I generally don’t buy things with the word “Irie!” printed on them. Not that I have anything against actual Rastafarian’s, but usually in the U.S., Jamaican culture is misappropriated by frat boys with a Bob Marley t-shirt, and a bong stuck to their face. The Juju Ginger from Longmont, Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Company does say “Irie” on the side of the label, with a Jamaican motif, but it also has organic ginger root and I’m left handed. I love Dr. Brown’s Ginger Ale, one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle is The Wild Ginger, and I use ginger root frequently in my cooking. So combining ginger with beer sounded great to me. My only reservation was that a strong flavor like ginger might overpower the beer. That fear proved unfounded when I tasted this nicely balanced straw colored ale, with just a hint of ginger up front, and a mellow ginger tingle on the finish. There were also subtle honey malt flavors, and just the faintest hop bitterness to provide balance. It went great with Chinese Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce (recipe on http://www.CooksIllustrated.com) we had for dinner. Sushi, Thai, Vietnamese would all pair really well with the Juju Ginger. At only 4% ABV I could drink this beer all summer long!

Tim Nichols


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