That’s right. Bright & Sunny is self-carbonated through fermentation. Aside from the health benefits, it tastes delicious!
Eat Local First: Ginger Beer, the Local Food System, and a Little Bit of Magic
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Our flagship drink is delicious straight up, but beware, it’s got serious bite. Enjoy the ginger and citrus notes in our standard and seasonal flavors.
It’s so refreshing, we drink these every night!
Get your copper mugs ready -- Bright & Sunny is the perfect companion with bourbon, rum or vodka for a heartier take on classic, ginger beer cocktails.
- Gentleman at the market. 2019
- Leah T. 13 Jun, 2020
- Christy F. 2021
We offer discounts for personal cup and bottle refills. Also, our ginger infusions are towards zero-waste: After serving or bottling our ginger beer, we dehydrate it to keep the probiotics going.
Our wild ginger beer has a magical ingredient...! It’s wild Bellingham yeast, naturally occurring in the air all around us. Live, wild yeast culture is the catalyst for the probiotic that creates the tiny bubbles in our brew.
We care about using eco-friendly packaging.
We love our planet and know that each sustainable packaging choice we make matters!
We strive to keep the alcohol content less than 1%, so that the alcohol in our ginger beer is similar to that of a non-alcoholic beer. A little goes a long way! Make an amazing mocktail (imitation cocktail) with sparkling water and a little fruit juice.
Yes, you can make it in your own kitchen at home. All it takes is fresh ginger, fresh lemons, sugar, good water, and time. There are lots of tutorials available online. Or ask us for tips!
Bright & Sunny Ginger Beer is wild fermented. That means we don’t add carbonation, and we don’t add yeast. The tiny bubbles come from the ginger bug – a lacto-fermented starter for bubbly soda drinks, similar to sourdough starter or kombucha. Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process (without oxygen) where naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and wild yeast break sugar down to form lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Which makes tiny bubbles! Other ginger beers and ginger ales are simply carbonated water with ginger juice and sugar, and do not include the health benefits of lacto-fermentation.
Fermentation is a traditional method of preserving foods. During the fermentation process, microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, or fungi convert sugars and starches into alcohol or acids. This transformation enhances the beneficial bacteria in food. These beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, are thought to improve digestive health by assisting with digestion and absorption of nutrients. Eating unpasteurized, probiotic-rich food and drink is thought to help bring the digestive system into balance and to support the immune system.
Organic sugar is an important ingredient in our ginger beer – it’s what the microorganisms eat! They transform this food source into lactic acid and carbon dioxide, and make the ginger beer nice and bubbly. Alcohol is also a byproduct of the fermentation process. In order to keep our alcohol level less than 1%, we add as little sugar as possible. We start out with 9 grams of sugar per 5-oz. serving and the sugar content decreases with time as the beneficial bacteria consume the sugar. We think you’ll find our ginger beer is on the dry side, and not too sweet. Tastes vary and you may find it not sweet enough - in that case, add a bit of simple syrup or juice. However, if you are avoiding sugar, our ginger beer may not fit your diet.
Bright & Sunny Ginger Beer is a fresh product. It needs to be refrigerated or kept on ice to avoid pressure building up in the bottle. If you don’t plan to drink your ginger beer right away, be sure to keep it cold. Consume your ginger beer by the "best by" date on the label. If your bottle lasts that long, we will be impressed at your willpower.
The sediment that collects at the bottom of the bottle is cast off yeast from the fermentation process, and finer ginger particles. It is harmless to drink – you can either gently tip the bottle to disperse the sediment, or just leave it be.
The answer is yes. And yes! Our wild ginger beer is a lacto-ferment, a little dance where lactobacilli and yeast get together and make magic happen. Lactobacillus is a friendly, health-enhancing bacteria that helps our bodies break down food, absorb nutrients, fend off "unfriendly" micro-organisms that can cause disease and discomfort, and promote a healthy microbiome in the intestine. These little lactobacilli improve our gut health, which is important not only for digestion, but also for a healthy immune system and our physical and emotional well-being. So how do we get these important lactobacilli into our ginger brew? And how do they latch on to the wild yeast in the air? It all stems from our "ginger bug", very similar to a sourdough starter. For example, to make a sourdough starter all you need to do is add flour and water to a covered jar, feed it more water and flour daily, give it time...and soon enough you'll have a bubbly concoction that will make your bread dough rise and taste delicious. A ginger bug is similar - you add fresh ginger and sugar to water, add a bit more every day, and give it time. Pretty soon you'll have a jar of happy little ginger bits with lots of bubbles and activity. This is the basis for our wild ginger beer. A ginger bug is a SCOBY: a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The lactobacilli present in the ginger root invites wild yeast to start a partnership wherein together they convert sugar to lactic acid, carbon dioxide, and trace alcohol. The ginger bug is the magic ingredient in our ginger beer. It's where the bubbles come from, and it's what gives our ginger beer that unique flavor that tastes similar to kombucha. It's also why we have to monitor the temperature and fermentation period of our brew extremely carefully. If it over-ferments (is too active) then we have a product that likely has more than 1% alcohol. And as our brew ferments, the pressure in the bottle continues to build, which can have explosive results if left unchecked. That's why we keep our fermentation periods quite short, and ask that you always keep Bright & Sunny chilling in the fridge. Why don't other ginger beers and kombucha makers do it this way? Because it's the more complicated, less predictable way to make and sell a fermented product. Most ginger beer and kombucha in stores have been pasteurized, or they have additives that otherwise quash the probiotics. Here at Bright & Sunny, we don't pasteurize, add additives, or otherwise kill off any of the microorganisms in our brew. It's not easy to do it this way because our product can be somewhat volatile, has to be kept refrigerated at all times, and therefore is not easy to ship. But we'd rather make our ginger beer the old-fashioned way and provide everyone who tries our wild fermented brew with a healthy source of live probiotics. And maybe down the road we'll discover a way to pause the fermentation party without sacrificing the probiotic integrity. Who knows??! A final note - the sugar content on our nutritional label tells you how much sugar we started with, but that's not how much is in the Bright & Sunny that you drink. There's less sugar once we drink it, since the Lactobacilli are continuing to feast on that sugar and converting it, albeit at a slower rate since we're refrigerating it. But that transformation is hard to quantify precisely until we get our product lab-tested. Which is on my list of things to do as we grow, and I'll keep you posted here. For more on the wild and wacky world of natural fermentation, I highly recommend Sandor Ellix Katz's work on the subject.
According to the USDA, there have been no documented cases of
food-poisoning or illness from fermented vegetables. "Often people
project their fear of botulism onto fermented foods, but this is
unfounded and mostly due to botulism risk in canning, which is
real. There is no case history of botulism associated with
fermented vegetables, fruits, grains, or milk; it has only occured
in fermented meats, fish and tofu."
Katz, Sandor Ellix. Wild Fermentation, 2016