Mount Desert Island Ginger | Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ

131 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Mount Desert Island GingerMount Desert Island Ginger

Brewed by:
Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Maine, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A refreshing wheat beer spiced with fresh ginger root. The process of making this wheat beer has been nicknamed "special ginger tea", due to the fact that we add over 20 lbs. of fresh ground ginger root into the boil.

We use pale malt, and wheat, as well as Target and Whitbread Goldings Variation hops to flavor this light, summer ale.

Island Ginger is particularly popular during the warmer summer months, though thanks to the ginger kick it has, it would also be warming in the cold winter months.

Added by UnionMade on 11-04-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 209
Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a light amount of carbonation along with some small particles floating in suspension. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down relatively quickly, leaving a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of ginger and wheat in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some notes of orange citrus and spices.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink and has some refreshing properties. It tastes like a summer ale with a twist of ginger.

 660 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a terrific experiment: wheat and ginger. They combine for great sensations in the flavor and feel. Initial sip takes on lemony, a light belgian tartness, and a whollop of ginger flavor. The ginger plays 'hot' on in the mouth, combined with the modest alcohol, it becomes very spicy and dry. The wheat takes on citrus and bready aromas that translate well to flavor. The wheat base also becomes very American, which thins the body and weakens the flavor. If a German wheat base were used (allowing the creaminess of offset the spiciness), this would be a much better beer.

 576 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.44/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a small head and virtually no lacing

Smell: Strong whiff of ginger overwhelms any other scents

Taste: Starts out as a battle between the ginger spice and a relatively sweet malt backbone; initially the ginger dominates, but as the ginger fades, a sugary sweetness predominates into the finish; tastes like a ginger beer (the non-alcoholic kind)

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied with a modest amount of carbonation; a little slick on the finish

Drinkability: I like the ginger flavors and could enjoy this on a hot summer day; ultimately, however, the sweetness of this beer turns me off

 630 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a decent fizzy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace, over hazy sediment filled orange honey colored beer.

Nose has sweet syrups, plenty of extract aromas, light wheats aromas, hints of spices and ginger, and a light herbal hops.

Taste starts slightly on the sweet side with some wheats, some more extract like flavors, phenols and a bit of plastic, light candied ginger, sweet syrupy extract flavors, a light herbal hop bitterness. Finishes still a bit sweet, little spicy from spices and ginger, sticky syrups, and some light bitterness.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb.

Overall fairly meh, plenty of off flavors, sweet and syrupy with an extract like wheat flavor that I'm still not sure if it is extract or just very poorly done wheat beer, the ginger is barely there, and some phenols that don't belong.

 820 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.89/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Atlantic Brewing's ginger beer pours a cloudy orange-amber beneath a short head of creamy off-white foam. The head retention, however, is limited; and it leaves very little, if any, lacing about the glass. The nose expresses exactly what you'll find in the flavor: wheat malt and ginger. It's not complex, but enjoyable; and it's nicely balanced by a firm bitterness beneath the zesty ginger. It's medium bodied and crisp, which adds to its refreshing nature. Nicely done!

 472 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange blossom honey surrounding a stormcloud of fine yeast. Maybe the name and the contents are giving me ideas, but the large cap is precisely the color of ginger root. It's a good looking lid that is tight-bubbled enough to persist and tacky enough to leave the glass partially covered in attractive lace.

The biggest challenge in brewing an herbed/spiced beer, I imagine, is in getting the exact right amount of herb/spice aroma and flavor. By my nose, Island Ginger is pretty much right on. That doesn't mean it's an outstanding nose however. It smells like freshly grated ginger, but lacks pizzaz. Having said that, the flavor would do well to mirror the nose. With pizzaz added of course.

One had better like ginger before cracking the crown because this is one gingersnap of a beer. I like ginger (I don't love it) and it seems to me that even a little more would have been too much. The use of pale and wheat malts keeps other prominent flavors at bay and effectively keeps ginger at center stage. British hops are valued contributors, both in terms of flavor (less so) and bitterness (more so) even as they're buried under the spice barrage.

I can't help feeling that this beer is something of a one-trick pony. I'd like to see ginger share the stage with lemon zest. At least then I'd be able to conceive of sessioning it on a warm summer afternoon. As is, I'd get ginger overload after just one bottle. It helps that it's more bitter than sweet, but even that doesn't lend itself to one-after-another drinking.

The mouthfeel is what one would expect from what is essentially a pale wheat ale brewed by an accomplished brewery. It's as light and as airy as a summer seasonal should be, yet it doesn't deteriorate on the finish as so many APWAs tend to do. The carbonation is workmanlike rather than flashy and the mouthfeel is the better for it.

Mount Desert Island Ginger is a bit of a niche beer. I'm not sure if there are enough ginger lovers out there for it to sell like hotcakes, but then I could just as easily not know what the hell I'm talking about. It seems to me that being a little more ginger with the ginger root would have made for a better beer.

 2,193 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.44/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly murky dark golden yellow to amber in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the sides of the glass and some golden orange highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film surrounded by a thinly mottled very thin film covering about 20% of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed

S: Light to moderate aromas of wheat with light aromas of fresh ginger (and just a hint of ginger spiciness).

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of wheat with some lighter notes of citrus/orange and fresh ginger - though with only a light amount of ginger spiciness. Minimal amounts of bitterness are present and fade very quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink but I really wish the aromas and flavors of fresh ginger were more prevalent, more spicy, and more intense. Refreshing and a nice beer for the summer.

 1,041 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Quick six in west York, Pa. Decanted cool into mug -shared w/ tenderbranson69.

A - This is the second overly carbonated ale from this brewery, makes me wonder if it is bottle conditioned or just overprimed. A turbid tarnished gold leans toward the former. The head foams up rapidly and part of the sample was tranferred to another glass. Lively and quickly falling, though the head drops to about 1/4 inch w/ very thin lacing left on the glass.

S - Like freshly grated ginger w/ a pretty big hit of wheaty yeast in the nose. Slightly citrus scented w/ fropical odors playing up the spicy/slightly pickled hint.

M - Smooth and creamy w/out a 'ginger assault' like I expected. A well placed spice/wheat balance w/ nice creamy and nutty textures.

T - Very pleasant w/ a ginger beer, Jamaican spicy juice taste w/ a nice lemony flavor accompanied by nutty wheat. A subtle creamy flavor w/ nice pineapple and mellow peachy essence. The taste is very appropriate for summer, yet just as nice in winter in PA w/ coriander adding to the tongue tingling finish the ginger initiated.

D - Very flavorful once the foaming allows the tasting to begin, but more aroma attention was given. This is one of the better spiced American wheats I have taste in the last year. I have had few ales w/ ginger to compare this to, I appreciated the mix of ginger and wheat overall. Atlantic brewing makes a nice variety of ales - at least the couple I have had the pleasure of tasting. This is probably a choice best suited for those that appreciate fresh ginger, but I think it would go well w/ a variety of dishes or as a digestif.

 1,632 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy; neutral amber color. Light head--leaves some slippery and spotty lace.

Mild fresh grated ginger aroma. No sweetness to the nose.

First impression is how dry the beer is. This is not an overwhelmingly strong ginger ale. The ginger really only shows up on the swallow. The aftertaste is short. The liquid is what you'd expect from a typical ale.

 353 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of my fellow LNCBC Mug Club members brought a bottle of this back for me while in Maine on vacation. Thanks, Mitch!

It poured with a big, fluffy white head, but it rapidly dissipated and then disappeared almost entirely. The color was a cloudy medium to deep amber, but the color was secondary to the smell. Man, was it ever rich with ginger! I caught it on the nose, then again on the palate, and one last time on the finish. The bottle's label identifies the beer as "wheat ale brewed with fresh ginger", but everything is just overwhelmed by the ginger. I liked the ginger, but it became a case of a little going a long way. I could see this as an accompaniment to a Thai meal, but on its own, it was a bit much. The mouthfeel was very full, almost creamy. An interesting beer that I am glad to have had the opportunity to review, but it wa just not my personal cup of tea.

 883 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, and it was a bright, hazy, orange-gold coloring with a filmy, foamy, white head. Nose of subtle ginger and toast. Flavors of sweet gingerbread, with a roasty/toasty highlight. Lemony ginger aftertaste, with a cookie character. Smooth, light bodied, with a frothy, clean finish. Very good brew.

 349 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.8/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear light orange with a nice fluffy 2" head. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: ginger is easily detectable.

Taste: green grapes, ginger, and some granny smith apples. Malt levels are lighter than expected, and there was a bit of lite bitterness.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. Lighter in body. Short aftertaste as onl some ginger linger briefly.

Drinkability: Not bad, but not great. A different beer that would probably go good with some Chinese stir fry. Interesting.

 514 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy gold color with a thin white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a pale malt scent with a hint of ginger lingering. It definately is spicey. The taste is good. It has a fine ginger flavor which is mellowed with the use of pale malts. It is a really smooth beer despite the spice. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking spice beer. It has good flavor and a smooth finish.

 469 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on July 12, 2013.

It doesn't look bad. The pour is copper amber with a head that last briefly and then dissolves into nothingness.

Aroma - the nose is full of ginger. It is a ginger-based brew and that is really the main ester. Deep behind that are pale malts and mild hops.

The body is about medium.

The taste is ginger-forward as to be expected. There is a milder pale malt note and moderate hop bitterness at the end. It does have a slight bite that the 5.2% ABV would not suggest. It is the kind of beer I really have to be in the mood for - not for regular drinking.

 612 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.66/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Disappointed with this, I was expecting a ginger nose - there was none and a ginger flavor also none. Slight crispness but it was more like an ordinary lager. The ABV is 5.2%.

 177 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
2.86/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a pale, dirty orange with a frothy linen white colored head that dissipated to a patchy covering within the first minute of pour. There was a turbid nature of tiny speckled yeast matter that was sparse and spaced far between with enough clarity to clearly distinguish objects on the other side.

S: musky and dry with light sweetly toasted grains and dry orange grinds. The ginger was dry, powdery and muddled with no distinguishability. Overall was muddled, flat, and bland.

T: The flavor faired slightly better then the aroma. The spiciness of the ginger comes through with some honey cloves and lightly sweet toasted grains. A fruitiness of melons and pear juice are also noted here. There is a ginger root/flower hopping on the finish. Overall found the malting to be overbearingly sweet at times.

M: alkaline, light bodied and slightly fizzy. The finish is a bit scratchy perhaps from the ginger. Nothing else mentioning here.

D: Hard to imagine drinking this in multiples. Less then average enjoyment and ease of consumption. It is what it is, a ginger beer that comes off overbearingly sweet malt wise limiting multiples or repeatability. If curious try lefthands ginger over this, otherwise cant imagine what I would do with a six pack of this.

 1,268 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with bennybrew. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2"of white head, which quickly shrunk down to a lyaer of light foam. Very slight lacing over this slightly cloudy honey-golden brew. Aroma is of lightly of grain and a tinge of the advertised ginger, noticeable but not overpowering. Flavor seems a bit lacking in the malt area, and I expected a bit more ginger flavor than I can taste. The ginger does seem to bring out the crispness of the hops at the end a bit more, which is nice. Probably a nice warm weather brew, have to give it a try then, with a somewhat thin mouthfeel and the corresponding drinkability...

 692 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - By gum I got me some floaties! Color is a nice orange amber with a bit of head that turns to a light lace ring.

S - Mostly wheat and a spice I think is ginger. Might not be stong enough and is mixed with the sweet malts.

T - Not bad has sort of a blandness with the simplest of wheat and then a twang of ginger but it doesn't seem to carbonated to make it enjoyable as a "ginger ale"
Taste is balanced though.

M - Light to medium pretty easy drinking

Overall it seems like others said as a basic wheat ale with a bit of ginger added. Not enough to really notice but not too little to make this offensive. I am glad I tried an actual ginger beer.

 654 characters

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery

Appearance: minimal head, gold in color, hazy, low carbonation

Smell: smells strongly of ginger

Taste: ginger, pale malt, light toasted malt

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, medium bodied, sweet with herbal spiciness, dry

Overall: I like the taste of ginger and this beer features the spice in all its glory. If you do not like ginger, stay away. The ginger mixes well with the base of a pale malt. I could have several of these and find it to be one of Atlantic's better small bottle beers.

 517 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fuzzy, hazy peach appearance. Thin ivory white head. Lacing is adequate. Nice whiff of ginger blends with some minty and perfumey hop aromas. Some sweet malt is detected in the background. There's a nice taste to this beer. I'm not a big fan of ginger, but this is nicely spiced and pleasing to the buds. Fairly sweet overall. The malts seem a little bready and biscuity. Nice little touch of yeastiness. The ginger is held in check nicely and blends with the herbal tones from the hops nicely. This is a pretty good spiced brew. Beats the hell out of that JUJU Ginger beer I just had from Left Hand.

 600 characters

Photo of Suds
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a light, hazy orange color with a thick, moderately dense white head. Bottle conditioned. The aroma is fixed with a spicy ginger character and a bit of malt and faint hops. There’s a little maltiness underneath, and the ginger isn’t overdone. It’s floral, herbal, and just a little yeasty. The beer is fairly light, and well carbonated. It’s just slightly sweet in the foretaste, with ginger coming out in the midtaste. The herbal and spiciness of the ginger linger through the finish. It’s sort of refreshing, and I kept thinking that it would go well with sushi. It’s not a satisfying, outstanding beer in it’s own right, but I think it is an excellent use of ginger. The spice doesn’t overwhelm the beer, and it’s something different.

 759 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a pretty decent beer. It was a hazy orange color with a medium head and some nice carbonation. It had a sweet, spicy aroma. It tasted malty, with some spiciness (ginger), which was nicely warming. Fairly assertive, a fun beer to drink, not something to drink a lot of.

 277 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ItDebarks from the 12 ounce brown bottle nebulous amber with a modest white head that is spumous in texture, the lace a thin slip to cover the glass. Nose is sweet, hints of ginger, and to me a cinnamon like aroma also present, nice to sniff at any rate, start is quite sweet, nice malt presence, top is moderate in feel. Finish has a nice benign acidity, the hops understated but pleasing to the palate, the aftertaste sweet and dry, a real nice summertime beer, and one that would sell well in arid-zona.

 506 characters

Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had too many "ginger" beers but this is quite tasty...I understand they used to load this up with even more "ginger" but I find it very flavorfull as is..

Nose is ginger....perhaps a drop or two of honey..and vanilla...body is medium...certainly not watery...kind of creamy mouthfeel...a nice smack of ginger on the taste along with the vanilla..sweet flavor....almost seems like there was a honey addition to this as well...

I found this quite enjoyable and a nice change of pace...a great summertime seasonal-style beer with a little character...

Special thanks to benny Brew for the sample

 611 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours an opaque orange-amber with a fairly thick off-whitehead. Aroma is rich and malty with a strong undertone of orange. Flavor is crisp and malty, somewhat citrus fruity, with just a whisper of hops. It goes down smoothly and is very refreshing and delightful.

 266 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mount Desert Island Ginger from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
3.36 out of 5 based on 209 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.