Summit Sparkling Ginger Beer (Non-Alcoholic)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated with more information related to the ginger beer’s ingredients.

Ginger is a flowering plant from China. It is well-known for its medicinal benefits, established by science. It is a popular component of many beverages, including the cult favorite kombucha and the legendary ginger ale.

Ginger beer is a cousin of ginger ale, although it differs in a couple of respects. One, ginger beer is brewed, whereas ginger ale is a carbonated ginger beverage. Two, ginger beer can contain alcohol, where ginger ale does not.

In other words, ginger beer is a kind of beer, while ginger ale is a kind of soda. Both are carbonated and both have ginger, but the differences in preparation lead to different beverages.

Aldi sells a ginger beer. Sort of.

Summit Ginger Beer

Summit Sparkling Ginger Beer is sold at Aldi for $2.99 for a pack of four 12-ounce bottles. It’s a Seasonal Favorite, meaning it’s available in stores for extended periods through select seasons. (In our area it is in stores around the Christmas holiday.) We typically find it nestled among the other carbonated beverages in the store, such as the sodas. It’s stored at room temperature in-store, but you’ll want to refrigerate it before consuming.

This brew is, as the bottle and packaging clearly note, a non-alcoholic concoction.

To crack it open, you’ll need a bottle opener.

Summit Ginger Beer

(Click to enlarge.)

If you’ve never had ginger beer before, you may be wondering how it tastes compared to ginger ale. The answer is that it’s significantly different.

For one, the ginger flavor is a lot stronger. A lot. Where ginger ale has more a subtle, sweet ginger flavor, the ginger flavor in ginger beer is sharp and prominent. For the ginger ale fan who has never had ginger beer, it’s a definite adjustment.

Two, the ginger beer has more of a burn going down. I thought the burn got stronger as I drank more, but suffice to say that it does more to the throat. If you like some burn in your drink you’ll like this; if you prefer something mild and smooth, this is not it.

Nutritionally, ginger beer is a typical carbonated beverage, with a high sugar content.

Summit Ginger Beer

Nutrition and ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)

But what’s more notable is the ingredients list:

Ingredients. Click to enlarge.

The ginger beer contains the likes of sugar, citric acid, food starch (modified), vegetable oil, and the ever-mysterious “natural flavors.” What isn’t listed is, well, ginger.

So, what’s the deal?

Apparently there are different kinds of products that fall under the umbrella of ginger beer, and in the non-alcoholic versions, ginger may not be a component. Coca-Cola, for example, makes a non-alcoholic ginger beer popular in east Africa called Stoney that, as best as we can tell, doesn’t contain any ginger.

In other words, some ginger beer is an authentic ginger beer, while other varieties are more of a ginger beer soft drink that adds flavors to imitate ginger beer. The Aldi version looks like it falls in that latter category. We’ll leave it to individual consumers to sort out how they feel about this.

The Verdict:

Summit Ginger Beer is a fascinating drink, with a strong ginger flavor and no small amount of burn going down. If that’s your style, then you’ll want to give this a try. On the other hand, if you’re a ginger ale fan and you like a mild beverage, be aware that this isn’t ginger ale. It’s also worth noting that this beverage doesn’t appear to actually have ginger in it, so make of that what you will.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Editor-in-Chief of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at www.joshuaajohnston.com.

12 Comments

  1. The ingredients of this ginger beer are: “carbonated water, invert sugar, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), food starch modified, natural flavor, eater gum, caramel color, and brominated vegetable oil (soybean and sunflower).” No ginger. And vegetable oil.

    • Thank you for pointing that out. We try to be conscientious about talking ingredients, but for whatever reason I didn’t discuss it here. I’ve revamped the review with a fuller discussion on the topic.

  2. Sure has a burn going down. Might be better over ice. Might be good for soaking meat in it before smoking. I’ll give that a try. Otherwise not for my taste.

    • I love ginger beer and was excited to see this Aldi. So excited that I didn’t look at the ingredients until after tasted it. The flavor wasn’t bad, the burn was spot on to ginger. However, my tastebuds knew that they had been fooled. I read the ingredients with disappointment. I was sad to see this was an imposter. Especially since Aldi has such a nice variety of healthy foods, and organic fruits and vegetables.

  3. Is this product gluten free

  4. My husband loves Aldi’s, Summig Ginger Beer. This is his drink of choice year round. We would really like to the the seasonal selling to year round selling of this great alternative to colas and beer. Also, when inclined, it helps make a good Mule!

    • Did you find in your Moscow mule it was very bitter? We used it in out with vodka and it was very bitter unsure why. We even added the fresh squeezed limes.

  5. I was also disappointed that there was no ginger in this drink. Psychologically I’d like some ginger to offset the high 200 calories. lol 🙂 … I’ve taken to adding 1/2 teaspoon of ginger to the bottle.

  6. I contacted Aldi’s and asked them specifically if Summit Ginger Beer contains any ginger. The following is their rather unconvincing response:

    Thank you for contacting us.

    The requested information is below:

    The Summit Ginger Beer does contain ginger.

    Disclaimer: It is important to understand this information may vary for this product from time to time and by region due to differing product suppliers and formula changes. While we can confirm the information provided above is accurate based on the specific product information you provided at this time, the nutritional information may not be the same for all product nationwide or for future product purchases. We encourage consumers to check both the ingredient list and contains statement each time they buy a product.

    Should you have any further questions, please contact us at (800)325-7894. Our hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. To better assist you, please provide the case number located above by pressing 7 in the main menu when contacting us.

    Thank you for being an ALDI shopper!

    Kind regards,

    ALDI Customer Service

  7. Does this ginger beer have caffeine?

  8. My Aldi has ginger beer right across from the checkout lines pretty much all year. Caribbean customers seem to think it’s pretty authentic.

  9. Wow! I was shocked that ginger is not one of the ingredients in summit ginger beer. Spent all afternoon looking for this brand. I love it though and, hope Aldi will resume the sale of this product. Love it with Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey & lime over ice.

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