Great Lakes Green Tea Ale - Great Lakes Brewery
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Ratings: 39 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
2.58/5 rDev -20.1%
I like green tea, though without ginsing, but I was not crazy about this concoction. It smelled cheesy-beery, appearance was passable though light with foaming white head. A tad below average mouthfeel. Not very drinkable.Green tea was the dominant taste, but could not distinguish from harsher beer taste, not well integrated.
04-17-2009 04:01:02 | More by Sammy
3.18/5 rDev -1.5%
Bottle: Poured a light hazy yellow color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of light green tea with some other Asian spices (ginseng, coriander...). Taste is also a well balance mix between lightly sweet malt with some medium notes of green tea. I was expecting the green tea to be more dominant but still very enjoyable. Very well done for what was intended.
03-30-2009 01:02:55 | More by Phyl21ca
3.55/5 rDev +9.9%
650ml, green foil enclosed bottle. Props to tbeckett for the cross-country enabling...
This beer pours a cloudy medium golden amber colour, with one solid finger of tight foamy eggshell white head, which leaves some random swaths, specks, and clumps of lace around the glass as it dutifully recedes. It smells of bready, cracker-like malt, and warm grassy herbal tea. The taste is big on the green tea, which is weird, given the normally delicate nature of that beverage. It's more earthy than grassy, and the ginseng is very soft in its savoury leanings. Underlying all this is an adequate pale maltiness, that does a good job of supporting without getting in the way. The carbonation is just a little zingy, but nothing too distracting, the body medium-light, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, just, the malt able to continue its low-impact support of the lingering spiced green tea character.
It's sometimes strange when the realization hits that all beer flavours don't have to be big and brawny, and that, if done properly, subtly can be winsome as well. I would not have thought this particular adjunct a good idea, but lo, Great Lakes has proven my hypothetical self wrong. Easy drinking, almost 'green' tasting - a decent reproduction of that steeping cup of catechin-laden goodness.
08-31-2011 23:57:51 | More by biboergosum
3.23/5 rDev 0%
Blades of wheat with a smidgen of kumquat. The head is glinty and soapy but continues to diminish less and less in time. The blurring haze (which should be expected from a beer brewed with tea) implies it is not filtered, or at least not heavily. I reckon that's a good thing; how much flavour can green tea and ginseng impart, anyhow? Let's find out!
Well, so far nothing. There is a very faint hint of lime or perhaps some grassiness. It certainly isn't anything I couldn't find in the average pale ale (or lager for that matter). Just a thought: you know what would work well in a green tea, herbal flavoured beer? Green, herbal smelling hops! Anyhow, it seems the volume here isn't just turned down - it's on mute.
If you're going to advertise an interesting sounding beer then you best make sure the beer itself actually tastes interesting - or at very least like the unique ingredients used in making it. I wasn't anticipating the green tea to contribute much flavour, and ginseng I had no idea what to expect, but the lack of either has raised an eyebrow. Never mind the tea itself, there's little even generally herbal about this.
To their credit, the brewers were spot on in asserting this would pair well with typical Asian fare. At only 4.2% it's exactly the right kind of blandish, light-bodied refresher you'd want along side some spicy noodles or sesame chicken. The carbonation is high enough to work well with greasier items on the menu, spring rolls among other things. I'd assume a little Thai food (or Chinese, Vietnamese, etc) would compliment the experience.
I appreciate Great Lakes' constant attempts at brewing creative beers. Their seasonal offerings have quickly become a point of anticipation for many in the province. Sadly, however, they've yet to ever be very good. This is another respectable sounding attempt at something different that turns out to be shamelessly like everything else on the market.
*Note to Great Lakes Brewing: In the future, please don't advertise a beer as being something unique unless it actually is. It may be an effective way of selling the essentially same pale ale again and again but it's unappreciated by those of us who actually pay the money to try something different in such a painfully bland market.
04-07-2009 03:43:22 | More by biegaman
3.33/5 rDev +3.1%
Reviewed from the new 22 oz bottle offering of this, I've had it on tap before. Too bad their beer isn't as good as their labeling.
Pours a clear light orange, some amber/golden hues, thin and fizzy white head forms, big bubbles, quickly settles down to a very thin ring and layer around the glass, some decent chunks of lacing stick to the glass. Smell is strange, some sweet maltiness, caramel and grains, dry herbal ginseng spiciness, a bit of matcha like green tea quality, some fruitiness near the end, pears and apricots, slightly interesting aroma. Taste is neat, lots of tea character, bitter and herbal grains and tea quality, touch of vanilla, vegetal, wheat, some light sweetness like orange peel, very dry and some solid bitterness in the finish, like a strong cup of green tea. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth going down which doesn't sit right when it's a 4.2% beer. Decent beer, not very interesting though. I give Great Lakes credit for doing some unique beers, but that doesn't mean much to me if they aren't done well.
03-04-2009 00:42:21 | More by Viggo
British Columbia (Canada)
3.9/5 rDev +20.7%
I like green tea, but I hate green tea iced tea & green tea ice cream... so I really didn't have high expectations here. Strangely, I was really pleasantly surprised!
A: Hazy, dirty straw with a white head, some retention, nice lacing.
S: Candied ginger, some fruity esters and hints of green tea.
T: Slightly herbal & spicy with a faint sweetness (fairly balanced bitterness). The green tea isn't overdone, and I'm not sure I'd pick it out without knowing, but it definitely stimulates the umami taste buds. Balanced & interesting.
M: Light to moderate body is smooth and it actually seems a little bigger than it is.
D: Quite drinkable.
I've wondered about getting an Umami taste into a beer, and this one has it! It'd certainly pair well with Thai or Japanese cuisine.
04-15-2009 00:14:12 | More by Derek
2.9/5 rDev -10.2%
Pours a hazy yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, dry citrus, tea notes, and a small dry wheat. In the taste, dry lemon citrus and some tea like notes. A smooth and a thin mouthfeel, with a small dry tea like notes with notes of lemon citrus in the aftertaste. Lots of dry tea and lemon citrus, but quite thin.
09-26-2012 11:17:24 | More by OWSLEY069
3.43/5 rDev +6.2%
Big ups to peensteen for helping to procure this selection...
A - Pours a pale straw colour, thin layer of head with little retention or lacing.
S - Mild on the nose, quite bready, loads of grassy wheat and buttered bread, with a hint of leafy greens on the finish.
T - Again, rather mild, but the green tea notes come through surprisingly well, offering up the bitter leafy notes attributed to green tea. A hint of honey sweetness which brings along with it flavour reminiscent of traditional iced tea. The bitterness lingers alongside some grassy notes and buttered bread.
M - Medium bodied, smooth and surprisingly dry, which is a bit of a turnoff.
O - A tasty green tea ale, and certainly portrays the true essence of green tea. If you're not a fan of tea, then you might not be a fan of this particular offering. The flavours are mild and non-offensive, making for an easy drinking summer ale.
06-23-2012 00:55:39 | More by andrenaline
3.43/5 rDev +6.2%
Pours an unfiltered hybrid between orange and gold, with a sticky bone white head that leaves lacing in sheets and lasts the distance. Creamy, malty aroma puts me in the mind of a steam beer, and this isn't dispelled when I get to tasting it. Great Lakes seem to use something very reminiscent of a steam beer as its base. Now I'm not implying this was the process used, but that this is the flavour achieved. Appended to this is a subtle spicy hit of ginseng in the finish, but no green tea. Its a bit of a head scratcher, and a pretty pedestrian one at that. My second pour of the bomber into my 330 ml glass reveals more interest though. No sediment can be observed, but the flavour suggest much of the green tea is resting in the bottom half of the bottle. Strong green tea permeates through the beer, providing a drying bitterness in the finish, and a leafy herbal freshness throughout. Its certainly more unique than I first thought and reminded me of the bottles of cold green tea I purchased in Japan. The mouthfeel is soft with gentle, but steady carbonation caressing the palate.
Its a very well done beer, but I'm not sure I like it. The steam base seems to jive well enough the tea, but by the end of the bomber I've had my fill. This is the problem I've had with green tea - its a drink for moderation, not for splitting over a pint and a bit of liquid. Still, I can't fault Great Lakes for putting this out.
04-14-2009 14:24:32 | More by bobsy
3.15/5 rDev -2.5%
Thanks to wfeddern for sending me this in CanBIF 5.
From a 650 ml brown bottle, small green foil around cap and top of neck. I'm a big green tea fan, so I'm curious to find out how they pulled this off. Pours out a hazed and transluscent deep golden hue, tall frothy and creamy white head. Intermittent patches of sticky lacing.
A deep biscuity malt on the nose, with the exception of the tea and ginseng this is obviously an all-malt lager. Slight earthiness from the ginseng.
The base malt is what pops out first, a great bready profile. While the tea is present as a mild green spicy flavour, and the ginseng adds its expected earthy and woody character, being the most prominent flavour on the finish and into the aftertaste.
A medium bodied mouthfeel, a much fuller texture than most lagers have which is a nice surprise, however light in carbonation therefore feels thin on the finish, although this does not detract from it.
I feel that the green tea or the ginseng doesn't really add to this lager. It's still palatable, and I commend Great Lakes for their experimental spirit, yet I'd be satisfied with the bare base lager without the addition of the herbs.
05-11-2009 07:14:36 | More by IronDjinn
3.43/5 rDev +6.2%
Deep golden colour, minimal white head, no lacing left behind. Smell is bready, malt, cereal, ginger, spice tea leaves and a caramel like sweetness. Taste is malty, biscuit like, tea and spice come through, hops come and go, lightly bitter in the finish. High carbonation, medium weight, touches of cream come and go. OK, not my cup of tea (pun intended) though I would not mind splitting a bomber 3 ways every summer like I did this year.
06-08-2011 02:33:14 | More by peensteen
3.35/5 rDev +3.7%
A - fully hazy straw golden, two fingers of white head retained nicely with s few random lacing spots
S - citrus zest is dominant, some mild grains, and subtle floral green tea
T - citrus zest and spice up front that is quickly overtaken by green tea flavour, I do like a nice warm green tea but the flavour of the key ingredient seems to take away from the 'beerness' of it
M - medium body and slightly creamy, smooth and mellow with just a bit of herb & spice tingle
O - as a fan of both beer and green tea I think this works generally, just a bit too much tea and not enough beer on the flavour, but still worth a try but only if you like the taste of green tea
11-23-2012 02:20:52 | More by joemcgrath27
3.73/5 rDev +15.5%
Rerating after last year's diacetyl-laced samples.
Bottle: fresh from brewery.
Pours a light protein hazed light gold ale in the glass. A 2 finger frothy cap laces well.
Aroma is demure light fruity tones over sweet grains and grassiness...delicate pale ale aroma with green tea leafy aromas.
Light bodied, gritty mouth feel.
Dulcet biscuit malts mingle with pear and herbal hops up front, finish is clean, puckering tart with the green tea and hops joining forces. Very refreshing, dry, quenching clean tasting ale. Great for plus 30 weather.
05-26-2010 23:55:50 | More by pootz
3.13/5 rDev -3.1%
Lightly hazed gold with an inch or so of tight white foam. Aroma is light, but definitely tea and ginseng, as advertised. Malt backdrop is light and there's a bit of a citrus/orange as well. Drier than I expected, with some acid up front and a herbal flavour although I wouldn't pick out tea specifically. Somewhat earthy/chalky with a mild hop. Slightly astringent and light body with a strong carbonation.
03-19-2009 00:44:19 | More by allergictomacros
2.93/5 rDev -9.3%
I like the silk screened label and green thick foil on the neck of the bottle. GLB have some of the best packaging in Canada.
The pour reveals a pale peach colored liquid topped with a patchy, smallish head. Trails and patches of lace cling to the glass in abundance. The aroma is mildly herbal and malty with a whole wheat, grainy character and a definite diacytel tang. The taste is better, corn flakes, ginger, very faint green tea, fuggles hops and fruity tartness all shows up. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a harsh but not tremendously active carbonation. The finish is bitter for a short bit, then sweetish and herbal.
An OK beer, but a little too sweet and uneventful. Maybe more hops, green tea and malt girth is needed, or maybe green tea beer is just not my thing.
04-22-2009 02:15:10 | More by CAMRAhardliner
3.58/5 rDev +10.8%
Single bottle from the LCBO Summer release.
Poured into a conical pint glass. Light hazy golden, nice frothy head, good retention and lacing.
Nose is tea, cracker, rice, a bit of lemon.
Cracker, rice, lemon, a bit of green tea (though not oppressively so), and a basic pale lager taste to the finish. A slight fruit or berry makes an appearance towards the end of the pint. It doesn't taste a great deal like green tea, it's still pretty drinkable.
Light, good carbonation, creamy.
While I still await Great Lakes to finally hit the mark with a quality brew, I have to say this one was among their better brews. Although it doesn't taste that much like green tea, the end result is a fairly decent lager with a few hints of tea, which is not bad. So while the brew didn't really achieve what I thought it was going to do, it's not bad as it is.
06-26-2011 22:20:20 | More by JohnnyBarman
3.68/5 rDev +13.9%
Bomber picked up at the LCBO; no packaging date. Hopefully this manages to be a bit more inspiring than the somewhat similarly-themed Coors Light Iced T I reviewed a few days ago (although I haven't exactly been blown away by any GLB bomber-format brews).
Pours a bright golden yellow-orange colour, completely translucent, topped with almost two fingers of creamy, pillowy white head. Much better head retention that most of the other beers in this style I have tried; it lasts well over ten minutes before dissolving - I'm honestly pretty amazed. The aroma is agreeable but other than that, has little about it worth noting - the citrus zest is fairly prominent, along with some disappointingly subdued tea notes.
The aroma may be a bit weak, but the taste makes up for that - which is a relief, because at 4.2% I almost expected it to be a little, well, light. Pale, bready malts provide much of the body of the flavour, with a firm lemony citrus bite to back it up. The green tea provides a lovely light bitterness toward the end of the sip, and in the aftertaste. Light-bodied and (unfortunately) rather watery, with heavy, spritzy carbonation. Very drinkable stuff, due to a combination of the mild flavour, light dryness, and low abv.
I actually quite enjoy this beer. It's ridiculously quaffable, and a perfect summer patio pint. One thing I will complain about is the format - this doesn't really need to be in a bomber; tallboys would be fine, although perhaps significantly less elegant.
Final Grade: 3.68, a respectable B grade. I've had 4 or 5 of these GLB bombers now, and Green Tea Ale is definitely one of the better ones. That being said, I'm not exactly enamored with it - and due to the 4-5 dollar price, probably won't get it again any time soon. Something tells me a heavier version of this with more tea infusion might be much more interesting, but this brew remains a highly crisp, refreshing and enjoyable drink, if not an especially memorable or interesting one.
06-16-2012 08:33:33 | More by thehyperduck
3.25/5 rDev +0.6%
On tap at the Only...
Pours a moderately lighter-than-expected color into the pint glass...maybe almost a bleached Dunkel...Carbonation is solid; maybe just about a 3/4-finger head. Lacing is moderate as is retention.
There are light malts along with a pretty prominent green tea aroma. Hop profile has a little woody pine to it. Malts are light...not terribly roasted...almost a bit raw and boiled, but that's not a bad thing. A tad stewy though, which gets into the whole silage deal.
Taste profile blends the raw-ish malt with the green tea and goes pretty well. Not overpowering by any means - there's a little synergy going on to enhance the experience. Finish is relatively clean.
After a while the tea texture starts to linger on the roof of your mouth - it's fresh but may get to be a bit much on the palate feel. The remaining components work decently and drink rather lightly, with only minimal aftertaste on the relatively crisp finish.
This drinks adequately well for the first 1/2 pint but slows down a bit with a little warmth and time. I may sample another pint given the chance - an interesting concoction to say the least, but nothing setting the world ablaze.
05-20-2009 12:37:47 | More by IBUnit63
4.63/5 rDev +43.3%
A: The body is cloudy, of orange/straw colour. The off-white head is foamy and has nice retention. The lacing is quite impressive, too.
S: A sweet fruity, moderately hoppy aroma, with notes of pear, apple, ginger, and caramel malts.
T: A unique taste. Starts out sweet, with a lovely pear/apple fruitiness going into a more dry, hoppy green tea flavour. The finish is very balanced, with some lingering green tea notes. Overall, an exceptional complexity for such a light ale!
M: Medium-bodied, surprisingly full for a 4.2% beer.
D: Very easy-drinking and refreshing. The bomber bottle took no time to be drunk. A very impressive seasonal brew! Strongly recommended!
05-05-2009 18:41:14 | More by NightINgale
3/5 rDev -7.1%
Bomber from the LCBO- Pale sparkling yellow topped with a fizzy and short lived white fizz. Nose of straw, some honey, and an herbal grassy aroma floats around as well, though like others have mentioned, it isn't really upfront. I get a bit of mint leaf aroma too. Sweet grains with, a bit of chamomile tea flavour, mint springs....which I credit the ginseng...but these are all muted and difficult to pick out. If I had to blind sample this, I'd probably say it was a cleanly, well made pale lager with a touch more flavour than what the masses are used to. A well made, well balanced, and interesting experiment, unfortunately not really resembling what I suspect was intended. Novel.
08-01-2009 20:24:03 | More by mrmanning
Great Lakes Green Tea Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.