This is my first experience with the J.Gasco brand of sodas. I came across this italian ginger beer while shopping for cheese at an incredible European food importer in Sodo called Big John’s PFI. I love this store. They have one of the best cheese counters in the Seattle area and they do a great job at keeping costs reasonable. This ginger beer is an exception to that, coming in at almost $3 for 6.75 ounce bottle.
I don’t speak Italian, although I should probably learn. My grandfather is second-generation and spoke Italian in the home while growing up in New York. Through the help of Google translate I discovered that J.Gasco sodas originated back in the prohibition days of the United States and were designed to make boot-legged liquors taste more palatable. The label indicates that after prohibition lifted Giuseppe (Joseph) Gasco had a dream with a half-man half-rooster that told him to take his sodas back to the old world. I guess that explains everything.
The ginger beer has a beautiful label, but that was really the only remarkable thing about it. It wasn’t nearly as strong as other premium ginger beers I’ve had (Fever Tree, for example), but the ginger flavor was crisp and nicely balanced with citrus notes. Given the size of the bottle I’d assume that the intended use is for mixing cocktails rather than drinking alone, but no one will stop you if you do. If you take pleasure in nicely labeled sodas then you’ll enjoy this, if you couldn’t care less then J.Gasco ginger beer will feel like a rip-off. As a stand-alone beverage I give it a 6.5 out of 10. It’s fine, but it didn’t do much to climb up my rating scale (especially at the price point I found it).
Sampled 10/2017, purchased at Big John’s PFI in Seattle