Summit Brewing Company
Unchained #22: Zingiber Cream Ale
In its unchained series, the Summit Brewing company unleashes one of its eight professional brewers, turning them louse to brew whatever they want. With Summit Brewing Company Unchained #22: Zingiber Cream Ale (5.3% alcohol by volume) brewer Christian Dixon spices up a cream ale by adding fresh organic Hawaiian Ginger to the brew kettle. He also adds some German Pils malt, German Cologne malt, crystal malt and torrified wheat to the standard 2 row base malt. Hops are Sterling and Mount Hood while he uses a Munich lager yeast and an American Ale yeast for the ferment. Both hops are American descendent's from noble German hop varieties. Zingibeer pours gold with a slight haze with streams of rapidly rising bubbles under a 2" off-white to cream foam cap. Credit the added wheat for the foam cap's excellent retention and lace. The cap takes 5 minutes to reduce to a thick, sticky 1/4" film. The hops and ginger are evenly matched on the nose combining to produce a floral, spicy, citrus, ginger aroma with a hint of forest. The palate has a spicy start supported by light grain and a fairly clean fermentation character with traces of light fruit. Spicy hop flavors and a moderate to moderately light hop bitterness balance the light grainy sweetness. The ginger joins in too adding a light dab of spicy heat which fits nicely with a slight prickle from the above average carbonation. This is a full flavored, refreshing medium light bodied beer that is very well balanced. The added wheat gives it a creaminess while the above average carbonation keeps it crisp. Cream ales are light flavored beers with just a bit more flavor than a standard American lager. Dixon has used a deft touch with the Hawaiian ginger, adding enough to create interest without overpowering the cream ale character of the beer. I rate Zingiber Cream Ale 85.
Go to Spiced, Herb or Vegetable Beers for a brief discussion of the style, food pairings, recommended glassware and links to reviews of similar beers.
Go to Cream Ale Reviews for a brief discussion of the style, food pairings, recommended glassware and links to reviews of similar beers.