Nelson Brewing Co. Column: Fun with ginger

NBC’s Chad Hansen checks out all the ginger root that went into the brewery’s new Organic Ginger Ale. - submitted photo
NBC’s Chad Hansen checks out all the ginger root that went into the brewery’s new Organic Ginger Ale.
— image credit: submitted photo

When we were offering people samples of our new Organic Ginger Ale at the Red Mountain beer fest a few weeks back, more then a few returned our question with puzzled expressions.

The confusion lies between pop and beer, a quick sip of either Phillips Ginger Beer or ours and you’ll know within a moment the two are nothing alike.

According to Wikipedia, “Brewed ginger beer originated in Yorkshire in England in the mid-18th century and became popular throughout Britain, the United States, and Canada, reaching a peak of popularity in the early 20th century.”

One of the greatest things about the craft beer movement is the adage of what was old is new again. Ginger beers are back, and just in time for summer. For many they are the perfect summer beers, refreshing, crisp and utterly drinkable.

Then there are those people who will be using them in beer cocktails. A quick Google of ginger beer recipes and you’ll see the options are endless. We’ve been having fun sampling, one of our favourites thus far coming from absolutdrinks.com is Loretto Lemonade, which includes bourbon, apple juice, fresh pressed lime juice, melon liqueur and ginger beer, served with a slice of lime.


Nelson Brewing Company – Organic Ginger Ale

This tasty beverage will be available for all your patio adventures and camping trips all summer long. It’s a beer we’ve been working on and sampling around town since Christmas when Brewmaster Mike Kelly whipped up our first batch — 12 kegs of a light bodied ale that had heaps of organic ginger added to the boil along with lemon grass.

If you ever happen to walk into the brewery on a ginger day you’ll never forget that aroma, it’s fantastic!

Our ginger beer is all about balance with the ginger. We’ve added enough that it has a delicious bright quality without overpowering your senses. The lemongrass, though subtle, is another adjunct that gives the beer a tasty pop.

We’re excited to offer our newest ale up in the 355ml can format available across BC and Alberta this month.


Phillips Brewing Company – Ginger Beer

Here’s why we love Phillips — they have the biggest seeds in the province! Brewer/owner Matt Phillips has been a maverick on the BC brewing landscape since day one.

Before craft beer became big business it was difficult to get financing. As Matt went from bank to bank only to be rejected again he decided to grab credit card applications as he went. Within a few months he had the money he needed, though at a slightly higher interest rate.

They brew with the same mentality, no holds barred. The ginger beer is no exception, it is not for the faint of heart but those who enjoy a hearty dollop of ginger will jump for joy. It’s a beast and easily the strongest ginger beer in the province.


Spring is here and summer is upon us friends. Get ready to drop Paperbag, hike Pulpit, paddle to Nemo, swing the clubs out at Balfour and relax at any of the great patios in the area. Kick those tired dogs up and enjoy the medicinal properties of ginger, ya that’s right, your doctor recommended it!


The Nelson Brewing Company Column appears monthly in {vurb}.

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