To Market Pantry: Farmer Willie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Take one goat farmer from Truro, Massachusetts, who brews alcoholic ginger beer, add two students from Brown University who fell in love with the bubbly drink, and you get Farmer Willie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer, launched in May 2015. The farmer is Willie Fenichel; the students, Max Easton and Nico Enriquez, have since graduated and are leading the charge for the product’s growth in New England.
Most ginger beers are nonalcoholic. They’re basically strongly flavored ginger soda, like a triple ginger ale. But when the product is fermented, like beer but with different ingredients, the result is a low-alcohol (4.5% alcohol content) carbonated beverage. Farmer Willie’s has a clean, dry, slightly biting taste from the juice of fresh-pressed ginger, accented with lemon and nutmeg. It’s delicious on its own or in mixed drinks, such as the popular Dark ’n’ Stormy and Moscow Mule. (Ordinarily, nonalcoholic ginger beer is used in these cocktails, but Farmer Willie’s gives the drinks a little extra zing.)
Interest in ginger beer fits with current trends, says Easton, referring to the growing segment of fruitier alcoholic beverages, such as hard cider and flavored craft beers. Farmer Willie’s, which is produced in a brewery in Pawtucket, contains dramatically less sugar than other ginger beers and is made with all-natural ingredients. “The clean, refreshing taste of Farmer Willie’s works in any season,” says the British native. Try it with oysters, sushi, burgers, desserts and almost everything in between. Look for farmer Willie on the can. He’s still brewing at home and working on some new (secret) recipes.