You would think a wheat beer spiced with ginger and other spices wouldn’t work, right? At least it seemed that way to me. I mean, a tart wheat beer mixed with pungent spices seemed to be an incongruous concoction, but sometimes such are the crazy ideas that make for a lascivious libation indeed. In the end, Harpoon Gingerland UFO worked for me indeed.
Harpoon already has more than a few holiday beers, Harpoon UFO Pumpkin of course starting things off in fall, followed by Grateful Harvest, Chocolate Stout, and perennial favorite Harpoon Winter Warmer taking things through the rest of the year. Harpoon UFO Gingerland is the latest addition to the fold, and I saw it for the first time here in 2014. Harpoon says this about it on their website:
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.
Loving Gingerbread beers as I do, this one went right into my shopping cart. Harpoon Gingerland UFO will run you about $8.99 a six-pack here in Georgia. It has an alcohol content of 5.2% by volume and 15 IBUs. My bottle says I should enjoy it by 3/15/15. This beer is bottled and canned.
Harpoon Gingerland UFO pours to a cloudy orange amber color with a thick pillowy head formation and a slightly odd nose of tart wheat and pungent ginger. Taking a sip, the crackery, lightly bready, very tart wheat hits you first, but then the spices really come in: the heady aromatic ginger, the rich cinnamon, the aromatic clove, and then at the last it’s the ginger all over again mixing with a very tart, almost lightly sour wheat finish.
This is very different than most beers that try to emulate gingerbread. Most are based on a brown ale, porter, or stout. This one is not, and while I prefer the darker beers, UFO Gingerland is refreshing, tasty and light bodied. I like it, and I would certainly drink it again. As usual for Harpoon, a fair price too.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.