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

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Mount Desert Island GingerMount Desert Island Ginger
214 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 214 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of Beerbuddha
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Golden, very carbonated with white head. Can see bits of something floating around. I assume bits of ginger.

Smell- slight earthy smell with some wheat and grain.

Taste- earthy, slight hint of ginger, slight hops

Mouthfeel- High carbonation with light body.

Drinkability- It was okay. It is drinkable but not a beer I would recommend to friends.

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Photo of Winter
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy unfiltered amber-orange with a thin surface covering for a head. Malty aroma is combined with ginger and honey. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and mostly soft with some carbonation along the sides of the the tongue. This was an interesting flavored ale. The only other ginger beer I've had in the past was from Sam Adams Brewmasters Colonial collection last year. This had a different feel altogether. Malty sweetness upfront. Ginger is noticeable immediately. Very low hop bitterness with a touch of honey emerging in the finish.

I was expecting something a little more along the lines of a refreshing beer for summer with the ginger and all, but this sort of threw me for a loop. It wasn't bad, but reminded me more of a Fall beer with the taste and spicing. More along the lines of a pumpkin flavored beer, sans the pumpkin, of course. It just had a real earthiness to it. This was good but I can't see consuming one or two in a sitting. Flavor isn't quite desirable enough for a session beer and I can't think of a situation where I'd say, "Hmm, I'm the the mood for a ginger beer." Worth trying at least.

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Photo of BravoTwo
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very pleasant copper/amber color. Light carbonation with a fairly short-lived white head. Good taste, with the spice of the ginger being very pronounced but not overpowering. Added to the spice of the ginger was a noticable fruitiness. Overall, a very tasty choice and good example of a "summer beer".

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Photo of mwearl
3.82/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured SLOWLY from a 12oz botter with almost no head or lacing; this unfiltered beer had bits of ginger visible in glass. A light copper color and cloudy with little carbonation. Definite smell of ginger and honey with mild hops fragrants. Taste was suprisingly dry with a sweet honey tast and just a hint of bitter hoppiness at the end. Mouthfeel was medium with little foam or acidity. Very drinkable but nothing that stands out as exciting.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of sweet and spicy ginger. It pours a light brown amber color with suspended sediment and topped with a mild-sized head. Lightly sweet with a tart, spicy ginger splash. Makes a refreshing and invigorating brew. Finishes a little dry and gingery. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Enjoyable and fun.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: 12 oz. brown twisty, label has a spot for notching best by, but it’s not notched. No real useful info on the bottle.

Aroma: Slightly vegetal like celery stalk, with an undercoat of light malt. Modest spices have a tropical aspect, almost floral.

Appearance: Light amber glass manages to hold a thin cover of off white head. It looks somewhat murky.

Flavor: Spice note, which does have a good ginger bite, is stronger and earthier than the nose. Overall the flavor is pretty mild and all hop or malt characteristics are muted, allowing the spice note to show.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium heavy body edges on a chew with some slight alcoholic heat in the finish.

Overall Impression: A different kind of beer. Spices are hard to get right, and this one does a good job on being present without overpowering. I can see pairing this with a lot of different foods, a fruit salad comes to mind, maybe some fish, something light.
Worth a try

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.74/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- yellow fizzy body with white head that disappears quickly.

S- lots of ginger notes. some wheat and grain too.

T- the ginger balances well with the grain but the taste isn't impressive or pleasant.

M- medium carbonation and light body. Does not go down smooth.

D- its drinkable but not very enjoyable. Its worth a try if its something that you have never had.

Original rating 2.6 in May of 2007. As of June 2017 this beer is much better. It was a free sample at the brewery so I do not have additional notes to add so I will leave the original content and update the rating.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a hazy, fizzy light copper color. The head instantly dissipates. Ginger is immediately apparent in the nose, along with a sweet, apple-juice type aroma. Flavor is well-balanced, with pleasantly spicy ginger, a little sweet wheat malt, and a very clean yeast character. Bitterness is low, but the ginger takes the edge of the sweetness. Well-attenuated, crisp, and dry texture.

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Photo of Schwarzbart
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy peach honey color like peach tea. Debris chunks that quickly float to the bottom.
Smell: Wheat malts and sweet ginger smell.
Taste: Wheat malts, ginger and spices.
Mouthfeel: Medium.
Drinkability: Too sweet for my taste. Not even comparable to Left Hand's Juju Ginger.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.09/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before date on side of label, but had no date marks...

Poured a semi-cloudy burnt orange or copper in color with very little head. Trace amounts of fizz was seen coming from the bottom up, after the pour. I saw small granules of yeast sediment detected on bottle of my pint glass, as well.

Smelled of wheat, sweet malts and a fresh zing of soapy ginger.

Tasted interesting - similar to the smell. This was a light to medium "wheaty" beer with an ever-present ginger vibe. Good carbonation feel in my mouth.

Overall, a nice beer but I'm not certain if I would buy again in the future. Not certain if ginger mixed with beer is my thing.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy bright copper with orangish hues, and no head.
the aroma is light wheat, bit of yeast, smells like american ale, maybe a hint of ginger.
the flavor is wheatie, little bit of ginger but not over powering, some hop spice, lingering heat from the ginger.
pretty easy drinking beer, great in the sun.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.11/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass,a 1/2 inch slightly off white head.A cloudy,chill hazed reddish-orange color.
Not much aroma a little bisqiuty,yeasty,and a smell of ginger,not overpowering though.
Tastes bready.slightly sweet,a taste of ginger.A medium mouthfeel,with a slight bitterness and sourness at the finish.This beer just didn't do anything for me.It was a little on the bland side.The ginger flavor was not overpowering,but it was there.It was better than the last ginger beer I tasted.Nothing to get excited about here.

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Photo of hammer09
3.51/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend gave me one of these to try last week.

A - Beer poured a cloudy, light amber with a very foamy head. Color and clarity is typical to other wheat beers.

S - Exhibited a mild giner aroma, but also a stale, musty odor.

T - There's a definite ginger presence up front; strong, but not overly cloying. The ginger and carbonation lend this beer's character to that of a ginger ale soda. Some citrus notes also.

M - Well carbonated, but smooth. Soda-like.

D - Overall, this is a damn good beer. Not a session beer, but one could definitely enjoy a couple of these at a time. One note of caution, however. While the ginger flavor isn't overly strong, the taste will remain on the palate for several hours, even after consuming another style/brand of beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an amber/orange color with a thin white head that does not last long. Aroma of sweet ginger and wheat. Light-bodied and spicy with a good amount of ginger flavor. Some malt and wheat in the background as well. More spiciness in the finish, again with ginger dominating. There is a touch of hops in the aftertaste too. The beer seems one-dimensional, although there is just enough going on behind the scenes to keep it from being below average.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.89/5  rDev +16.1%
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!

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Photo of clvand0
3.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy light amber color with a very small head that falls fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is spicy and full of ginger. So much ginger that I don't get much else. The flavor isn't what I expected. There is plenty of ginger in there and not many other spices. There's also not much residual sweetness. The dryness takes away from the effect that the ginger could bring. The body is moderate to thin and the drinkability is ok. I probably won't have this one again.

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Photo of Phatz
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very interesting beer. The first real ginger beer that I have had. And man is it ginger in a big way.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow color with little lacing.

Smell: The aroma is extremely ginger. Like a homemade ginger ale, or old fashion ginger snaps. Very ginger.

Taste: Sharp Pricks of ginger hit the palate first followed by a bready yeast attribute. Overall it is a very unique beer that I am happy to have sampled but it is certainly bold.

Mouthfeel: The tight carbonation bubbles give it a soda like feel in the mouth.

Drinkability: One goes down nicely, as it is a new and interesting taste. A beer this unique is always fun to try, but I certainly would not want to drink this all evening.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Beer poured a hazy orange color with a thick white head into a tulip glass. The aroma gives you some ginger hints but is dominated by the malt tones and a bit of hops. The taste is like the aroma, mainly malt tones but you get a bit more ginger on the tongue. Overall the body is rather light and the taste does not linger for very long.

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Photo of Brent
2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The ginger spice in the beer seemed bland and washed-out, lacking the spicy bite of fresh ginger root or the aromatic note of candied ginger. Moderate malt with some caramel influence which tended to overshadow the vague ginger flavor. Not a bad beer, but it did not call for another.

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Photo of Higravity
4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh man do I like ginger. If you don't like ginger or ginger ale you won't care for this beer. Nice pour golden hazy sparkling with a nice white head. Smells like ginger with a sweetness that is lingering in the background. The taste is ginger and it is a little spicy bitey with a smoothness that brings in the wheat and finishes a touch sweet before the ginger dominate the aftertaste. Thin and light this is refreshing cold, I could see several of these going down with some BBQ.

I must admit I did take some and mix with Goslings rum and had myself a very nice "dark & stormy". I am all for enjoying this beer on its own but man did it make for a hell of a d&s.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a cloudy peachy color with a patchy and thin head over top. Bubbles boil up, making swirls apprear atop the brew. I'm amazed that the head can't find a way to form, even with the solid carbonation. Aroma is very fruity and gingery. I get notes of apircot and banana with a very nice gingery zing. Lots of sweetness. I like it. Flavor is a little less bold than the aroma. The ginger is there on the start. It tastes like there is a bit of wheat in the base beer, as it has a slightly creamy flavor that I associate with wheat. If I would take the time to read the beer label before I start my review, I would see that this one is called a wheat ale brewed with fresh ginger. Mouthfeel is moderate, with a moderate carbonation of very fine bubbles. I think this beer really hits a homerun with what it sets out to be. It is every bit a wheat beer brewed with ginger. The ginger is very fresh and spicey, but not over the top and offensive. This one is a winner in my book.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.87/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of Suds
3.57/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Mount Desert Island Ginger from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 214 ratings