#KajoAsks: UINAH Ginger Beer, the beer that won’t get you drunk

With just 1.1% alcohol content, UINAH Ginger Beer does not qualify as an alcoholic beverage, according to the Non-Alcoholic Beverages regulations 362 to 384, 386 and 386A under the Food Regulations 1985.

So, this beverage is the perfect drink to be enjoyed in copious amounts especially now when the weather’s slightly warmer.

‘Uinah’ is Sabahan slang for ‘wow’. UINAH Ginger Beer was first launched in 2018 at Jesselton Artisan Market in Sabah.

It is made from ginger from Tambunan valley in Sabah and its other key ingredients include filtered water, citrus lemon, sugar, probiotic yeast and carbonation.

This ginger beer does not contain artificial flavouring or chemicals and has probiotic properties – which means it is good for digestive system.

KajoMag got in touch with UINAH Ginger Beer as we are curious about this thirst-quenching product.

KajoMag: When and how did your interest in brewing ginger beer start?

Uinah Ginger Beer
UINAH Roselle Paradise (Picture source: UINAH Ginger Beer)

UINAH: Our founders, James Wong and Matthias Liew, are Sabahan boys with a love for quality craft beverages. A few years ago, they started brewing ginger beer as a hobby and found they had a knack for it; wherever they went, people loved it!

So, in 2018, they started UINAH Premium Craft Beverages, and we offer two products: UINAH Ginger Beer and UINAH Roselle Paradise.

KajoMag: Can you tell us what makes UINAH Ginger Beer different from other ginger beers?

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The ginger is from Tambunan, Sabah (Picture source: Uinah Ginger Beer)

UINAH: Our flagship beverage, UINAH Ginger Beer, is unique because we use some of the spiciest gingers in the region found in Tambunan, Sabah. This gives our ginger beer a spicy zing with a Bornean twist that sets it apart from other brews.

KajoMag: For those who have never tasted it, how would you describe UINAH Ginger Beer?

Uinah Ginger Beer
Enjoy the beverage on a sunny hot day! (Picture source: Uinah Ginger Beer)

UINAH: Our ginger beer is spicily refreshing! With a crisp and cool finish, it’s not overly sweet and the tartness of lemon balances well with our ginger’s strong kick, making it a great choice for Borneo’s sunny days. What may surprise you, though, is that our ginger beer is also sought after on cold, rainy days because ginger warms the body.

 KajoMag: What was the most memorable comment you received when you first launched?

UINAH: James remembers a time back when we first began. We had run out of stock when he received a phone call from a lady who was in confinement after having delivered her child.

“Where’s my ginger beer? I need my ginger beer,” she was saying, because apparently our ginger beer had been keeping her body warm and she was relying on it. Of course, it is a tasty drink too. That opened our eyes to the fact that there were other markets we could reach out to, like mums in confinement!

KajoMag: What dishes or flavours would you recommend to pair with UINAH Ginger Beer?

The ginger beer can be paired with a variety of delicious food (Picture source: Uinah Ginger Beer)

UINAH: UINAH Ginger Beer pairs extremely well with what we call pusas in Sabah: finger foods such as barbecued chicken wings, fried dumplings, satay, roasted wild boar (sinalau bakas) and grilled fish (ikan bakar).

We’d recommend it with some of Sarawak’s favourite dishes such as ayam pansuh or tomato mee. Our Ginger Beer goes well with Asian flavours, so wok-fried noodles with all the finishings or a hearty curry would be yums. For a Western palate, we’d recommend pub grub like burgers and fries, crispy-skin fried chicken and good ol’ fish and chips.

KajoMag: Where can one find Uinah Ginger Beer?

UINAH: You can find UINAH Ginger Beer at most supermarkets as well as at select cafes, restaurants and hotels in Sabah. We’ve also expanded to West Malaysia, so you’ll be able to find us in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang or Malacca.

KajoMag: Will we get to see Uinah Ginger Beer in Sarawak?

UINAH: Yes, we’re definitely hoping to bring UINAH to Sarawak. We’ve got our eye on Kuching, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu in 2020, so stay on the lookout for both Ginger Beer and Roselle Paradise.

Fingers crossed, we’ll be hitting your shelves soon. And who knows, maybe one day we’ll even be available at your Rainforest World Music Festival!

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