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Historic ginger beer recipes in Oceanside

Moonglade nonalcoholic brews were first sold at farmers' markets

A double ginger beer, brewed with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
A double ginger beer, brewed with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

A different sort of brewery tasting room has opened in Oceanside. Since November, Moonglade Brews has been serving nonalcoholic ginger and root beers out of the front of its brewing space off Highway 76 (102 Copperwood Way, suite E, Oceanside).

The Oceanside brewery and tasting room of Moonglade Brews
Place

Moonglade Brews

102 Copperwood Way, Suite E, Oceanside

Former park ranger Jason Schwartze launched Moonglade early last year, initially working out of a commercial kitchen to sell ginger beer at local farmers’ markets. With the dedicated brewery space, the young business has started bottling and distributing, and recently purchased a pair of ten-barrel brew tanks to increase batch size almost six-fold.

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And, while these are soft drinks, they are not ginger ales. "Ginger ale is more like a flavored soda that uses extracts," explains Schwartze. "Ginger beer is actually a brewed beverage that originated about 300 years ago in England."

Moonglade uses organic ginger, cane sugar, and citrus to produce ginger beer with a mixed fermentation process. Like kombucha, it ferments with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY, yielding a complexly flavored and legally nonalcoholic beverage (under .5 percent alcohol by volume).

Although he started homebrewing beer at a teen, Schwartze no longer drinks alcohol and decided to ply the craft to ginger after struggling to find suitable drink alternatives when visiting bars and restaurants with friends and family. "I would search out the best ginger beers," he says, "and I found a couple, but they all had so much sugar in them."

While Schwartze reports most commercially available ginger beers contain between 30 and 40 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving, he says Moonglade brews average closer to 15 grams. His base ginger beer is based on historic English recipes, including the addition of tartaric acid, aka cream of tartar, for texture, and to help the brew pour with foamy head.

Moonglade's tasting room features a variety of ginger-brew options, including rotating fruit flavors such as persimmons and guava. In addition to the dry original beer, the tasting room often offers tastes and growler pours of a double ginger brew, and the even spicier "atomic ginger."

However, unlike many small breweries, tasting-room traffic isn't as central to Moonglade's business as is distribution. Schwartze has begun self-distributing different varieties in kegs and bottles to local bars, restaurants, and markets, including Jimbo's grocery stores. Meanwhile, Moonglade continues to maintain its presence at farmers’ markets in Vista, Leucadia, and Oceanside.

It's also got a stall, for the moment, at the Hillcrest farmers’ market. But, since another local ginger-beer producer works at the same market, in Hillcrest, Moonglade only serves root beer.

Originally called Moonglade Ginger Beer, the business adopted the name Moonglade Brews to reflect the addition of brewed root beers to the lineup. "Root beer used to be fermented just like ginger beer," Scwhartze points out. Indigenous to North America, the concoction is historically made with sarsaparilla root and sassafras bark, and Moonglade's base recipe includes wintergreen and organic vanilla, with variants additionally flavored with coffee, maple, and honey.

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A double ginger beer, brewed with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
A double ginger beer, brewed with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

A different sort of brewery tasting room has opened in Oceanside. Since November, Moonglade Brews has been serving nonalcoholic ginger and root beers out of the front of its brewing space off Highway 76 (102 Copperwood Way, suite E, Oceanside).

The Oceanside brewery and tasting room of Moonglade Brews
Place

Moonglade Brews

102 Copperwood Way, Suite E, Oceanside

Former park ranger Jason Schwartze launched Moonglade early last year, initially working out of a commercial kitchen to sell ginger beer at local farmers’ markets. With the dedicated brewery space, the young business has started bottling and distributing, and recently purchased a pair of ten-barrel brew tanks to increase batch size almost six-fold.

Sponsored
Sponsored

And, while these are soft drinks, they are not ginger ales. "Ginger ale is more like a flavored soda that uses extracts," explains Schwartze. "Ginger beer is actually a brewed beverage that originated about 300 years ago in England."

Moonglade uses organic ginger, cane sugar, and citrus to produce ginger beer with a mixed fermentation process. Like kombucha, it ferments with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY, yielding a complexly flavored and legally nonalcoholic beverage (under .5 percent alcohol by volume).

Although he started homebrewing beer at a teen, Schwartze no longer drinks alcohol and decided to ply the craft to ginger after struggling to find suitable drink alternatives when visiting bars and restaurants with friends and family. "I would search out the best ginger beers," he says, "and I found a couple, but they all had so much sugar in them."

While Schwartze reports most commercially available ginger beers contain between 30 and 40 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving, he says Moonglade brews average closer to 15 grams. His base ginger beer is based on historic English recipes, including the addition of tartaric acid, aka cream of tartar, for texture, and to help the brew pour with foamy head.

Moonglade's tasting room features a variety of ginger-brew options, including rotating fruit flavors such as persimmons and guava. In addition to the dry original beer, the tasting room often offers tastes and growler pours of a double ginger brew, and the even spicier "atomic ginger."

However, unlike many small breweries, tasting-room traffic isn't as central to Moonglade's business as is distribution. Schwartze has begun self-distributing different varieties in kegs and bottles to local bars, restaurants, and markets, including Jimbo's grocery stores. Meanwhile, Moonglade continues to maintain its presence at farmers’ markets in Vista, Leucadia, and Oceanside.

It's also got a stall, for the moment, at the Hillcrest farmers’ market. But, since another local ginger-beer producer works at the same market, in Hillcrest, Moonglade only serves root beer.

Originally called Moonglade Ginger Beer, the business adopted the name Moonglade Brews to reflect the addition of brewed root beers to the lineup. "Root beer used to be fermented just like ginger beer," Scwhartze points out. Indigenous to North America, the concoction is historically made with sarsaparilla root and sassafras bark, and Moonglade's base recipe includes wintergreen and organic vanilla, with variants additionally flavored with coffee, maple, and honey.

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