Ginga Kogen Weizen | Ginga Kogen Beer

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
84
good
32 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Ginga Kogen WeizenGinga Kogen Weizen
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ginga Kogen Beer
Japan | website

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
“Ginga Kougen Beer” is a “Hefeweizen” style beer a yeast wheat top-fermented beer brewed with more than 50% of wheat malt. It is unfiltered beer distinguished by its fruity aroma and pale color.

Added by Todd on 01-03-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
71
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
16.22%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 71
Photo of dar482
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a hazy golden yellow color.

The aroma has a bit of funky grain and fruit, but generally wheat, banana, a bit of lemon, and pepper.

The flavor follows with a bit of that funky/skunky off banana, citrus, lemon flavor. There's a bit of sweet wheat to clean it up, but with a bit more of off flavors on the finish.

 330 characters

Photo of jeranbrews
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Popped the top of the pretty blue bottle. Pours a nice evenly cloudy lemon honey yellow. Some continued carbonation that lasted several min. The head is a very low, clumpy, eggshell-white experience. LAcing was present but not remarkable.

S - Instantly linseed and lemon peel smells entered the room when the cap was popped. Some honey-comb sweet waxy smells and a bit of powdered sugar.

T - Sour, like lemon pudding that someone forgot to put sugar in. Not overly hoppy. But not enough malty texture either. Pretty much a one flavor experience.

M - Reasonably smooth. A tiny trickle of carbonation eases down the throat just like the lacing in the glass.

D - Overall a fine drinkable example of this style. Not as filling as some hefeweizens, and it's a bit sour, but hops are balanced nicely.

 802 characters

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Bought single can from Max Value, Yomitan, Okinawa...

A - Pours a dark hazy orange with one finger of white head that quickly disappears.
S - Smells of citrus, blood orange, Flintstones vitamins, and sweet syrup.
T - Sweet and light citrus right up front followed by nothing else. A very basic flavor, which would go very well with an orange slice.
M - Mouthfeel is light medium bodied with firm small bubble carbonation.

Overall a delicious Hefeweizen, that is simple and could be easily enjoyed by a first time beer drinker as well as an old salt dog. Recommend.

 568 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of wheat, grain, banana, caramel, spice, and skunk aromas. Taste is much the same with cardboard, wheat, caramel, banana, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but this one seems a bit old to me.

Serving type: bottle.

 612 characters

Photo of Naerhu
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ingredients: Malt (wheat 55%, barley 45%), hopps.

This is a toned-down weizen with a fine white head, beautiful lace, cloudy orange/gold color and sour/floral aroma. Simple pleasant flavor which was lacking in fruit and spices typical of style were muttled. Super-fine bubbles, however carbonation weaker than what I had hoped for.  

Although this is a review for the can, I have had the bottle and would swear that they bottle is different and far superior.

 471 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Average beer, passable for the style. Not too smooth as sweet and sour, but its quaffable. Dry, middle mouthfeel. Some bannana, citric mouthfeel, understated carbonation. White in appearance and nice pour. Yawner however.
Sample #19 at Radekfest 05, courtesy of Oakes.

 269 characters

Photo of afksports
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Blue bottle "with the reindeer" that pours dirty and with a finger of head. Grainy, but they do let you know it's unfiltered. The smell is actually nice for a weizen, with lemon and honey being the most present.

The taste is a bit tart, followed by the sweetness of a citrus, maybe even a bit tropical. Carbonation provides a nice feel in the mouth to help out the medium body. By the bottom of the glass the grains became too much to finish.

I'm picturing myself on the beach in Japan, sipping this under a canopy overlooking the Pacific, and having it so cold that the mountains and the reindeer make sense. We'll see if that ever happens.

 644 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A blue bottle, adorned with reindeer and mountain peaks. From Well's Discount Liquors.

A: The beer looks more like a witbier than a hefeweizen. It's pale straw color is translucent, barely but it is. The cloudiness obscures things a bit but not significantly. Lots of head on pour, over three fingers, is lacing around the glass. Thick chunks of yeast flowed out of the bottle on the last pour. I'm gonna let those beasties settle to the bottom.

S: A bit of wheat in the nose. The bready pils base is more dominant, chewy even. The nose has the general blandness of most Japanese ales that I've had.

T: Wow! After the lackluster nose, I wasn't expecting the strong weizen start. Banana and bubblegum flourish briefly, a sweetness that covers up the rest of the ale. Pils malts and very little in the way of wheat follow. The start of each sip is a highlight though, ample weizen flavors before they fade away.

M: The mouthfeel is weizen-heavy upfront but generally weak from there on out. The bottle is pretty cool though!

D: A fusion weizen that marries the German style with the Japanese style. It's alright.

 1,115 characters

Photo of davidchollar
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the can into the closest thing to a weizen glass i have, very thick, cloudy dark orange. impressive head. huge and thick, lasts forever. amazing appearance, can't believe this is a can. lots to smell, very pronounced ripe banana scents, not so much clove or malt. a little one-dimensional but not bad, definitely smells good.

this has a decent mouthfeel and taste. the bitterness is a little sour and metallic, i really don't think it's because it came out of a can. it's just a little unbalanced, leaves a bit of a bad aftertaste. compared to some german hefes i've had recently this is not so good, but if i want to drink a beer by itself - not with food - i'll take this any day over any j-macro. highly drinkable and enjoyable.

wow. another good japanese weizen (try landbeer and inuyama loreley) and another great can of beer! (try yona yona pale and echigo stout)

 888 characters

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool blue bottle. Surprised to see this at a sushi restaurant in town alongside kirin, asahi, etc. It was $6 for this stubbly litte 300ml bottle, but as it was something i've never had, nor seen before, i had to give it a try.

An interesting unfiltered hefe. Cloudy yellow with a good frothy head that I had to fight through. It's unfortuatly got some macro twangs in there, but lots of good clove and coriander. Brilliant orange peel and citrus. A tad overly sweet, and like I said theres some macro skuzz. THe blue bottle also might not have helped with the freshness.

 572 characters

Photo of donnebaby
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ginga Kogen beers are probably my favorite Japanese beers from what I've tried. The appearance of this one, bottled, is truly memorable: it comes in a 500ml thinnish blue bottle w their classic etiquette of two reindeer flying among stars over a forest of spiky green trees (my personal interpretation ;)

There's some thin lacing going on, w some fine bubbles quite slowly diminishing to a thin 2cm head that remains. It's a nice cloudy honey body, appetizing. Pours beautifully.

It's got a clean, even Weizen smell, pretty floral. The carbonation is pretty low, but I prefer a Weizen that's not too bubbly; even so, there's a nice bit at the beginning, smooth. The taste has great flavor, rich, with sweet lasting notes of banana and wintergreen. It's very much drinkable, and a nice treat to enjoy by itself. A well put together beer.

 843 characters

Photo of broken22
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So I'm at my local Asian grocery store Mitsuwa and what did I find but some decent looking brews from Japan that weren't asahi or kirin. This is a rare event one which I hope becomes more regular. So lets get on with it.

So the bottle says unfiltered so after I pop this baddy open I pour this thing slowly as to not disturb the sediment. A nice golden cloudy beer flows out with not much head to speak of. Then again I had the glass at a slant so that would kill any head from forming. The beer is definitely effervescent as there is a continuous stream of bubbles. The smell is very Hefeweizen with a banana like smell to it. The flavor is slightly banana like but more of an yeasty apple flavor. The bubbles I was mentioning earlier will light up your tongue. The dancing bubbles are actually quite nice. They make the beer seem almost soft in the mouth.

Overall this is a decent hefeweizen. The flavor was nice and made for a nice glass of beer. On a side note I really like the color of these bottles; they are a nice dark blue. The blue bottle would make for a much nicer image. If you like hefeweizens then pick one of these up.

 1,139 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unique 300 ml blue bottle distributed to U.S.A. picked up at a Mitsuwa Market.

A: Pours a hazy/murky yellowish with a thin white head which fades slowly leaving a few spots of lace.

N: Basic hefe style with wheaty grain, yeast notes and typical clove spices and some banana fruit esters.

T: Mildly tart and lemony. Wheat grains, yeasty with faint malt.

M: Light body and carbonation. Clean and refreshing finish.

O: Fairly traditional for style. O.K., and easy drinking. Note: probably same as other hefeweizen entry listed.

 530 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy lemon yellow with a tall and pillowy but audibly fizzy head; retention is good, but not great. Otherwise this looks exactly how a Hefe Weizen ought to look.

Smell: Spicy and refreshing, very clove-forward with a side of spearmint, along with a standard green banana fruity tartness and a pleasant tone of freshly popped popcorn. The yeast combines very nicely with the malts to create a sweet, doughy essence of white bread. A tad too citric for the style, in my opinion, with some odd lemon-lime soda notes in the background.

Taste: Sourdough bread and lemon rinds predominate, with a sprinkle of cloves and just a hint of banana. Hops are perhaps too pronounced, as their citric tang seems to interfere with the yeast and malts. Not bad, but not nearly as smooth or as balanced as I like my Hefes. Finish is short, but with a light lingering bitter tang similar to quinine.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, but well punctuated by some lively carbonation. My only complaint is that it feels a bit too light.

Drinkability: Meh. A decent wheat beer, but also a very basic one.

 1,087 characters

Photo of metter98
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy pale yellow in color and has a slight amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that quickly died down leaving only a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of wheat and yeast in the nose along with notes of clove and hints of bananas.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a subtle sour aftertaste.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is rather easy to drink and has some refreshing properties.

 541 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy golden with chunk of yeast on the bottom of the glass, a finger of off white head that fades fast.

Coriander, bubble gum, skunk (blue bottle) candy, Belgian yeasts, light smokiness.

Coriander, bubblegum, like a Belgian strong pale ale but with less alcohol.

Medium lightly syrupy body, light fizzy carbonation.

Unique brew in a cool blue bottle. Only some skunk on the nose. Got at Central Festival in Chiang Mai, drank June 2nd, 2015.

 450 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a hazy yellow color ale with a nice medium white foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of light wheat flavours with some residual sugar notes. Taste is also a mix of wheat flavours with some residual sugar notes and light bubble-gum notes. Body is full for style with good carbonation. Not bad but complexity/drinkability were not as high as I had expected.

 386 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very cloudy medium yellow in color with a half finger tall off-white head. The head reduces to an extremely thin layer over the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: The most dominant aroma is definitely the wheat and the yeast is also quite present. In the background there are the light aromas of banana and clove.

T: Like the smell, the wheat flavor dominates with the yeast, banana, and clove all playing a lesser part. There is also a slightly sour note in the finish.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: An interesting interpretation of a hefeweizen by the Japanese brewery here, not quite a bold in the flavor + smell and a little light in the color. Not a bad beer and certainly easy enough to drink but I prefer a more traditional hefeweizen personally. The beer is refreshing and sessionable.

 923 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow colored beer with a small white head.

Sweet and spicy smell lemon and ginger are the two strongest scents. Smells like there is a little coriander in this, smells more like a Belgian wit than a Hefeweizen. Faint candy and banana scents.

Starts out sweet and malty with a powdery yeast finish and a lingering banana flavor. Tastes nothing like it smells lots of banana flavor and little clove flavor, tastes more like ginger.

Mouthfeel is good.

Pricey beer and not at all easy to find, this could beer an everyday beer if you can afford it or live in Japan. In California it is just too rare.

 609 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

300ml blue bottle served in a weizen glass.

L - hazed yellow color with a white head that thinned to a ring.

S - some skunkiness along with subtle wheat and spices.

T - there's no skunkiness in the taste, just light but good hefeweizen flavors with a tart, lemony finish.

F - lighter bodied with a crisp feel.

O - a good, refreshing beer.

 344 characters

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

300ml unique blue bottle poured into pint glass

A: Very hazy, butterscotch orange, head starts big, then settles to just around half a finger, very smooth looking white head

S: Like an average weizen, big wheat presence with hints of citrus in the back, there is a also an almost yeasty presence too

T: Definitely a weizen, but a little different, starts again with that big wheat flavor, but then it gets very sweet, the exact flavor is hard to place, almost honey-like, its a bold flavor but doesn't overpower, also has a slight belgian yeast like quality, intersting

M: Pretty light, has that melt in your mouth quality

D: High, super easy to drink

Notes: This looks and feels like a normal weizen for all intents and purposes. However, it definitely has its unique qualities. That sweet honey like flavor is able to stay light, while offering some different flavors. It is also very easy to drink with a good mouthfeel.

 929 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a slightly hazy, light to medium golden amber. Thin white head that dissipates to a film and moderate ring around the glass. Aroma is wheat with a hint of lemon and clove, strong skunkiness on opening the bottle that dissipated in the glass. Flavor is sweet wheat, lemon and a hint of cloves and banana, very true to German hefeweizen flavor. Fortunately, no skunk remains from the intial aroma (blue glass bottle may not protect the beer sufficiently, but looks cool and different). Light bodied, true to style. A little on the sweet side for a hefeweizen, but pleasant and refreshing to drink. Glad I got to try this. This bottle states "Ginga Kogen Beer" with no style or beer name stated in English, but matches the "Silver Bottle" label on their website, which is stated to be a hefeweizen. I suspect that both this beer and the "Ginga Kogen Wheat" listing on BA are the same beer. Enjoyable and different.

 949 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really gorgeous bottle and artwork - unfortunately it is a BLUE bottle which means it really should be kept away from light until you're ready to pop one open. This is the U.S. import version, though I think the recipe is the same. No bottled on or best before date than I can discern.

300mL poured into a French fruit juice glass.

Very cloudy pear body with glimmering chartreuse yellow highlights. The head rises up to a little over a finger high with a cautious pour and then slowly recedes to nothing. Very nice, delicate, almost cellestial lacing (which is fitting for a brewery that translates to "Plateau of the Galaxy").

The aroma is faintly metallic and stale, probably due to it being light-struck if not too old. Moving past this you can still get a good dose of banana bread, and a light lemon note. Not much spice going on.

A wheaty tartness pervades, though it is backed by a sweet almost custardy banana/tapioca element (probably from the yeast) which adds a fine balance. There is also the a very weakly bitter note that fades rapidly in the finish - perhaps the noble hops playing a role. It reminds me of a sort of cross between a witbier and a hefeweizen in some ways - though a fresher example might change the overall profile a bit.

Creamy soft mouthfeel with active carbonation. There is a chilly feeling even after the beer begins to warm up a bit - if I were of a more metaphysical mindset I might attribute this to the snow-heavy region of its origin.

Overall, really quite decent. It seems this brewery spent a good deal of time touring their German counterpart's facilities and learned quite a bit. This is an excellent alternative to the more popular rice lagers from Japan - I look forward to purchasing more of this (though I would sacrifice the beauty of the bottle for the protection of a can if I had the choice).

 1,855 characters

Photo of OneBrewru
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ginga Kougen Weizen brew pours a rich, cloudy, golden hue and is topped by a with a frothy cloud-white head. Little to no lacing clings to the glass. The appearance is very true to the style.

The aroma of this beer is also very true to the hefeweizen style. Rich and bready smells are present but an acutely powerful clove aroma pierces through. A mild yeast funkiness is also apparent.

Taste-wise, this beer is rock solid. As the aroma would indicate, strong banana bread and clove flavors dominate. The clove is just a bit stronger than it should be, but does help cut through the thick malty flavors.

The texture of this beer is a bit thicker than many hefeweizens and with a bit less carbonation than usual.

All in all, I could drink this beer on a hot summer day or a cold winter night and be satisfied with either. It's light alcohol content lends itself to being a session beer, but the complex flavors make just a pint more than enjoyable.

 951 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am assuming this is the correct place to put this beer. There was not much English on the bottle to ID the beer, but it was blue, had reindeer on it and was a hefewezien, so I am placing the review here.

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a cloudy pale yellow color with a white head. The aroma is bananas, yeast and bubblegum. The flavor is banana, lemon and a lot more bubblegum. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. It didn't have much of the clove flavor or aroma you expect in the a beer of this style, but the bubblegum mixed nicely with the bananas and made a good beer.

 606 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ginga Kogen Weizen from Ginga Kogen Beer
84 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe