Ginga Kogen is based in Sawauchi village, in the Iwate prefecture of Japan. The village is apparently a "special snowfall area", with some of the heaviest snowfalls in the whole country - so obviously (!) they make a German-style hefeweizen.
This is their Silver Bottle, and I admit, the packaging sold it to me. I'm a sucker for blue glass, and I don't care what the anti-clear bottle brigade says - it looks cool as hell.
The beer certainly looks the part, pitting a dirty straw colour, with more than a little haze and a lazy off-white head.
The nose, too, is a classic hefeweizen, yeast heavy with a touch of honey and a faint grassy note.
On tasting, a soft mouthful of fine bubbles blends nicely with a sweet honey start, a slight artificial banana flavour and a distinct spice background come through and feed into a slightly acidic, short finish. It's the kind of beer that simply vanishes from your mouth as you let it sit on your tongue - which usually results in drinking very quickly!
A delicious and unexpected beer, in a beautiful package - easily worthy of 3.5 stars.
This review was originally published 15th November, 2013. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.