Imperial Ginger Beer
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Imperial Ginger BeerImperial Ginger Beer
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Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #117
Ranked #41,171
3.65 | pDev: 15.62%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Imperial Ginger BeerImperial Ginger Beer
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 68 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a flute from the bottle.

Appearance: Hazy amber with medium bubbles. Head is off white rising roughly one finger's length off the key with zero lacing on the glass.

Smell: Deep finger with hints of lime or lemon.

Taste: Sweet orange and line with notes of what feels like passion fruit. Heavy ginger which is super spicy.

Mouth: Medium carbonation and very sticky brew. Acquired finish which is hard to please anyone with.

Overall: Good brew and great to share with friends. Always in a glass...Salud!

Nov 04, 2018
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jwilcox767 from Ohio

3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Cloudy golden orange pour. Not much head.
S - The smell is promising, nice ginger backbone with citrus up front. Some malt but it is subdued.
T - Ginger of course, but not as pungent as, say, ginger in sushi. It's slightly more tame, but there is a nice bite when combined with the lime.
M - Full bodied, maybe a little too cloyingly, but it works.
O - I generally don't like ginger beers but this is one of the more pleasant ones I've had in a while. I don't really care for the ginger taste that skews toward candied, but it is what it is. I'd drink it again for the novelty but probably not seek it out. Give it a try though.

Sep 13, 2017
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REDAMI from Ohio

3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into Chimay goblet

L - copper gold pour, little to no head

S - Candied ginger, lime, malt sweetness

T - Lime zest, agave, ginger on the back end, rind type bitter notes

F - Ginger heat on the front, thin but refreshing

With a little mint you'd have a moscow mule. Lost between a ginger beer and an ale flavored with ginger. It's a fun beer, but not one I'd recommend to everyone.

Jun 24, 2017
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear, gold in color with 1/3 inch head and moderate carbonation. Taste is big time spicy ginger with lime and I can also taste the light agave. That said the ginger is the unquestioned star here. It adds a prickly, spicy heat. Reminds me a bit of a dark and stormy in terms on ginger intensity. Love the ginger intensity. Will get this again. Would get a six pack of it to see how the ginger intensifies over time.

Apr 29, 2017
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Delerium Tremens tulip

L: Clear honey golden pour. Scant head with spotty lacing.

S: Ginger and spice. Lime... faint tequila.

T/F: First and foremost... ginger. Spicy and warming... leaves the tongue tingling. Other flavors like agave and lime are very much in the background but the lime does kick in a little tartness. Some sweetness to go with the spicy ginger burn, but the root dominates. Medium in body.. sticky. Finish leaves a bit more tingling on the tongue and the back of the throat.

O: Interesting.. and they hit on what they were going for with a very ginger forward concoction. Not even something that tastes like beer. Good for a novelty or once in a blue moon (no pun intended... nobody wants THAT moon) but would never drink regularly. Maybe something to share on Xmas eve.

Apr 18, 2017
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a deep, clear golden body with a very, very small head that's gone in a matter of seconds.

Smell: Sweetish agave syrup, a bit of wheat, citrus and some grated ginger.

Taste: Sweet, even a bit sugary with a sip of lime and agave-flavored soda pop. Ginger adhered to a slight pepper spiciness, giving a flavor that starts a bit too sweet and ends with more heat (and a bit of booze) than is desired.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light carbonation.

Overall: Wasn't a fan. With minimal beer-ish qualities and it's sugary nature, it's more akin to an alcopop.

Apr 08, 2017
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Trying this at Redbeards in Downtown Pittsburgh. It poured a clear golden with no head and no lace. The scent had hints of ginger. The taste was heavy on ginger and slightly acidic. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's ok...not a big fan of the soda beers.

Mar 16, 2017
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shanecb from Pennsylvania

1.91/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I logged in after 7 years just to rate this beer. Am I drinking the same one as everyone else is? I genuinely thought this was atrocious, and was surprised it came from a brewery I generally enjoy. It looked great, and I really enjoyed the smell. But the taste.. I couldn't even finish the bottle. I poured it after maybe 4oz. I love ginger beer, so that's not it. It just tasted straight shitty, puckering, medicinal to me. Way beyond what I'd expect in a beer with real ginger and spices in it.

Mar 14, 2017
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 14.00 (Including tax)/four pack ($ 0.292/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
12 oz bottle DOB 12/20/16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried Sam Adams “Perfect Pint”.
Aroma – ginger and lime, quite enticing and lasting.
Head large (Maximum 5.3 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy and thin, rapidly diminishing to a three mm ring and thin complete layer. As the beer level drops, the ring fades away.
Lacing poor. Rare tiny island consisting of one small bubble and several tiny ones.
Body – light gold and clear, effervescent
Flavor – Markedly ginger followed by an instantaneous gastric burn. The lime nicely balances the taste of ginger. There is no hint of normal beer stuff like malt, hops, or yeast.
Palate – Light, watery, lively carbonation.

I love ginger and use it in excessive amounts when I cook Asian style dishes. I even eat the ginger slices in the food. This is the first ginger beer which I have found to not have an excessive amount of ginger. Thank you limes! The aloe? Who knows.

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

Mar 04, 2017
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Was really looking forward to this after seeing all the positive reviews! Never seen an imperial ginger beer so thats awesome!

Looks like a Double ginger for sure deep orange tint tones and a 1/2 inch of frothy head that sticks around for quite a bit. Smells of strong ginger ale, sweet malts, and a touch of cracker malt. Can't say it smells of a ginger snap cookie since it has no spice! Wow I didn't expect the lime to make such a great appearance! Taste of ginger root and lime play quite well and finishes rather sweet. Body is excellent if anything a touch thin for an 8.5% brew it drinks like a lager so be careful!

Overall it kind of reminds me more of a mixed drink but less watery so it's more of a beer. Its good pretty much what I seek out on beer runs as a downright obscure beer. May have it again!

Mar 02, 2017
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is pretty leftfield for Southern Tier, but okay. An 8.5% ginger beer made with lime, agave and, of course, ginger... probably not much more to explain, so I'll get right into it.

Pours an attractive, mostly-clear medium-amber color with a tenacious head of khaki-esque foam that seems to stick around pretty much permanently. Some particles are easily discernible floating around in the main body of the beer... I'm assuming these are remnants of the ginger used along the way.

Nose is 100% ginger snap cookie; no holds barred. I wasn't REALLY sure what to expect here, but this is just about the best thing I can imagine. For instance, I wasn't sure how the lime would play with the spicy ginger and strong malt bill, but I do get some bright citrusy notes that I feel are nevertheless only going to play a balancing role in the main event here. Southern Tier excels at specific, sometimes unusual flavor profiles, and this feels like a complete hit so far. I'm impressed. The ginger is spicy, the malt is doughy and lightly-sugary, and it feels very balanced. Delicious nose, for sure.

On the tongue, this is a lot sweeter than anticipated, and the lime creates a tart, zippy flash of flavor that is both confusing and weirdly-apropos at once. At first, it felt a bit unbalanced, oddly enough, but it starts to blend into the whole eventually. The finish is spicy and effervescent with a slight tart linger and the beer bears a clever, complex flavor profile that deftly switches between bready, tart and earthy. This seems like it's getting kind of torn apart by some users, but it absolutely succeeds at what it intends to be. Then again, ST pretty much unilaterally pulls off complex flavor combinations, so I'm not super surprised by that. I'm just surprised that this is as enjoyable as it is on its own merits.

Feel is surprisingly light and deft for an 8.5% beer, though I do start feeling it a little bit halfway through my glass. The carbonation seems intentionally dialed back, though, overall; once this gets to room temperature, it seems only very lightly-effervescent. Makes me think it would be great as an ingredient in a higher-octane Moscow Mule or some such cocktail.

Feb 28, 2017
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teromous from Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near the back right side of the label: "DOB 12/19/16 03:22PM"

Appearance: It has a nice golden brown tea colored body with hints of orange and lighter hues of yellow. It is mostly clear with a short white cap of creamy textured foam. The head poured much larger but it retains the head close to the surface. No real lacing other than a few spots.

Aroma: The scent of ginger abounds, true to its namesake.

Taste: It has a very strong ginger flavor which really emphasizes the ginger over the beer. There is a sour flavor to the beer which seems to elevate the ginger a bit. It lacks a sweetness to bring balance to the beer but it still has an amazingly good flavor.

Mouthfeel: Just a light touch of burn from the ginger but nothing too strong. Ginger beer enthusiasts will likely find it a welcome sensation. The high alcohol combined with the bitterness in the beer and the heat from the ginger make this more of a sipper. In this respect it departs from the more traditional Ginger Beer. The highlight of the mouthfeel is how the beer announces itself to the palate.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. In the Ginger Beer spectrum it tends to lack a bit of sweetness to balance things out yet it is an incredibly good beer. The base of the beer makes an appearance somewhat in the flavor but it is largely comprised of a simple ginger flavor. There is a sourness to the beer that can hamper drinkability a bit but overall this is the type of beer that I would buy again when I am craving ginger. I would recommend at least trying the beer if you are a Ginger Beer lover. The sourness and lack of sweet balance might not be for everyone but I would still recommend trying it.

Feb 12, 2017
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 12/20/16. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours golden with nice clarity and transparency; small white head that quickly fades leaving decent retention and not a ton of lacing. The aromas have lots of lime and ginger. Malts do their thing. The flavors are sweet, tart and spicy. It finishes with some minor heat, just like a non-alcoholic ginger beer. Lots of ginger and lots of lime. Possibly some black pepper in the mix. Malts are there. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation.

This is a unique brew. I really like how it finishes with a nice spiciness. It does a good job of resembling a non-alcoholic ginger beer. I can see this brew being polarizing and not for everyone, but the execution is on point.

Feb 12, 2017
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superspak from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/20/2016. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy golden amber color with a 1 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aroma of ginger, lemon, lime, pear, apple, agave, honey, biscuit, red pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of ginger, lime, pepper, agave, bready malt, and light fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of huge ginger, lemon, lime, pear, apple, agave, honey, lightly toasted biscuit, red pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Moderate pepper/ginger spice and light tart/tangy fruit on the finish; with lingering notes of ginger, lemon, lime, pear, apple, agave, honey, biscuit, red pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice robustness and balance of ginger, lime, pepper, agave, bready malt, and light fruity yeast flavors; with a nice malt/spiciness balance, and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Light dryness from ginger/pepper spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, bready/grainy, and fairly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Lightly warming 8.5%; with some increasing ginger/pepper heat after the finish, but not overwhelming. Overall this is a very good spiced imperial blonde ale. All around good robustness and balance of ginger, lime, pepper, agave, bready malt, and light fruity yeast flavors. A bit rough from the spices; but still very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. Very strong on ginger/pepper spice as expected, but still has a nice malty backbone for balance. Unique beer, but still very enjoyable overall.

Feb 05, 2017
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a pokal glass

This beer pours amber in color with golden highlights. It is topped with an inch of beige head that leaves little lacing.

The smell is ginger and lime.

The taste starts out with ginger. Then the lime and agave come in to give it a bit of a tartness with some ginger returning in the finish and aftertaste.

Medium to thin mouthfeel and slick.

It was a little rough at first, but as it warmed the flavors were less harsh and melded together better. It was good by the end of the glass. I'm not sure that it is in my wheelhouse of flavor. It would probably go well with some sushi or other Asian cuisine.

Jan 29, 2017
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bmeehan from Pennsylvania

2.22/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Pretty to look at, but I should have read the description first and thought about whether or not it was worth it to actually drink as a standalone beer. Southern Tier recommends you pour this over ice and vodka to make a sort of Moscow Mule, and maybe then it won't taste like straight ginger, but I wouldn't know and don't care to. I poured it into a regular tulip glass and hated it.

Jan 25, 2017
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I recently scored the bottle in the approved pic at the Friendly Greek Bottle Shop here in Lancaster, PA & since I just reviewed a Ginger Beer in a CAN, it seems appropriate to follow it up with one from a bottle.

From the bottle: "Brewed with Ginger, Lime & Agave".

I was anxious to Pop! the top on this one & get started since I plan to drink about half of it for the review & then drink the other half as a set-up for some rye whisky. My aggro pour raised a finger of foamy, fluffy, tawny head with great retention. The smell of ginger was pervasive & my mouth began to water. I felt like I should be having sushi for lunch as an accompaniment! Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. As I leaned in for a deeper sniff, I also began to catch the lime tang that underlay the ginger, which was prevalent. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was spicy, but it was not as gingery as Pedal Hard had been. Instead, the ginger brought a spiciness, but the lime and agave were allowed to bring a tangy, citrusy flavor of their own. Southern Tier recommends this as a set-up for a Moscow Mule & I will buy that. I am not really a fan of vodka, however, so I want to try this with some rye whisky. Before I adulterate this beer, I want to finish with my initial review. Finish was dry, spicy and lingering. I would not really want a lot of it on its own, but as a mixer, I think that they are onto something. Perhaps someone can try it in a Moscow Mule and report back ... As to my addition of rye, it really intensified the lime flavor and the spiciness of both rye and ginger made it a bit more intense than I wanted. I think that Pedal Hard goes well with rye and Imperial Ginger Beer is probably better suited for vodka. Just my $ 0.02, FWIW.

Jan 22, 2017
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HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Crystal clear copper with a few rising bubbles, and a big white head that quickly dies down in a thin film, but leaves rings of lacing.

S: Just like ginger beer. Intensely ginger-forward. Bright, spicy, and lightly tart. Perhaps the addition of lime helps boost up that tartness, but it's more laid back, and nothing in particular smells like lime or agave. There's a little bit of biscuity, lightly toasted malt sweetness, but this is mostly about copious amounts of fresh ginger.

T: Ginger beer. Fresh, spicy ginger. A little bit of tartness, perhaps just a hint of the lime and agave. The malt is very subtle. A little bit of biscuit, and that's all. Ginger beer to a tee. There's even a slight warmth going down, from either the alcohol or the ginger.

F: Medium-light, but not watery. Could stand to be a bit more carbonated if they want to nail ginger beer even more. Drinks very easily, though.

O: This is a beer for ginger-heads, and anyone that likes ginger beer or ginger ale. This almost hits the hard soda category, but it still legitimately a beer. I'm pretty impressed.

Jan 19, 2017
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.31/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent amber with a siver of beige colored head. Stays effervescent, minimal head retention & lacing

S: tons of ginger, some lime, plus cinnamon

T: Follows the nose, a little agave twang as well up front. Boozey Agave as this warms along with ginger & a little peppery heat, plus Tequila dryness. Finishes dry, a little agave & lime, plus gingery booze

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, boozey warmth

Ginger Beer as it should be

Jan 07, 2017
Imperial Ginger Beer from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 68 ratings