Ginger Beer is a carbonated drink flavored with, you guessed it, ginger. It dates back to 18th century England but, of course, Canada Dry has made ginger ale the better known offspring. The difference between the two is that ginger beer is brewed (fermented) while ale is simply ginger flavored, carbonated water. Technically, ginger beers of today may contain alcohol, but at less than 0.5%, the FDA considers that non-alcoholic.
With the history lesson out of the way, we return to our regularly scheduled story. In the mood for a burger at M, we naturally popped into Anthony's Gourmet Burgers & Brews. Our attention quickly turned to the section of the menu featuring seven brews for $6. Waiting two-thirds of the way down was Crabbie's Ginger Beer: an '11.2 oz secret recipe of four top secret ingredients combined with steeped ginger shipped from the far east.'
Turns out we'd struck gold for multiple reasons. First, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer (it's full birth name) is one of the original ginger beers and only came to be available in 18 States from the UK late last year. Ginger from the Far East is still used today as it was over 200 years ago by Crabbie's granddaddy's daddy. To produce today's beer, the ginger is steeped up to eight weeks, which we assume is like aging good beef. You can look that one up and let us know since all we cared about was the taste. Would Crabbie's grab us by the throat and alert us to call off the dogs?
Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer (it's time to get formal) has a hint of spicy flavor with a smooth finish. And, it tasted like ginger. Not the same ginger the soda guys say is 100% real, but is only served for belly aches. Honest to goodness, crisp bursting flavor that was
not what we'd expected just what we'd been hoping for all throughout our search. Fabulous had been found in one of the most refreshing drinks we've ever had. And, the best part of it all was that it was alocoholic (4.8%). It should come with a warning label since it's absent traditional beer flavor and easy to forget it's still booze. Which also makes it easy to be more than a couple deep pretty quickly.
We haven't found Crabbie's Original nor its Spiced Orange sister elsewhere yet. Until we do, a beer this good and at six bucks to boot is worth getting to the M for. We also had a burger and fries (our original goal of the night, 'member?), but Crabbie's Ginger Beer was far and away the highlight of the meal. Which could either say a lot about the beer or very little about the food. We'll lean you toward the former -- cause these are crabs we can't wait to get again.
Have you found Crabbie's in your beer travels? Have another fav hard to find or unique beer in Las Vegas that we need to know about? Fill us in.