Ginga Kogen Wheat Beer
Ginga Kogen Beer

Ginga Kogen Wheat BeerGinga Kogen Wheat Beer
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Wheat Beer - Hefeweizen
Ranked #86
Ranked #20,666
3.89 | pDev: 11.57%
Ginga Kogen Beer
Very Good
Ginga Kogen Wheat BeerGinga Kogen Wheat Beer
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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 49 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of monkist
monkist from Hungary

3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Okay, I'm not a fan of weizen beer, this is one so I won't be singing odes to it... Not bad though, bit milder and less annoying than the German ones, but at the same time it is - maybe since it isn't as dense - a bit emptier also in the taste. The positive thing was the not-so-fragrant yeast which made it easier to drink (for me).

Dec 10, 2018
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Mitzvahman72 from California

4.83/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer was poured from a blue bottle, but it’s the import version with the silver mountains and trademark reindeers and stars in the background.

With a opaque straw color, the beer has flavors of prominent banana, clove and some lemon, all of which weaves together really nicely, like the flavors of the Alley Cat from Lost Coast Brewing. There is also a hint of slightly stale yeast bread and some sweet caramel and malt. The aroma is slightly stale banana clove bread with a aftertaste of banana lemon yeast bread, as the carbonation, while starting lively, gets mellow after a short time. In terms of Hefeweizens in Japan, this tastes like the best one outside of Germany. Coming back to the USA, I highly recommend the Hefeweizen from Karl Strauss Brewing in San Diego and A Slice of Hefen from La Cumbre Brewing in Albuquerque. Those two beers are a benchmark for hefeweizens outside of Germany!

Aug 15, 2018
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

350 ml can on the Shinkansen to Hiroshima, Japan. BB dated 12/2018

Cloudy pale golden body with an off-white head that has limited retention.
Aroma: spicy, yeasty, bready and fruity
Flavor: follows the aroma but with clear notes of banana, pear and clove.
Medium-light body with medium carbonation.
Overall: distinct version of style.

Jun 08, 2018
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a cloudy pale to medium golden yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and faint burnt orange highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a large patch of mottled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of wheat malts with moderate aromas of banana and just a hint of clove.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavors of wheat malts with a light amount of sweetness. That is followed by slightly less than moderate flavors of banana with a light flavor of clove and just a hint of grassy hops. Light amount of bitterness in the finish which fades away almost instantly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: My wife brought this can back from Japan just before Christmas. A passable hefeweizen, easy to drink, and enjoyable with a slightly thin mouthfeel but one I could see matching well with more subtle Japanese food dishes.

Feb 02, 2017
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NastyNorseman from New York

3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden and hazy with bubbly dissipating head. Smells of malt, grains, citrus zest, and spice. Hefeweizen taste with citrus, subtle hop bitterness and spice. Not too sweet. Nicely balanced. Finished crisp, light with pleasantly sour aftertaste.

Nov 30, 2016
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ginga Kogen has a thick, creamy, white head, a milky, opaque, yellow-gold appearance, and moderate lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of banana, coriander, slight smoke, and white wheat. Taste is of all that with bubble gum and white pepper. Bitterness is low, and sugariness is high.


Jan 10, 2015
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The_Mad_Capper from Japan

4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

"Silver Bottle" picked up from Yamaya. Pours a frothy, two-finger head which dissipates relatively quickly and leaves a lasting crown. Little lacing. Hazy, pale amber body. The aroma is a delightful blend of spicy and sweet—definite clove but restrained bubble gum. Flavor includes clove, subtle banana, and mild vanilla sweetness; a mildly tart finish with a lingering grainy quality. Medium body with soft carbonation and a light carbonic bite; moderately dry finish.

This is a very pleasing hefeweizen that covers all the bases while striking a good balance especially in the flavor by avoiding an excess of banana and bubble gum and restraining the tart, citrusy finish.

Aug 14, 2014
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CHickman from New York

3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out in a very cool looking blue bottle and pours hazy bright gold color with a big foamy 2 finger white head that lasted a while, fading slowly and leaving decent lacing.

Very nice aroma with a combo of sweet fruit and yeast dominating, then a mix of floral hops, bready notes and mild spices. It was strong, sweet and enjoyable with hints of citrus like lemon zest.

Taste was like a good German hefeweizen with yeast, lemon, citrus hops, light banana, light caramel, wheat bread, floral hops and mild spices; it was sweet, but very drinkable and refreshing as the malt balance let the yeast and hop combine for a mostly fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel was very light, crisp and refreshingly dry, with active carbonation, good flavor and a nice sweet aftertaste.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by how good this beer was, as it was the only brew on the menu of the sushi place I had not tried and it was one of the best Japanese beers that I’ve ever had. It was full of flavor and easy to drink. The only negative was it costs $10 per bottle.

Feb 13, 2014

3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes: Labeled "Silver Bottle." US Import listed as "Plateau of the Galaxy" on back label.
330ml bottle (Nice, blue & short). Long foot tulip glass. Golden straw, foggy appearance. White froth, lasting & close crown. Yeasty & bready notes, hints of clove & subtle smoke to the nose. Funny sparkling upfront, subtle flavors of bread & banana. Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Oily texture. Hints of fruit & citric peel provide soft astringency. Dry finish & fruity aftertaste. Refreshing & easy drinkable.

Sep 23, 2013
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TokyoCO from Colorado

4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a can at my local supermarket, poured into a goblet.

A: Very cloudy tan color, almost a hint of red/pink coloration. Lots of suspended particles! Large head that stuck around for a while.

S: Fresh citrus, peach, lemon, banana, slight hop smell.

T: Follows the smell, sweeter citrus flavors at the start, followed by a stronger peach flavor, and a quite sour citrus finish. This is really interesting, was not expecting the great sour taste in the finish!

M: Balance of creaminess and sour citrus prickles.

O: This is really good! More of a sour citrus and peach taste then hefes that I have had before. A very pleasant beer that I will definitely get again!

May 17, 2013
Photo of shigg85
shigg85 from Japan

3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bought a can of this from the Maruhiro department store in Saitama, Japan. I had the Weizen on tap at Popeye's, so I was expecting great things from this one. However, it was unfortunately a big let-down. The initial pour was great, creating lots of foam and a burst of hefe aroma filled with wheat, citrus, and banana. This aroma lasted throughout the beer, and it was refreshing to reflect on. However, the appearance was actually kind of disgusting... following the directions on the can to circulate the beer in the can after I had poured half of it out, I poured the rest into the weizen glass. This last half came out nearly chunky with all of the wheat bits sticking together in globs. These proceeded to stick to the bottom of my glass in a disgusting way. The taste was decent, and the mouthfeel was nice and thick in a way I wish other wheat beers were. However, the appearance of this was a total turn-off. I will not be buying this again, at least not out of a can.

Mar 05, 2012
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shivtim from Georgia

3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a can of this beer at a large liquor store in Kyoto.
The can doesn't have English on it (except the company's website), but it's the blue and gold version.

It's a pale straw color, with a foamy white head.

Nose is yeasty, bready, and some bubblegum.

Taste is actually quite true to style and well done. Malty banana, strong cloves, and wheat.

Mouthfeel is decent, but maybe just a bit watery for a hefe. Still good carbonation.

Overall this is a surprisingly competent beer, especially for a canned hefeweizen. I'd buy it again.

Nov 21, 2011
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flagmantho from Washington

3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from awesome 300mL blue bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale yellow hue with just a tiny touch of haze and two fingers of frothy white foam. Not bad.

Smell: very refreshing wheaty aroma with just a touch of spicy clove. Simple, but quite nice.

Taste: well-crafted wheaty flavor with hints of banana and citrus. The malt component is also a little bit nutty which creates a nice flavor indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and creaminess. Solidly hefeweizen-ey.

Overall: I rather like this hefeweizen; evidently, the Japanese are better at doing this style than are the Americans.

Nov 18, 2011
Photo of cwc
cwc from New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite Japanese microbrews. I like hefeweizens in general, and this seems like a solid example of the style.

I've only had it from a can, as far as I can remember, but it might be available on draft somewhere in Japan. Poured from a can it pours a big head that settles down to a foamy ring around the beer. The color is appealing: a cloudy, golden color.

A fruity citrusy smell and a refreshing hefeweizen taste. It's tough for me to describe what a hefeweizen tastes like, but in the case of this beer it tastes like the German hefeweizens I've had which seems promising.

Very drinkable, especially on hot summer days. Especially this summer of 2010, the hottest in Japan post-World War II.

Sep 04, 2010
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Shakujin from Japan

3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:big head almost three finger head poping up then hollowing out. Looks pale yellow, but opaque.

Smell: I get those wheat malts coming off of it a litte, but not all that much really, slightly sweet

Taste: Tastes like a wheat beer, nothing exceptional really, but nothing bad. Just well made, light wheat beer. Possibly just a tinge out sourness. I suppose it is slightly more bitter than other beers of this style. Start is a little hoppy, nothing distinct, then comes some light wheaty bannana, wheat beer type tastes, then the finish is quick and dry.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy mouth feel a bit, feels big for a second then comes down.

Drinkability: Good stuff, just nothing really special to bring me back for more. On the other hand its cheap and at regular stores, so a good alternative.

Oct 30, 2009
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is available in several packages, and what I have is labeled the "silver bottle" in Japan, but reads "Imported" in the united states. It's a 300 ml/10.1 fl. oz. blue glass bottle with a white, navy blue, and silver label. I believe there's a date code on the back. For example "4 K 08" could possibly be April 2008, with the K referring to a week; or perhaps it's the 4th week of 2008... ?

It pours a typical Bavarian hefeweizen appearance with a cloudy orange and gold body beneath a massive head of bright white froth that holds remarkably well and leaves some nice lacing behind. The lacing could be a bit better, but...

The aroma is sweetish, wheaty, and spicy (but not distinctly clove-like, although there is some there). Beyond that it's just a slight touch grassy.

The flavor is initially spicy, followed by notes of cedar and grassy hops. It's not sweet, as the aroma suggests, because it's balanced by bright spiciness and an underlying, low-level bitterness. It's not very fruity except for some banana notes, and the clove is fairly reigned in. It finishes spicy and cedar-like, with just a little bit of grassy hops and some mild, residual wheaty maltiness (it's brewed from 50% barley/50% wheat).

Overall, it's a really well-brewed, well-balanced hefeweizen. It's very focused, and the banana and spiciness of the yeast doesn't run amok. It does kind of over-power the malt slightly, but the bright spiciness is actually kind of refreshing. Additionally, the cedar note is really unique, and kind of intriguing. Certainly worth trying!

May 12, 2009
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded brown touched yellow with no head. Floaties all up in there. Nose is dirty. At first and then it turns into a witbier. Mild funk, minimal earth, and some noticeable citrus tones. Flavor is quite good I have to say. Good level of funk, excellent balance of citrus, minimal and very good amounts of spice and dough. Feel is smooth on liquid with a slightly biting carbonation. This is a damn fine witbier. Damn fine. I had low expectations quickly blown out of the water. Highly suggested.

Mar 10, 2009
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Tsuriman from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What you would expect from a nice hefe. Nice thick head out of the can, cloudy yellow, and a aroma of bananas and a little clove.

Taste is nice, refreshing, a little thin but very drinkable and enjoyable beer to the end.

A tad thin in taste and body and color(almost colorless on the edges) but very nice overall. When in Japan a good find in a neighborhood supermarket.

Dec 30, 2008
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davidchollar from Washington

3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

comes in a cool blue bottle. this ginga kogen hefeweizen looks about the same as the canned one i've had a few times, but the head is smaller here. cloudy, honey colored, head is not as billowy as i would expect for the style. lovely wheat beer smells, pronounced banana. strong enough to get a good score, it smells nice. but the smell would prove to be a little misleading.

hmmm. well, it's pretty good, but i've been drinking weihenstephaner almost exclusively for the past few days so this beer just can't compete. very thin, almost watery mouthfeel. really lacking any depth, not much character. there is something not quite right about this, i think it has a metallic bitterness that is almost sour and unpleasant. but it doesn't ruin the beer, it's not bad, it is forgettable. worth a try if you are really trying to taste all the micros japan has to offer, (like i am) otherwise i would say don't waste your time. hitachino nest ales kick so much more ass.

Jun 14, 2006
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tjd25 from France

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice dense creamy head, close to perfection, as always with ginga kogen. The body is of a hazy glittering golden color. The smell is wheaty and yeasty, with a very dry banana aspect. The taste wheaty and with a dry salted banana aspect. Sweet and enjoyable. Maybe some peaches. The mouthfeel is enjoyable, after a few sips I thought it was a bit watery, but then I thought it was ok for a weizen. The body isn't weak, it's decent. Nicely citric. Could be a bit more complex, but let's not complain.

Jun 20, 2004
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donnebaby from North Carolina

3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer features a brilliant neon-orange, slightly cloudy color, scant head, and a strong belgian white citrusy aroma, sweet and creamy, hints of white chocolate and cantaloupe. The taste is hefeweizen to me, medium-strength. Very nice. Aggressive carbonation gives a solid mouthfeel and bubbles the taste through the mouth. The high carbonation, however, I felt took away from the drinkability of the brew.

Mar 08, 2004
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Naerhu from Japan

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light opaque orange body with white 2 centimeter head and decent lacing. Cream soday with orange sherbet aroma. A refreshing large amount of hops for the style and quite dry.

This is a mid-weight beer and fades quite quickly making for the perfect beer for popcorn and watching the UFC.

Feb 10, 2004
Ginga Kogen Wheat Beer from Ginga Kogen Beer
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 49 ratings