One of the themes we saw while attending the recent National Restaurant Association show here in Chicago was a concerted effort to improve the quality of mixer ingredients for drinks. While we don’t cover the alcoholic market here at BevReview, it should be noted that this emphasis has produced quite a few interesting entries when it comes to cola, ginger ale, and other mixer products that can stand alone for consumption.
Over and over, we were consistently pitched with the idea that patrons spend a lot of money on alcoholic beverages, only to have them mixed with a cheap can of low-quality Canada Dry ginger ale. One product that aims to fill that niche is Regatta Ginger Beer from Affinity Beverages.
In talking with Stanley Rottell, who runs the brand, Regatta has a niche by being heavily marketed towards sailing enthusiasts, specifically yacht clubs. It aims to be the preferred mixer in these environments, replacing standard ginger ale, club soda, or tonic. Specifically, it’s pitched as an “Authentic Bermuda Stone” ginger beer, with a taste of the Caribbean noted by secondary flavors of citrus, apple, and banana.
From a retail perspective, the drink is packaged in attractive 12 oz glass bottles. Originally the brand went with green glass, however due to supply shortages, has since shifted to clear glass. For use in bars, small 8 oz cans are also available, which is what we sampled for this review.
Upon opening the can, you’re greeted with a strong ginger scent, indicating this is a bit on the “harder” side when compared to more mainstream players like Canada Dry, Seagram’s, and Schweppes. As expected, the color is a hazy yellow, but unlike drinks such as Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale, no ginger is floating around!
I like the fruity front end that Regatta offers. There’s no mistaking that this is a more robust ginger product, but it’s lightened a bit by those aforementioned citrus overtones. The flavor is sweet and clean thanks to the use of cane sugar as well. Marketing materials reference a “zesty kick,” and I’d agree on that. However, I’d say some harshness is still present (which is personally what I like about a good ginger beer). It’s not a painful bite in the back of the throat, but you’ll still experience some burn. The finish, however, is quite clean and sweet.
Regatta Ginger Beer
Sparkling filtered water, cane sugar, natural ginger extracts and other natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate (as a preservative), quillaia extract, caramel color, gum arabic, ester gum, guar gum
An 8 oz can contains 124 calories, 17 mg sodium, 5 mg potassium, and 31 g carbs (31 g sugars). Caffeine free.
Official Website: RegattaGingerBeer.com
Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of Affinity Beverages