This post may contain affiliate links.
The history of ginger beer goes back in time. Let me tell you a little story about ginger ale in America, otherwise known as ginger beer.
Once upon a time when things were all natural and good, back when horses pulled people around town, and there was no such thing as a factory that produced millions of things, there was a mother.
No, not your typical mother that tucked you in at night, but a Ginger Beer Plant that many households had at home. Usually it was Grandma who was privy to the Ginger Beer Plant (“GBP”) that grew year-round just like an outdoor perennial, except this plant would produce ginger beer quite regularly.
This magical effervescent brew that tasted slightly sweet but had that gingery bite also had a decent amount of alcohol, which in fact was the way drinks were carbonated back then, and this is how soda was homemade. No wonder Grandma kept this plant growing.
Soon, the whole town had a piece of Grandma’s plant, and everybody was home-brewing ginger beer, and everything was All Natural & Good!
Then came Prohibition. At the drop of the hat, poor old Grandma had to let the plant go, and everyone else followed suit. If anybody was caught home-brewing, it was a serious offense. So the plants (mothers) died, and there was no more ginger beer.
But then voila! Soda pop! Although the people and the streets had dried up, soda fountains began to occupy every crowded street corner. Kids were carrying their pennies to get a taste of their favorite sugary, bubbly drinks because households couldn’t afford this new expensive equipment to make non-alcoholic drinks bubbly. Those adults who could get away with drinking began using soda too in order to dilute their strong bootlegged moonshine into a palatable mixer.
This is what made the mixed drink so popular, and just like that soda stuck. Coke took to the factories quickly. Once someone figured out how to make a non-alcoholic ginger ale, the last nail went into the ginger beer coffin.
That was it. Once Prohibition came to an end, people forgot about the ginger beer Grandma made. The kids who associated ginger ale with non-alcoholic soda grew up, and they had forgotten how good ginger beer was before. How sad, I know. However, the story has a great ending!
Thanks to the folks across the Pond, they never had a Prohibition and they’ve been harvesting the Ginger Beer Plant and it’s still flourishing like the good days!
You can order the plant and they will ship it to your home so you can take care of it, and it can take care of you by producing gloriously delicious homemade sodas, but most importantly ginger beer which is so tasty and healthy!