THE HAKANOA BLIND TASTE TEST – YOU TELL US WHAT MAKES THE PERFECT GINGER BEER!
We ran this tasting at the Ferment! Festival March 27th & 28th 2019 and the Better Food Fair April 6th & 7th 2019 in Auckland NZ. A total of 385 people took the tasting and completed 1 ballot each.
All the ginger beers sampled are made with brewed ginger.
We bought Mac’s Ginger Beer, Bundaberg Ginger Beer, Phoenix Organic Ginger Beer & Schweppes Classic Ginger Beer in single serve bottles from the Countdown on Richmond Road in Grey Lynn within 2 days of each event. The product descriptions, ingredients listings, and sugars per 100ml were all transcribed from the bottles that we purchased.
We decanted all the ginger beers including ours into airtight bottles numbered 1 to 5 – and we have to confess this meant ALL the samples lost a bit of carbonation. A few of our tasters noted that all samples were a little lacking in fizz, but we figured as all samples were equally compromised it was still a fair comparison.
All tasters were given the samples in order from 1 to 5 and asked to answer 5 questions about each one before being given the next. They didn’t know what we were giving them, only that all ginger beers they were given are available in NZ shops.
“Quenchiness’ is a made-up word but we explained to all tasters that this means ‘the satisfaction of thirst’.
We did give our tasters some more Hakanoa after the ballot was completed and put away, as they were all curious about which one of the 5 samples was ours. A few noted that the Hakanoa Dry Ginger Beer we poured from a freshly opened bottle was a bit fizzier & colder than the sample given in the blind tasting, so again we assume that would be true for ALL the ginger beers in the tasting.
We faithfully transcribed every thought that was shared, good or bad. Well, almost every thought – one swear word was omitted and there were a couple we just couldn’t decipher.
What became abundantly clear from the tasting is that everyone has very different tastebuds! What tasted sour to one person tasted sweet to another, and one persons ‘not enough ginger’ was another’s ‘too spicy’. So we conclude that there is no single ‘perfect’ ginger beer on the market, but there will be one that is pretty near perfect for you.
Hakanoa Dry Ginger Beer is brewed with a culture of wild yeasts & lacto bacilli grown from fresh ginger root. All the others are brewed with a proprietary yeast. The culture we brew with creates food acids that give our brew a special tang – this is very much like the difference between sourdough bread and yeast-risen bread. We made our brew to suit folks who like their ginger beer not to sweet and with plenty of ginger kick. Based on the results, we feel like we are winning.
Thanks to everyone who took part 🙂