Soda pop

Rick Kennerly rick at MOUSEHERDER.COM
Wed Jun 12 10:24:53 UTC 2002

|o| Have you checked out Goya's (or other Caribbean-style) ginger BEER?

No, but I'll give it a try.

|o|The nomenclature is
|o| puzzling, though.  It's clear that no formula along the lines of
|o| ginger beer : beer :: ginger ale : ale
|o| can be plausibly defended.

But ginger beer flows from the same root beer, as does birch
beer.  What is confusing is the word beer, which has two meaning in English.
One, the Bud Light kind made from cereals and containing alcohol and the
other in the sense of a beverage made from root extracts that is
non-alcoholic, a usage almost lost in modern language outside an A&W stand.
They both have the common brewers link of natural carbonation, caused by the
addition of yeast and sugar before bottling.  Alcoholic beer and
non-alcoholic beer differ only base ingredients (cereals vs root extract)
and in the fermentation process.

BTW, the root in root beer is traditionally an extract of the root of the
sassafras tree or, in older days, the sarsaparilla vine--making sarsaparilla
the good-guy drink in old westerns and a word that always gives me the


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