distributor, we distribute all of the following non-California ginger beer brands:
- AJ Stephen’s Ginger Beer – direct from New England
- Barrit’s Ginger Beer – located in Ocean City, New Jersey
- Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer – straight outta Brooklyn
- Buderim Ginger Beer – made in Australia
- Bundaberg Ginger Beer – from Australia
- Captain Eli’s Ginger Beer – from Portland, Maine
- Cock N Bull Ginger Beer – originated in Hollywood, CA. Now headquartered in Ohio.
- Fentiman’s Ginger Beer – headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA
- Frostie Ginger Beer – originated in Maryland
- Reed’s Ginger Beer – originated in Los Angeles, CA but now headquartered in Connecticut
- Maine Root ginger Brew – fair Trade, cane sugar sweetened soda headquartered in Maine
- Saranac Ginger Beer – made in Utica, NY
- Sioux City Ginger Beer – from Whitestone New York
California Local Ginger Beers
Now for a list of the top ginger beers from California. I was thinking this would be a top 10 list but it turns out it’s only going to be a list of the top 4 California local ginger beers. That’s because, at this moment, there are only 4 ginger beer brands that originated in California, are bottled in California, and are headquartered in California. Not too long ago, Moonglade Brews, a brewery in Oceanside, California was making its own craft ginger beer but sadly, its website and Facebook presence seem to have disappeared during the pandemic. Here are the remaining top 4 California Local ginger beer brands, in alphabetical order:
Batch Ginger Beer is made by the Batch craft soda company which was founded in 2013 in Orange County, CA. All the Batch craft sodas are made with quality natural ingredients and sweetened with pure cane sugar. They are all made in California and they are all gluten free. Batch Ginger Beer is delicious alone or in a Moscow Mule.
Burly Beverages Ginger Beer Syrups
Based out of Sacramento, California, Burly Beverages produces its Super Smooth Ginger Beer Syrup and its Spicy Ginger Beer Syrup. The Super Spicy syrup has a little habañero and cayenne to extend the ginger beer burn. It is made in small batches with apple cider vinegar and turbinado sugar. You can’t really drink it straight out of the bottle, but you can mix one bottle of Burly’s Ginger Beer Syrup with seltzer water, your favorite alcohol, and other ingredients to make 32 of your favorite ginger beer cocktails.
River City Ginger Beer is another high quality ginger beer also from Sacramento, CA, a.k.a. River City. The owners of River City Brand distributed hundreds of craft sodas for many years before coming up with their own beverage line. Over the years they had the opportunity to sample many ginger beers. With this expertise they put together a perfectly sweet and spicy ginger beer. Sweetened with cane sugar, it is very popular in the Sacramento bar scene and beyond. This ginger beer makes a great ginger mixer for Moscow Mules and Kentucky Mules. It also tastes fresh and refreshing for those who love to sip straight from a bottle of ginger beer.
Seabold Ginger Beer
Seabold Ginger Beer was created by two brothers after traveling throughout India and Southeast Asia. They were impressed by the ubiquitous presence of ginger in the South Asian diet. They admired its taste, versatility and nutritional value. When they returned home to Los Angeles they set out to design the perfect ginger-based beverage. They settled on developing their own interpretation of an old-fashioned British ginger beer and Seabold Ginger Beer was born. The Mathisen brothers make Seabold Ginger Beer in small batches with 100% organic ingredients including non-GMO ginger, lemons, cane sugar and spices. This ginger beer is unique in that it is so fresh that it must be refrigerated and should be used within 4 weeks. Due to the fact that the product is not shelf-stable, it’s not surprising that Seabold Ginger Beer is primarily available in the Los Angeles area.
If you are looking for that perfect California-local ginger beer to round out your cocktails, you have several options.
- Option one: Seabold Ginger Beer, is fresh, organic and available primarily in the Los Angeles area. You can order direct from Seabold via Instagram or find their ginger beer in local retail outlets around L.A.
- Option two: Burly Beverages Ginger Beer Syrups from Sacramento, CA can be ordered direct from their website. Since the product only comes in a syrup form, you must mix it with seltzer water and/or other ingredients before drinking.
- Option three: Batch Ginger Beer from Orange County, CA comes in glass bottles, or bag-in-box format for use in soda fountains. It is distributed by Refreshments Direct, a craft soda distributor in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.
- Option four: River City Ginger Beer from Sacramento, CA. I choose River City as my top choice of the four ginger beer brands originated, headquartered and bottled in California. It’s at the top of my list not only because it is the perfect mix of spicy and sweet, but because of its availability. It is readily available all over California and into Nevada in bars, restaurants and grocery and beverage chains including Raleys, Safeway, Nugget Markets, SaveMart/Lucky, Total Wine and BevMo. You can also find it on the products page of our website.
Thank you for reading. Now get out there and make some great ginger beer cocktails!