Brewer aims to shake up the ginger beer world

Will Englander, founder of Root Co, with his cold-press juicer

Will Englander, founder of Root Co, with his cold-press juicer - Credit: Root Co

A brewer has set up a company aiming to revolutionize the world of ginger beer.

Will Englander, who grew up in the Hampstead area and lives in Islington, launched Root Co in February after quitting his job in the city as a consultancy manager. 

Last month production increased from a trial batch of 300 cans to 16,000 cans. 

While drinking ginger beer at the pub, Will was wondering why the soft drink was missing the punchy and healthy feeling of a ginger shot.

“Why do ginger beers do not taste like ginger roots?” he asked.

Root Co ginger beer

Root Co ginger beer - Credit: Root Co

Will had a life-threatening accident three years ago while in Japan, and came up with the ginger beer idea, recovering from an operation.

Last summer he brewed his first batch and after a few months and a promotion in his city job, he handed in his notice and left.

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“It was a good time in lots of ways," said the 25-year-old. "The experience in Japan had given me a broader perspective on life and what matters.

“When you are on your potential death bed, I wasn’t thinking about my exams and first class degree but family and friends and people that I had at heart.

"I want to do this for my own wellbeing so I can preserve the relationships that are more important for me.”   

After refining his recipe, Will moved towards a factory-level production and decided to cold-press his ingredients.

The ginger is sourced from East Africa, because it is “where it is more spicy, thanks to the high level of gingerol”, and it is fresh pressed with lime and mint leaves, adding water and maple syrup. 

“The drink in a can was a purely environmental thing,” Will said, as there is an excellent aluminium recycling loop in the UK. He also recycles the pomace produced by sending it to an organic farm in Devon. 

Will Englander of Root Co

Will Englander of Root Co - Credit: Daphne Milner and Marcel McKenzie

Will said he is also finding ways to help the farmers in Uganda who are supplying the ginger. 

“I want to produce a juice that is amazing and delicious but I want to do it assuring that there is circularity and supporting people who are helping us.”

Will has a stall in Camden Passage, Angel, every Sunday, where his home and office are also based, while his production site is in Devon.