Spicy yet refreshing, ginger beer is a fantastic thirst-quencher. However, its name can be a little confusing – does it actually contain alcohol? What’s more, is ginger beer halal or haram?
Before pouring yourself a glass of this fiery fizz, let’s take a look at whether it’s halal or not – once and for all.
Is ginger beer halal?
In most cases, ginger beer is non-alcoholic, meaning it is halal. However, you’ll need to be careful to check any bottles you buy, or menus you order from.
Ginger beer, unlike its name suggests, is actually a carbonated drink. It’s a name given to a ginger-flavoured fizzy pop that you can normally buy in shops and supermarkets (without the need for ID!).
How much alcohol does ginger beer contain?
The great news is that ginger beer’s average alcohol contents come to no more than 0.5% ABV. Of course, alcohol is considered haram – but there should be little need for you to worry about its presence in store-bought ginger beer.
Traditional ginger beer made from scratch, however, is fermented and made from ginger, water and sugar. Ginger beer plants and ginger bugs are sometimes used to make specific blends or styles of this drink.
Ginger beer is technically a non-alcoholic drink under most trading standards. This also means it won’t make you drunk – you’d need to consume 30-40 bottles in under an hour!
Why is it called ginger beer – if there’s no alcohol?
The name ginger beer has been passed down for generations, from days when the drink used to have up to 10-11% ABV per serving! But, the only similarity modern drinks share with the old recipes is the presence of ginger. Effectively, the bottles you’ll find in supermarkets are simply fizzy, ginger-flavoured water.
Of course, it still pays to be careful. There are some alcoholic drinks manufacturers known for producing ginger beer flavoured cocktails, and drinks based on the original recipe.
To avoid accidentally consuming haram ginger beer, always make sure to carefully read both sides of the label!
What ingredients does ginger beer contain?
Ginger beer’s ingredients may vary from recipe to recipe, and from brand to brand. However, you can normally expect to find cane sugar, citric acid, preservatives, root of ginger, carbonated water and some natural flavourings.
In some cases, as mentioned, there may be yeast present, and in addition, alcohol. You’ll be able to spot if you’ve bought an alcoholic ginger beer drink by checking for the ABV level in percentage at the front of the label.
The great news is, most of the time, you can enjoy ginger beer as a halal drink. This spicy treat typically won’t be haram unless you choose an alcoholic option. Always be careful when trying someone’s home-made blend, or when buying bottles at your local shops.