The founder of Ginger Lab is an unexpected despiser of ginger’s taste.
“If ginger is mixed into my food or soups, or just barely touches my sushi, I won’t eat it”, confessed Deb Chang, founder and owner of Santa Clara-based Ginger Lab. “I don’t even like ginger candy or ginger chews and pick out the ginger pieces in ginger molasses cookies.”
But for reasons unknown even to her, Chang loves ginger beer.
“I started Ginger Lab because I wanted to create a better-tasting ginger beer for the cocktails that called for ginger beer as an ingredient,” said Chang in response to the business’s origins.
“Having recently taken a mixology course, I was inspired to enjoy a bunch of craft cocktails and subsequently, apply what I learned in the mixology course and try to recreate these craft cocktails at home,” said Chang, who pointed out that $15 cocktails can really start to put a dent in your wallet, and as we all know that drinking and driving is not a good mix.
“What I found was that many of the cocktails I gravitated towards were ginger beer-based cocktails and what I didn’t like were the ginger beers you would find in the grocery stores,” Chang went on. “They were much too sweet and didn’t have that nice spicy kick to them.
“It didn’t help that I was itching to move away from my tech job at the time and wanted to work on something that was more creative and tangible,” continued Chang. “So in March of 2016, I decided to take the leap, bet on myself, and start making some awesome ginger beer for the community.”
Unlike other beers, the Santa Clara company’s beverages can be enjoyed by adolescents and abstainers alike. The drinks contain zero alcohol.
“You can think of ginger beer as a strong ginger soda,” said Chang. “Ours, in particular, is not made from artificial flavors, extracts or natural syrups. We make all of our ginger beer out of fresh ginger and fresh lemon and we do not add any preservatives to our ginger beer.
“All of our fruit-flavored ginger beers are also made from pureed fruit, so everything that goes into our ginger beers is as close to eating the whole fruit or ginger as you can get,” Chang continued. “That’s why we always say fresh taste comes from fresh ingredients!”
For those who dislike ginger and are unlikely to be satisfied by the taste of ginger beer, Chang recommends the Guava, Mango, or Strawberry brew.
“The fruit flavors blend really well with the ginger and lemon juices,” she explained.
“For the people on the opposite spectrum, I highly recommend our No Sugar Added Original as it really packs a punch without the organic cane sugar or sweetness from the fruits to tone it down,” Chang said.
For adults, the ginger beer can be enjoyed in a Moscow Mule, Dark and Stormy, or with a preferred spirit like bourbon.
Ginger Lab has some seasonal recommendations.
“We recently made a brand-new brew – Cherry. It’s our first time debuting it this summer and we’re in love,” said Chang. “In the later summer months, we’ll have our Mango, Strawberry and Passionfruit brews. You can’t go wrong with any of these!”
According to Ginger Lab’s website, ginger beer has several health benefits, such as relieving inflammation and nausea.
“Ginger is also really good for an upset stomach and general immunity,” Chang added. “It’s amazing how we have this natural resource from the Earth that can help ease all these different ailments.”
You can find Santa Clara-based Ginger Lab online at https://drinkgingerlab.com and through DoorDash. It’s also sold at local Whole Foods Markets and eateries such as State of Mind Public House & Pizzeria in Los Altos and Redwood City.