Tag Archives: Wheat beer

Harpoon creates gingerbread spiced beer for holiday season

Summer Beer Can 12-Pack 2 copyHoliday beers are a tradition that reaches back centuries. In the Old World, they heralded the colder winter months with hearty, thick brews that were usually heavily spiced. Today, that tradition continues and the brewers at the Harpoon Brewer have concocted a delicious addition to the offerings.

The brewery’s UnFiltered Offering (UFO) line introduces UFO Gingerland this year as a nod to the flavors of the holidays in a unique and unexpected way.

Read more about the beer in the press release below.

BOSTON, MA (November 6, 2014) — Brewed, not baked. Poured, not sliced. Inspired by a classic tale and deliciously spiced. The Harpoon Brewery is pleased to introduce UFO Gingerland, a gingerbread-inspired beer brewed with cinnamon, clove, and ginger. This new seasonal offering from the brewer’s popular UFO series, a line of unfiltered beers, has arrived for the winter season in bottles, cans, and on draft. With a malty sweetness and a clean, crisp ginger finish, UFO Gingerland is a great companion to the New England winter.

Winter is a fantastic beer drinking season, so we had a lot of fun brewing different test batches on our pilot system to come up with the perfect beer to be our first UFO winter seasonal offering,” says Harpoon CEO and co-founder Dan Kenary. “We’ve brewed with ginger many times over the years and love the warm character that it lends to a beer. The cinnamon and clove along with the malt profile balance out the beer nicely with a bit of sweetness. This beer will make for some memorable wintertime gatherings.”

UFO Gingerland Brewer’s Notes:
Style:  Spiced Wheat beer
ABV:  5.2%
Appearance:  slightly hazy, deep orange
Aroma:  gingersnap
Mouth feel:  medium-bodied and well-rounded
Taste:  malty sweetness from the blend of cinnamon spice and Munich malt
Finish:  a touch of sweetness with a clean, crisp ginger finish

UFO Gingerland is available in 6-pack bottles, 12-pack bottles and cans, and draft.

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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Beer


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Beer a star at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

FWbeer2010Every fall the folks at Disney World throw a huge food and wine festival that, over the past few years, has been adding more and more quality beers to its offerings. The list of brews to be served and the locations you can find them is now out. So, before you go, check out what you expect to find right here.


This marketplace celebrates all that comes from the earth. Only products that come fropm the soil are sold here. Think vegetarian and vegan fair. Wash it down with Napa Smith Organic IPA


Known for their outstanding beers, the Belgian Marketplace will feature several brews you may want to try as you munch a tasty waffle. Look for Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, and Leffe Blonde or Brune.


Exotic and exciting, look for seared scallops or crispy pork belly in this marketplace. The drink of choice for beer lovers here is Cervearias Kaiser Xingu Black Beer.

Brewer’s Collection

Located near the Germany Pavilion, this beir garten will feature tasty brews from one of Europe’s great beer nations. The list includes:

  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • BraufactuM Palor
  • BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer
  • Warsteiner Premium Verum
  • BraufactuM Darkon
  • Warsteiner Premium Dunkel 


A land of many flavors, China pairs their offerings with a traditional Chinese beer Tsing Tao.

Craft Beer Marketplace

A staple of the festival for several years now, the Craft Beer Marketplace features several interesting brews to quench the thirst of beer lovers attending the event including:

  • Dogfish Head Brewery, Namaste
  • Abita Brewing Company, Fall Fest
  • Leinenkugel’s Seasonal Shandy, (Summer Shandy/Orange Shandy)
  • Florida Beer Company, Devil’s Triangle
  • New Belgium Brewing Company, Fat Tire
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing, Alchemy Ale
  • Red Hook, Audible Ale
  • Sierra Nevada, Torpedo Extra IPA 

Desserts & Champagne

This year event planners have added a great choice to the drink offerings with the desserts, Pyramid Weiss Cream Beer. Try this delightful beer with the chocolate orange cupcake for a real sweet treat.

Florida Local

The Sunshine State is home to several outstanding breweries, two of them are featured in this market place: Cigar City Brewing Company and Orlando Brewing Company. Try Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale from Cigar City and Sun Shade Organic Pale Ale from Orland Brewing.


Not really a country known for beer, France never-the-less produces a few gems. One of those, Kronenbourg Blanc, will be served at this year’s event along with escargot and crème brulee.


In addition to the nearby beir garten, the Germany Pavilion will feature Altenmunster Oktoberfest and BraufactuM Darkon to quaff along with brats on pretzel rolls.


The Aloha State is known for Kalua pork sliders and tuna poke, this year wash these great eats down with Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave Golden Ale or Pipeline Porter.

Hops & Barley

When you think of beer in the Northeastern United States, you cannot escape the siren song of Samuel Adams. In this marketplace munch tasty lobster rolls with Boston Lager, Octoberfest, or Cherry Wheat.


Do we really have to tell which beer will be featured here? OK, just for the record; its Guinness.


Ravioli and cannoli can be found at the Italy Markeplace, along with Moretti beer.


Roll on into this marketplace for fresh sushi and Sapporo beer.


The heavyweight brew in Mexico is Dos Equis, but there are rumors there may be more surprises. Keep an eye out for more information.


Drink a cold Casa while watching the belly dancers. Just be careful the wife does not catch on to why you keep going back for more beer.

The Outpost

An African flair describes this area. Try a BGI Brewery St. George beer as you pound the jungle drums.


Kielbasa and pirogues are in store for you here, along with cold Okocim O.K. beer.


Making its debut this year the Scottish Marketplace will offer seared salmon and Inis & Gunn Original Ale.


Tiger beer goes great with lemongrass chicken curry, fortunately that is what is being served at this exotic marketplace.

In addition to the special beers brought in for this event, you can expect to find a full complement of the brews normally stocked at the various restaurants throughout the World Showplace. Just remember, the world cannot be conqured in a day. You may need a couple to try all the fantastic flavors the festival has to offer.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival runs from September 27 through November 11. A ticket to Epcot is required to participate in all tastings. Tastings are not included in the ticket price.


Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Beer Festival


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Summer beer round-up, video segment from “I Know Jax”

In the heat of a Jacksonville summer, a cold beer is just the thing to beat the heat and humidity. With that in mind, I embarked on a journey to several local beer emporiums and picked out a selection of brews that will quench your thirst as well as intrigue your taste buds.

Watch the segment from “I Know Jax,” then read more about each brew below.

Green Room Brewing Co. — Pablo Beach Pale Ale

This refreshing, locally-brewed ale is packaged in a can making it perfect for picnics, barbeques and other outdoor activities. The brewers at Green Room have captured a citrusy brew with notes of pine and hints of malt to cut the bitterness. Serve this straight out of the cooler or in a pint glass and enjoy the great weather here in the River City.

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing — Summer Shandy

Shandy’s are the perfect summer beer with their light and refreshing flavors that are not too heavy. They combine favorite summertime flavors, in this beer’s case smooth wheat beer and sweet lemon. Served very cold, this beer is ideal for sipping on a lazy Sunday afternoon on the back porch.

Harpoon Brewing Co. — UFO White

Brewed with hand-ground spices like coriander and orange peel, this refreshing unfiltered beer follows in the 300 year tradition of Belgian spiced wheat beers in spectacular style. Typical of the style, this beer pours hazy and golden with a fluffy white head. The drinks smooth and refreshing with hints of orange and spice.

Spoetzl Brewery — Shiner Ruby Redbird

With a reddish color and an invitingly sweet grapefruit aroma, this brew promises a drinkable experience that it truly delivers. The flavor is predictably of ruby red grapefruit making this a great, sessionable beer with a flavor that is agreeably different from other beers on the market. Drink this one cold and from a pint glass to fully enjoy.

Cigar City Brewing Company – Cucumber Saison

Brewers tend to look for the next interesting flavor profile. The guys over at Cigar City has found it in this refreshing summer treat that positively reeks (in a good way) of cucumber while it maintains the funkiness one expects in a saison. Drink this one chilled in flutes with a fresh summer salad for a lively and refreshing experience.

Brooklyn BrewerySummer Ale

Lemon is a common and welcome flavor in summer beers and Brooklyn does not disappoint with this entry into the summer beer market. The flavor is biscuity with a light lemon note that rounds out the sweet malts. Drink this one straight from the bottle while enjoying a cool summer breeze on your porch swing.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Kellerweis

According to the brewer’s website, ““Kellerweis is one of the only American Hefeweizens made using the traditional Bavarian style of open fermentation. This difficult and labor-intensive technique adds uncommon depth and flavor complexity.” The flavor is bready with light lemon notes along with cloves and white pepper. This beer is a great accompaniment to any summertime backyard party.


Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Beer Styles, I Know Jax, The Beer Guy


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Pele’s Wood Fire to host Cigar City beer dinner

CigarCityBrewingPele’s Wood Fire has established itself as a restaurant that takes craft beer seriously. Not only do they have an excellent selection of 50 brews on tap, but they also have had a tradition of pairing those brews with Chef Micah’s brilliant culinary creations. Coming up on January 22 Pele’s will present a beer pairing dinner featuring Chef Micah’s creations paired with Cigar City brews.

Cigar City Brewing has made a name for themselves as producers of excellent craft beer. This was never more evident than at last year’s Great American Beer Festival where the CCB booth had line scores deep. Attending the dinner at Pele’s will be Travis Kruger, who runs the CCB tasting room at the brewery in Tampa.

The beer and food pairings are:

Reception beer: Hotter Than Helles German-style Helles lager.

Dinner 1st Course
Lambs lettuce, Radishes and Carrots Wheat Beer Bagna Cauda
Beer pairing: Florida Cracker Belgian-style Witbier

2nd Course
Mozzarella Arancini Sicilian fried risotto stuffed with hand-made mozzarella and orange basil mayonaise
Beer pairing: Roarin’ Lion Calypso IPA

3rd Course
Beer Cheese “Cappuccino” Soup Malt milk crackers, tomato, sweet onion, and cream
Beer pairing: Minaret ESB English-style Extra Special Bitter

4th Course
Prime Rib Braciole Rosemary potatoes, Rapini, and wood fired dopplebock marinara
Beer pairing: Resonator Dopplebock German-style Dopplebock

5th Course Tobacco smoked chocolate ice cream cone, spun with liquid Nitrogen, set on an Italian pizzelle waffle cookie cone
Beer pairing: Maduro Brown Ale

Reception begins at 6:00 p.m. and the first course will be served at 6:30 p.m. The price of the dinner is $65 and includes tax and tip. You can reservations for the dinner by calling Pele’s Wood Fire at (904)232-8545.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW

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Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Beer Dinner


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Merchant du Vin Brings Old World Brews to the New World

A bottle of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout.

Image via Wikipedia

Some of the best beers in the world are brewed by small breweries in Europe. These brews are world-renowned and, upon seeing the size of their breweries, one might wonder how such a small place could produce a beer so beloved around the globe. But, some of these breweries have done just that and have been around a very long time.

On Thursday, November 17, I had the opportunity to taste an extraordinary collection of fine brews presented at Total Wine in the St. John’s Town Center by Merchant du Vin beer importer. Merchant du Vin has been in the business of importing beer for nearly 35 years and has collected an impressive portfolio including beers from Samuel Smith, Traquair, Ayinger, Zatec, Pinkus, Lindemans, Orval, Westmalle, Rochefort, and Green’s.

On hand to guide us on our beer tasting was Rob Nelson, Southeast Regional Manager for Merchant du Vin. His presentation took us on a journey around Europe and into some of the oldest brewing facilities in the world. His stories and photos enchanted the audience and truly brought to life the history of the beers we tasted.

The first brewery we tasted from was Samuel Smith’s. The Old Brewery in Tadcaster was established in 1758 and is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. It adheres to the old ways of brewing and maintains it’s own copper kettle and cooper for making and repairing barrels.

Beers we tasted from Samuel Smith’s included:

Organic Cider – Bright in color, light in body, and clean in flavor are the descriptors on the marketing materials and they are absolutely correct. The apple flavor is sweet without being cloying.

Organic Strawberry Ale – Sweet and refreshing with just the right amount of strawberry flavor in a medium-bodied brew. This is a beer for a lazy afternoon in a hammock somewhere.

Oatmeal Stout – This stout is possibly the standard on which all other oatmeal stouts should be judged. Indeed, it was the very first commercially produced ale that combined oatmeal and malted barley. This brew is rich and thick with sweet and bitter notes.

In a recent column I discussed Ayinger as one of my favorite Oktoberfest beers, but Ayinger also produces several other very tasty and satisfying brews. The brewery was founded in 1878 in the small Bavarian village of Aying. Today the brewery is an automated testament to German engineering that does not sacrifice authentic and traditional flavors for mass-production.

We tasted several from Ayinger including:

Hefe-Weizen – This unfiltered brew is a refreshing example of the German wheat beer. It displays the appropriate clove and spice profiles of the style and is wonderfully drinkable.

Ur-Weisse – An interesting treat, this dark brew is very malty in character, yet maintains the clove and spice profile of a wheat beer brewed in the German style.

Orval is another of the evenings offerings that, though I had had it before, I was truly looking forward to. As a brew with a Trappist designation, Orval is still brewed within the walls of the Abbaye Notre-Dame d’Orval in Belgium. Monks still work to produce it, but with some help from lay people. The brewery is still owned and operated by the Catholic Church for the express benefit of Catholic charities. There is evidence of brewing and beer consumption on the grounds of the Abbaye as far back as 1628.

The word orval means “golden valley” and is an appropriate moniker for this outstanding brew. When poured into a glass the brew is hazy and golden. It reveals fruity, hoppy aromas that are a result of the dry-hopping process used. The taste is complex, fruity with a fair amount of hop kick.

The final Trappist brew we tasted that evening was Westmalle, another complex and wonderful Belgian beer that truly makes me long to head back over to that country.

With enlightening stories and wonderful slides, Rob from Merchant du Vin truly made the evening an experience to remember. Given the opportunity to attend one of his presentations you should run, not walk. This is a man who loves his beer and has a true appreciation of the art, love, and talent that goes into making it.

Until next time,

Long Live the Brewers!


Marc Wisdom

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Beer, Beer Education, Beer Tasting, Belgian, Imports


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