UFO Gingerland | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
harpoonbrewery.com

Style: Herb and Spice Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
It took a while for us to come up with a UFO beer that could withstand the darkest days of the year, but the warmth of ginger combined with the seasonal spice of cinnamon and clove form a perfect companion for a visit to Gingerland. Brewed, not Baked. Poured, not sliced. Inspired by a classic tale. Deliciously spiced. Welcome to Gingerland.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
236
pDev:
15.29%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
88
Trade:
0
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 236
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy, dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of ginger, spices. Taste is ginger, cinnamon, light malts, refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an interesting and pretty good beer.

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Photo of Antc2382
3.32/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into pint.

A: a cloudy muted-bright orange with virtually no head or lacing. S: vaguely like a gingerbread house, with a bread-like component. T: it has a ginger taste for sure, not totally overpowering but definitely strong. Gingerbread, but also a tad like ginger ale. The rest of the character is typical of an American wheat beer. F: pleasant, with medium-high carbonation. Drinks like half beer/half ginger ale with a sweet backbone. O: fairly enjoyable, worth a try but not Harpoons best nor will I seek it out again.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.21/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Look: Cloudy; gold; white head

Smell; spices; tartness

Taste: Maybe a momentary hint of sweetness and some kind of spice, but largely
just a tart and weirdly spiced adjunct lager.

Feel: non-descript; adjunct lager

Overall: Yuck. Tart; artificial tasting. Just have not in general fared well with
spiced beers, the brewery notwithstanding. Think I'll throw in the towel on
this style.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It is #PenguinAwarenessDay and as such, I am delving deeply into my stash of Winter Warmers & Herbed/Spiced beers, especially in the interest of reducing the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I have penguin assistants joining me and things are progressing nicely!

From the bottle: "A Gingerbread Inspired Beer"; "Brewed, not Baked. Poured, not sliced. Inspired by a classic tale. Deliciously spiced. Welcome to Gingerland." This has GOT to be one of the best labels, evar! On the main label, the crafty fox is on his hind legs, looking intently up into the tree. On the neck label, the Gingerbread Man looks down, ensconced among the leaves & branches at the top of the tree! Brilliant. CAN this be translated onto an aluminum cylinder?

I Pop!ped the cap and the fox began to howl in frustration. I calmed him down with an extremely gentle pour since this was an "UnFiltered Offering [(UFO)]". Once I had some in my awaiting glass, I gave it a swirl which raised a finger of foamy, tawny head with decent retention. It also filled the room with a wonderfully spicy scent & the fox turned his attention to me & the beer as the Gingerbread Man saw his chance for escape. Color was an oh-so-slightly-hazy Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9). Nose was probably the spiciest of the day, but it could not decide between ginger and/or cinnamon, but definitely no vanilla. I had to whack the fox on his nose to back him off as I raised the glass for a taste. The Gingerbread Man clambered down the tree & ran off into the night chanting something about "Down with raisins & frosting! I live naked!" Wow! Even the fox looked at me in bewilderment. "That guy is baked!" he said. I agreed, and shared the rest of my beer with him. We agreed that the mouthfeel was on the thin side, but he was okay with that, as was I, having really subjected myself to an intense day of spiced beers. He argued in favor of ginger, while I was put in mind of clove & cinnamon. The Princess Penguin deferred to the fox, but I think that she was a) intimidated by his presence; b) fascinated by his lithe body and swishy tail and shiny coat of fur; c) both, so she doesn't really count. I was put in mind of the night in 2007 when I was at a Brewers' Dinner at GLBC in Kleveland & they were brewing their Christmas Ale. A fellow diner asked for, and received, some of the spent cinnamon sticks & ginger balls to dry and use for potpourri. This is exactly what it smelled like! In fact, warming, I began to taste honey & now the fox was really interested. What does the fox eat? On this occasion, neither Gingerbread nor penguin, but he drank deeply of UFO Gingerland before passing out. The finish was dry, mainly because of the spices, but it was quite tasty. I'd love to see them CAN this one, also!

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the bottle, it pours a hazy light amber with a nice head. Nice gingery smell tickles the nose. Flavor is not overwhelming, some ginger, some malt. Light feel.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: cloudy; burnished gold in color; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin collar; very little lacing;

S: ginger is predominant, but there is a hint of bready malt behind it;

T: literally like flat ginger ale; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: light to medium bodied; light to moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish if you're patient;

O: OK for what is it; refreshing;

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served at the Harpoon brewery in Boston.

Pours a cloudy, dirty gold. Small head that leaves only a couple streaks for lace.

Smells like a ginger ale--sweet with some FRESH ginger. Nice.

Think pale ale mixed with a dry ginger ale and you'll get a sense of this beer. Lightly biting finish from the ginger. Dry and not too wheaty.

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Photo of billybob
4.03/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a cloudy light amber with a half inch head that faded quickly and a spotty lace. hints of ginger and spice aroma. taste was quite good. good balance of ginger and spices mouthfeel is light carbonation was ok there is some residue on the bottom of the bottle so I swirl the last inch or two to get all of it. overall to was tasty and I would buy it again.

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Photo of weaselface89
3.92/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pale orange with a cloudiness that is expected in a wheat beer. White head that is thin and fades quickly. It smells of ginger and spices. Tastes about like it smells with the sweetness of a wheat beer. Moderate carbonation and no presence of alcohol in the taste. Overall an enjoyable one and I look forward to the next five I will enjoy over the course of the next week or two

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 4/15/2015. Pours hazy/cloudy deep orange/amber color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and herbal spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Minimal herbal spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toast, biscuit, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good robustness and complexity of dark/bready malt and herbal spice flavors; with a great malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5.2%. Overall this is a nice spiced wheat beer. All around good robustness, balance, and complexity of dark/bready malt and herbal spice flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very straightforward and nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

A- pours pours a murky golden orange color with a small fizzy off-white head that reduces to a small film floating on top, no lacing left behind

S- lots of fresh ginger aroma up front, followed by cinnamon, clove, wheat & sassafras root

T- ginger-forward flavor profile with underlying cinnamon and clove, toasted wheat with a honey-like sweetness on the finish

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a crisp finish

O- I liked the spicing mix, but more of a malty backbone would brought more of a gingerbread flavor

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Photo of metter98
3.54/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a small patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge, and a thin layer of bubbles in between.
S: Light to moderate aromas of ginger are present in the nose.
T: Just like the smell, the taste is dominated by moderately strong flavors of ginger. No sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The ginger lends a little "bite" to the mouthfeel and pricks your tongue a little.
O: This beer is all about the ginger and doesn't seem to have any other noticeable flavors, such as malts or other spices as you would expect from a holiday-themed beer. The wheat lightens up the mouthfeel. As such, this is a pleasant and easy to drink beer and might make for a good pairing with some sushi.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Billolick
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, hazed dull lighter amber.

Slight wiff of ginger on the nose

Light ginger again on the palate, with some cookie dough sweetness....pretty tepid...

Pass this one by...

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Photo of Brad007
3.46/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cloudy golden hue with a frothy head into my glass. I'm not sure what possessed Harpoon to try ginger as an UFO.

Good whiff of ginger on the nose. No clue given as to whether ginger is fresh or from powder/extract.

Ginger works ok with the wheat background. Adds some spice to the clove notes.

Finishes clean with more clove than ginger.

I wonder if this would go well with certain types of cuisine? I can't say as I'm not much of a foodie.

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Photo of wakefilioso
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured hazy amber into a wide mouth canning jar. Very little lacing. Definitely want to pour this into a glass--this is one of those beers that tends to spill over the top of the bottle every time you set it down.

Not really much to speak of in the way of aroma. Some sour fermentation smell and something else I can't put my finger on. Old apple juice maybe.

Tastes almost nothing like ginger, or gingerbread. Maybe a little like sour dough, I guess, so they got the bread part right. A little bit of cinnamon and sugar. Sweet, followed by sour. Touch of lemon. Nevermind, there's a little gingerbread cookie in there. You have to look for it.

Full and fizzy on the tongue, very enjoyable mouth-feel. Leaves the tongue tingling and slippery.

Not bad, overall. Totally sessionable. Kind of like a peppery lemon shandy. Good with sushi, despite not really tasting like ginger.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Harpoon's UFO Gingerland a couple weeks ago for 75 cents at Holiday Market. I needed an extra beer to fill my mixed six pack and I figured for 75 cents I had nothing to lose, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, the design isn't too bad, but it isn't too eye catching. It poured a very hazy golden orange color that took on more of a muddy orange color when held to the light with over three fingers worth of fluffy and creamy off white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some patchy and sticky lacing behind. This was a decent looking beer, but I thought the color could have been cleaner looking.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts showing up first and they impart some wheat, sweet malt, bready, and slightly grainy aromas with some doughy yeast showing in the background. Up next comes the spices with some nice ginger and cinnamon aromas coming through with the ginger sticking out the most and there's also a weird fruit apple aroma showing. This beer had a decent aroma, but the different aspects didn't seem to work that great together.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the malts still showing up first and imparting the same aspects with no single aspect showing up the most, but this time the malts are lighter. Up next comes some doughy yeast that leads right into the spices which are lighter than they were in the aroma, but they impart the same spice aspects with ginger still sticking out the most. On the finish there's no bitterness with a grainy malt and light spices like aftertaste. This beer tasted ok, but after the aroma I didn't expect it to be so bland.

M- Smooth, clean, crisp, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with it.

Overall I thought this beer was just ok and I thought it was very average for the style, it had pretty much all the aspects that I expected, but when it came down to it they were almost all lighter than I wanted and in the end I just wanted more out of the flavor of this beer. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was smooth, clean, crisp, not too filling and the taste didn't do a good job of holding my attention, halfway through it and I' already bored of it, one is more than enough for me. What I like the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was nice and it worked well with this beer. What i liked the least about this beer was the taste, it was just too bland for me. I wouldn't buy this beer again and I wouldn't recommend it. All in all I wasn't a fan of this beer, it wasn't bad, but I just thought it was pretty boring and it didn't really have anything that it made it stick out or be memorable. So far this is one of my least favorite Harpoon beers and I would say it's average at best for the style. This beer needs some work, better luck next time guys.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Going in non-biased paid $2.50 for the single into the ole mug.
A - A rather hazy orange yellow color with a 1/4 inch of head that sticks around for a bit.
S - Good Ginger smell with sweet malt smells and some bread notes.
T - Not bad a refreshing blast of ginger with a sweet malt base and a bit of bread to balance.
M - Light to medium bodied. Decent.

Overall not a bad beer pretty much just a sweet ginger beer rather than a gingerbread.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.73/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy, golden brown in color, with a nice head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Big whiff of cookie malt, gingerbread
Taste-Straight-ahead gingerbread cookie, a bit light-bodied but nice. Not overdone.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had this the other night at the Cloverleaf up in Caldwell. Never had this before and I thought that this beer would be light and soda-like, which is what turned out to be the case. This was light enough to be a session beer as well and with the carbonation as strong as it was, this went down easily with having just enough ginger and sweetness to it to still be enjoyable.

The pour to this was a cloudy dull golden hue with enough head to remind me that this was a beer, possibly a Hefeweizen. Fair amount of bubbles and a bit of lacing but nothing outstanding while the taste was chewy enough to make me think that this was a dessert beer. Somewhat cloying and with a bit of crystalline sugar, there was enough taste of ginger here without the bite of it. The flavors were light and faded quickly as they were scrubbed off fairly quickly after each sip.

Sure, this had all of the traits of a session beer but I couldn't see myself having more than one in a sitting. There may have been some wheat in this, which would explain the lack of sharpness in this beer. If so, it only served to confuse me as this didn't seem like something that was herbed or spiced. Worth a go once because of the quasi-uniqueness of it but this almost seemed like a ginger ale with a bit more body and no stickiness from high fructose corn syrup.

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Photo of thehooksman
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A light beer compared to other gingerbread beers I've had. Lable says "gingerbread inspired." You definitely get the ginger in the nose and flavor. It makes me think "ginger ale" (as in the soft drink) rather than "gingerbread," though. The good news is it's a lot less carbonated and much more smooth in mouth feel than the soft drink. Not bad. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber color. The head is two fingers high, and white in shade. It has both good retention and a densely creamy texture. For an unfiltered beer, this looks really good in a glass. (3.5)

Smell: A decent amount of ginger comes forward. What makes it work to an extent is that it isn't a very bitter-smelling or harsh ginger - rather, it's the stuff in gingerbread. So that's good. It smells like a fairly standard wheat ale otherwise (a good deal of lemon and citrus appear), with the only concern being the clash between the ginger and base beer. (3)

Taste: Ginger is fairly subtle here...but not nonexistent. At first, it envelops the palate with a nice sweetness, though it does leave a slightly harsh finish. The wheat beer mid-taste of lemon and citrus eventually take over the beer entirely, leaving very little ginger. Fairly standard taste, ginger aside. (3)

Mouthfeel: The unfiltered nature makes it very crisp on the palate. However, it is rather heavy and sweet in its general feel. Carbonation is medium. (3)

Overall: Not bad - not great, but not bad. It's well made, and the lower level of ginger means spice beer haters won't despise this. It's main problem is that it doesn't know whether it wants to be a sweet gingerbread beer or a crisp, refreshing wheat ale. And because of that, I won't seek it out again. (3)

3.03/5: Easy drinking, but the low ginger could be a good or bad thing depending on perspective

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Photo of chinchill
3.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle with a BB date stamp of 15 March 2015.

A hazy copper body is topped by a huge bone-colored head that has limited retention. Some spots of foam stick to the glass.

Aroma: ginger and bready grains..

Flavor: more conservative ginger than feared, allowing the base wheat ale to show through. Lingering baked bread and ginger in the aftertaste.

Feel: light body with light-medium carbonation. Light effect from the ginger.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Enjoy By 04/15/15

A: Pours a cloudy copper color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a tiny cap that leaves decent lacing

S: Yeasty notes, gingerbread, light spices, and a hint of fruitiness (probably from the yeast) all pop out. Nothing really standout-ish though

T: Follows the nose. Yeasty notes and aspects stand out the most, giving off some light fruitiness and spice. Gingerbread comes through very lightly underneath the yeast. Finishes with light lingering spices and yeast

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly chalky from the yeast and unfiltered nature

O: The fact that this is unfiltered really kills the overall gingerbread aspect, making it more fruity and yeasty than anything else. It almost tastes more like a shandy than a ginger-based beer, but that could just be me. Not bad, but just missed the mark a little (or a lot, depending on how you look at it). A bit festive, and that's about it. If you're into it, you're into it I guess

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.67/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's good. I think I drank it too cold. I love the muddy almost blood orange look of it. The smell is a typical pumpkin ale with spice and nutmeg, but then there is a twist in the taste. Think Vernors with alcohol. I liked it. I probably wouldn't get it again, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of JPowell712
2.81/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Upon pouring the smell is what threw me off the most. I couldn't get past the odor of the beer pored into a glass. I can't really put my finger on it, but it smelled a bit sour or dare I say "skunked". I know I have handled the beer properly, so I am guessing the odor is true. I then noticed the unfiltered orange color which is nice. The beer is very hazy and bright. The taste then comes together and makes me understand the beer. The taste is very light and refreshing, I am just not so sure the unfiltered wheat style really mixes well with the ginger and orange. I like the idea, but this was a miss for me. Still drinkable, but I don't think I would be out for seconds.

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UFO Gingerland from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.27 out of 5 with 236 ratings