LITTLE LOOKS – Fentimans Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Little Looks are the reviews of brews that may be new to the market, a local beer I want to shout about, or simply a classic revisited. 


The Lowdown:

Story has it that it all started in 1905 when Thomas Fentiman found himself in a loan deal with a tradesman. When said deal was struck, Fentiman received the recipe for a botanically brewed ginger beer as means of security. That loan was never paid off and so Fentiman found himself the owner of this unique recipe and the rest, as they say, is history.

The company is still owned by a Fentiman, the Great Grandson of Thomas, although the processes that the ginger beer goes through have changed somewhat since 1905.

The Taste:

A fizzy ginger hued brew bubbles out of the bottle yet immediately settles down with small bubbles quietly fizzing to the top of the glass, a bit like Lemonade does. The aroma is all ginger, a distinctive spice joined by a little sweet edge. That ginger is  immediate on the palate, as it should be, in a gentle fizz, quickly partnered by sweet lemon and green apple. The sweetness becomes sticky and somewhat overwhelms the ginger and really that’s my one gripe, I’d like more ginger, more zing and a little less lemon curd character. That’s not to say that this is a bad drink, far from it, but with a muted ginger and alcohol kick it’s dangerously drinkable, infact without looking at the label you wouldn’t know that this ginger beer was an alcoholic one. On that note, I like the label too. I like the way it nods to the heritage of the product and those early days back in 1905. The brand successfully plays to its strength there.

I had this beer back in the summer and chilled this is a decent refresher, but the first frosts are now appearing and my latest try was at room temperature where the drink provided an adequate ginger warmth making this a good all seasons beverage, the 330ml bottles being just the right size, any more and that sweetness may become too much for my palate. This botanical brew has piqued my interest somewhat, being a refreshing alternative to pale ales and with cider & mead riding the coattails of the British beer boom where and how does ginger beer fit in? It’s a niche part of the market and one that I’m keen to explore further, but for now Fentimans Alcoholic Ginger Beer has been a very decent start.


Disclosure: these beers were sent to me for review purposes by a representative of the brand. I didn’t pay for the beers, but I do not believe that has affected my opinion

Posted by

Author of Look At Brew - a beer blog dedicated to the celebration and promotion of the modern beer scene.