Beer Camp Across The World: Ginger Lager
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Beer Camp Across The World: Ginger LagerBeer Camp Across The World: Ginger Lager
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Herb and Spice Beer
3.68 | pDev: 13.32%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Beer Camp Across The World: Ginger LagerBeer Camp Across The World: Ginger Lager
Notes: The abrasive attitude of Minnesota's Surly Brewing Co. brings an aggressive yet refined approach to creating recipes. We came together to create this easy-drinking but complex ginger-infused lager. It's brewed with hot ginger and a pinch of cayenne to spice up the heat and then dry hopped with an inclusion of oak for a touch of woody vanilla to round out the flavor.
Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 333 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero from California

4.78/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This pours a delicious looking tan gold with white foam that quickly dissipates. Smells fantastic, with a distinct gingery note. Crisp and clean, with a gingery kick --and slight touch of heat from the cayenne pepper. I'd love to see this one again. Even better, I'd love to see this barrel-aged, reminds me of a distant cousin to Vernors.

Feb 06, 2018
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ONUMello from Ohio

3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can dated 4/27/17 poured into a pint glass
A: Light orange with a 1+ finger head
S: Loads of ginger, some cayanne and malt
T: The cayanne is more prevalent here. Not hot but there in flavor. Less of a ginger bite than I expected
M: Light-bodied, a touch of a bite from the ginger/pepper but not as much as I expected
O: Not bad, I like the cayanne but overall there are other ginger beers, both NA and not, that I like better, Unfortunately none of the oak comes through either

Dec 26, 2017
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a tallboy can into a Dogfish head tulip

L: Cloudy golden copper pour. 1.5 fingers of frothy white head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Ginger and spice... just like the name. Tea leaves... mild sweetness.

T/F: Grainy malt base... mild sweetness which mixes well with the strong ginger flavor. Sweet tea and spice. Honey... tingly on the palate. Mild hops for bitterness/balance. The cayenne hits at the finish with some warmth on the back of your throat. Medium to light in body.

O: Pretty tasty. I'm not a huge 'ginger beer' fan, but this delivers exactly what it offers. A ginger forward lager... the cayenne is nice at the finish and this goes down easier than I'd expected.

Nov 02, 2017
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TeamMathis from West Virginia

4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The ginger hits the nose like a truck! And the burn on the throat is incredible. This is how you use ginger! I want to make a ginger beer. The head leaves pretty quickly, but still a pretty beer. I loved it.

Oct 31, 2017
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scottfrie from California

4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can stamped 4/27/17.

A: Pours a clear clean golden with a thick fluffy tan head that faded into a thin collar. Wispy lace.
S: Crisp spicy ginger nose smells like craft ginger ale. It's sounds strange to say that I smell cayenne, but there is a heat to the nose more than the hot ginger.
T: Follows the nose with fresh ground ginger flavors and just a kiss of lingering spice. I get hints of pale and crackery malt, lime, and a subtle oak quality to the finish. Ginger spice and soft cayenne heat linger in the aftertaste.
M: Medium body, soft carbonation, spicy and scrubbing mouthfeel. Refreshing.
O: A solid, clean, and easy to drink beer. Nice ginger presence without too much cayenne.

Oct 26, 2017
THANAT0PSIS from Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada/Surly Ginger Lager

Beer Camp Across the World 2017 8/12

A: This very strange collaboration pours a pale, golden orange topped by two fingers of downy white head. Staying power is below average, and lacing disappoints as well. There is also a fair amount of suspended particulate that is none too appetizing; what this matter is remains unclear, but it looks unlike most yeast. Usually Sierra Nevada beers look on-point, but this is a rare miss. The color is nice is the best one can say. 2.5/5

A: Spicy ginger is the primary aromatic quality, and it is very nearly the only aroma that there is. Ginger is such a strong component, and it tends to take over anything it is part of. This is clear evidence of that. This smells like a spicy ginger ale, but there is a sweet, bready undertone that calls to mind ginger pancakes, and the oaky vanillin is there if one looks, giving the impression of sweetened condensed milk spiced with ginger. Cayenne is nowhere to be found. Make no mistake, the ginger completely dominates the aroma to the point of prickling the nose hairs and irritating the throat on inhaling. 3.25/5

T: The taste succeeds in bringing more to the table with a gorgeous bready almost crackery maltiness and the citrusy, floral complexities of real ginger (and not just the cleaning product aromatics and heat). Oak is still here in very much a cameo role, lingering in the background here and there. The cayenne does show up as well, melding almost seamlessly with the ginger heat and a light, spicy hop bitterness on the finish (though there is otherwise no presence of hops whatsoever). Of course, the lingering nature of these flavor components ruins the expected quick finish of a lager, yet the refreshing nature of spicy flavors actually somehow makes this a non-issue. It is still not complex, but it actually works fairly well. 4/5

M: The body is surprisingly moderately full, but it does retain the crispness that one expects from a lager. Carbonation is perfect. The heat prickles and lingers all over the palate long after each sip has passed. It really makes for a very refreshing drink for those that enjoy hot ginger ale. 4.75/5

O: As many who have followed my reviewing philosophy surely know, I am a huge proponent of critiquing a based on what the object of my criticism is trying to be. This is exemplified here. In this case, I do not believe Sierra Nevada and Surly were trying to make a complex, nuanced beer to be contemplated. Rather, they went for the beer equivalent of ginger ale, and they succeeded completely. Fans of Blenheim and other, hotter craft soda versions of ginger ale should seek this out. It is a very refreshing, simple, enjoyable offering, and is one of the better ginger beers I have had (much better than Left Hand Good Juju, which is bland and tasteless by comparison). I could easily crush several of these with Thai food. Just do not expect a deep experience here. Pair with the too-fun stylings of Archspire's "Relentless Mutation." 4.25/5

Oct 24, 2017
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gandres from Philippines

3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 pint (16 ounce) can poured to tulip glass
Sight: light amber, orange, big off white foam that quickly disappears, some lacing
Smell: aroma of ginger on drinking, yeast aroma on the smell
Taste: Spicy, medium bitterness
Mouth feel: good carbonation, sticky, long spicy mildly hot aftertaste
Overall: Very good beer

Oct 21, 2017
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HattedClassic from Virginia

3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours as very light bubbly head that dissipate very quickly is okay. The beer itself is a bit more interesting with a clear light to medium gold color with a slight metallic hue. It's a decent look and is pretty nice.

The smell and taste are both decent. The ginger is upfront and dominates most of the smell and notes. The pepper comes in a little bit in the finish. It's interesting and with the light citrus note mixing and getting lost in the ginger note.

The feel is decent. It has a nice medium body that is smooth and clean feeling. There is a little heat towards the end there that is interesting.

Overall, it's an interesting beer and delivers on its promises but you can skip it.

Oct 16, 2017
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Beejay from Virginia

3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A: yellow orange in color with a small white head.

S: spicy ginger with a hint of lime and a spice finish.

T: spicy ginger up front followed by light malt, citrus, and finishing up with spice.

M: medium light in body. High carbonation, a spicy dry finish.

O: the chips are all in on the spice thing huh....

Oct 02, 2017
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a variety 12-pack $23.99 from Tamuras
Strong smell of ginger
Golden, slightly hazy color
Light-medium mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Taste of ginger is dominate with a little heat from the cayenne
Overall its good based on delivering what it says it is, which is ginger beer. Probably not something I would drink often if it was regularly made.

Sep 24, 2017
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Suds from Missouri

3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a one-pine can, this brew is a light amber-gold color with a very slim white head. The aroma is full of ginger....maybe a little malt in the smell. The taste is all ginger spice. It is slightly sweet, followed by a bitting, sharp ginger note. Full in body and a lingering hot ginger aftertaste. Interesting.

Sep 23, 2017
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arizcards from Arizona

3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up as part of the World Beer pack for an average of $2.08 per beer. Canned on 4-27-2017.

Beer poured ginger red with a nice white head with the initial pour.

Nose is light ginger and not much else.

The first sip was like drinking a Vernor's Ginger Ale when one was sick in Michigan as a kid. Ginger forward, lager smoothness in the middle, a spicy pepper finish in the end.

Feel is pretty smooth and refreshing.

Overall i liked this brew better than i thought i would. Worthy of a shot. If you are a lager traditionalist do not go here.

Sep 21, 2017
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Zorro from California

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed golden colored beer with a medium sized white colored head.

Smells of ginger and lemon. Fruity pepper smells both black and cayenne. Mild honey sweetness. Fruity with a distinct scent of banana.

Starts out mildly sweet and fruity. Little bitter zing in the after taste. Woody and a little heat in the mouth. Ginger and lemon exist mainly as an after taste. This has a mild chili burn that doesn't linger.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall it is OK, but not something I would want a six pack of.

Sep 16, 2017
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sure enough, this was one of the offerings in this year's Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Pack. Without a doubt, this was the most unusual of the 12 in there and was quite hard for me to digest - literally and figuratively. If you're into spicy beers with a bit of kick, this would be up your alley but for the rest of us, this was an odd novelty and not much else beyond that...

Not a bad pour to this as the beer was golden, clear, and lively. A fair amount of soapy, white head topped the liquid though it settled quickly as the big bubbles settled down. A few rings of soapy lacing were left behind as the liquid was quite thin. Then came the nose. Tons of ginger with basic malt under it that felt like Pilsener or Pale as there was a crispness or bite that gave this beer much-needed body. Taste had more ginger and habanero or jalapeno as the burn and heat from that threatened to overtake everything else that was going on here. A bit of potato chip crisp and woody oak could be picked out if one was patient enough to seek it but overall, that would be lost on most people seeking this brew out.

Ginger is a nice flavor when it complements the blandness of fare back at home. In this, case, it was too much to handle at once and that didn't even include my classes. While not a bad beer, this had so much potential as I could have gone to a nearby Chili's or CVS and we could paint the town red together!

All kidding aside, a game like his derserves to be played at night and hopefully, Tuesday will get enough extended highways out of this mess!

Aug 28, 2017
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Gold in color with a trace of light sedimentary haze within the body, which I suspect is from the oak aging. There's a quarter inch of fluffy dishwater white on top. The aroma is packed with invigorating ginger and the underlying aggressiveness of the cayenne. I'm tasting a boldly flavored yet very balanced spiced beer. The ginger is definitely there, yet in a restrained fashion. I thought for sure it would overpower. The cayenne presents itself in the fade, but between the ginger and the oak it is just a nice slow, but steady heat on the tongue. I expected to dislike this beer and was pleasantly surprised!

Aug 25, 2017
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bobhits from Kentucky

1.36/5  rDev -63%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ginger, fire, some kind of plastic, burns the back of the throat and has some heat going down. Don't think hot, just unpleasant spices.

A very very fast drain pour. There is way too much spice in this one for the lager. A thicker ale could have worked with these spices perhaps.

Aug 23, 2017
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Strix from Wisconsin

2.72/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden, good initial head that fades to almost nothing.

Ginger and peppery heat detectable in the nose.

Starts out with a big blast of ginger, then finishes with a real spice kick.

Mouthfeel HOT.

This was weird, and definitely interesting, but the flavor combo isn't doing it for me.

Aug 16, 2017
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Griffin2 from Virginia

3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 16 oz can into a Willi Becher pint glass.
L - Poured a clear orange with a white head.
S - Smells of ginger.
T - Tastes of ginger with a lingering pepper finish.
F - Medium carbonation and body.
O - Interesting lager.

Aug 13, 2017
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Tone from Missouri

3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. good retention and slight lacing. Smells of strong ginger, hint of pale malt, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an Herbed / Spiced Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level and slight heat. Tastes of strong ginger, hint of pale malt, hint of spicy hops, hint of chili, and slight sweet malt. Overall, a ginger bomb; sadly to the detriment of all other flavors.

Aug 12, 2017
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secondtooth from Indiana

3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy golden amber, with a huge head of off-white suds. Little lace.

Aroma: Spicy ginger, easy to detect. Not bad.

Taste: Very gingery. Potent and spiced, with a hint of woody oak and a nip of cayenne at the back of the palate. Easy to drink and light in body, with a warming spice/pepper linger. Unique but not one I’d care to revisit.

Aug 08, 2017
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Mixed feelings on this offering out-of-the-box, but in the end I liked it...

This ginger lager with cayenne sounded intriguing, and it was quite the experience. It reminded me why I like craft beer so much - the combinations, the surprises, and well, the experience of trying new and different brews - this definitely fit the bill. In the pint glass it has a deep orange color with yellow highlights held up to the sun. The odor that emanated from the beer was nothing short of spectacular - a wonderful mix of sweetness, ginger, spice, a touch of oranges, and a base of light hops - truly as close to perfect as you can get and definitely unique for a lager. Mouthfeel is strongly astringent, but still crisp and somewhere between light- and medium-bodied. Kinda struggled to decide what to give this as a taste and overall rating, but decided it was unique enough and tasty enough to give it a good score. So far this has been the biggest surprise of the box.

Aug 07, 2017
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hman43 from North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look: It pours golden and is fairly clear. It has a large off white pillow head. Head retention is moderate.

Smell: The aroma is controlled by the ginger with the cayenne in the background. There are low oak elements in the aroma.

Taste; The flavors are upfront with the ginger and cayenne which puts a bit a heat on the palate. There are some woody undertones.

Feel: It has a moderate body towards the light side with a somewhat spicy, hot finish on the palate.

Overall, this beer is decent, but the ginger and cayenne masks most of the other flavors in the beer.

Aug 06, 2017
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CHickman from New York

3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

PKGD 042717, it pours very hazy orange color with a 2-3 finger foamy off white head that was full of bubbles of all sizes that popped, crackled and faded very, very slowly, leaving minimal spotty to zero lacing.

It smells of ginger, cayenne, peppery spices, cracked wheat, hay, dry grass, lemon, earthy notes and potpourri. I don't really get any oak in the nose and zero lager qualities, it does however come off as a strong Herbed / Spiced Beer.

Tastes pretty much like it smells with ginger, cayenne, cracked black pepper, coriander, cumin, peppery spices, cracked wheat, hay, dry grass, lemon, hand soap, earthy notes and potpourri. The ginger and cayenne are the dominant tastes, and the cayenne brings heat that is evident but tolerable. I wish the oaky notes would have came out at some point.

I appreciate the collaboration and effort by these breweries, but I did not care for this combination at all. I rated the beer for what it is: a Herbed/Spiced Beer on BA, and per the can a "lager brewed with ginger & cayenne, fermented on oak".

Aug 05, 2017
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Hazy orange body, minimal top, tiny bubble edge and lacing.

S - Bright ginger, a bit of eucalyptus.

T - Ginger is front and center, with mint and lemon, slightly bitter in the close.

M - Very brisk and highly carbonated.

O - An interesting experiment, with a solid taste. A bit sharp on the feel.

Jul 27, 2017
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Clear orange with a fluffy white head. Medium-poor retention, a thin ring remains, leaving occasional specks of lacing.

S: A whole lot of ginger, and not much else. A touch of cayenne, lemon, and biscuit malt as well.

T: Tons of pickled ginger, a bit of lemon and orange peel. Biscuit malt backbone. Some cayenne warmth creeps in on the back end. I truthfully don't taste any oak, but there is a nice roundness to this beer that it might have contributed to. Finishes crisp and clean, save for some lingering spice warmth.

F: Medium-light, well-carbonated, fairly crisp and lightly dry.

O: An interesting and enjoyable beer for the biggest of ginger fans.

Jul 26, 2017
Beer Camp Across The World: Ginger Lager from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 333 ratings