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Review: Ginga Kogen Hefeweizen
Ginga Kogen Hefeweizen
Posted: 2 June 2015
Ginga Kogen must have been drunk when they came up with
their own hefeweizen formula. Because, my friends,
this is not a high quality German wheat beer. An hour
after I sipped it, I told my wife, "I feel ill," and I knew
it wasn't because I caught typhus.
Avg price/liter: USD 19.57
ABV %: 5.0
Type: German Wheat
I love to see one country's
take on another country's food and cuisine. How well can Thailand do
American food, for instance? Or Korea do Thai?
Because beer originated in
Europe and all the major styles either came from there or
have their roots there, whenever a non-European brewery
takes a stab at a distinctly European style, I am very eager
to taste the execution. Perfect mimicry need not be
achieved nor is it desired. In Laos and Thailand, I
tried Indian cuisine as interpreted by Laotians and Thais
with deliciously unique results.
Japanese brewery Ginga Kogen
started in 1996 in the village of Sawuchi, a translation of
the words galaxy and plateau. According
to Ginga Kogen, this area is rich in snowfall and therefore
has a natural fresh water supply, perfect for delicious
Ginga Kogen's preparatory
team visited a number of breweries in Germany to do their
due diligence before brewing their first bottle. They drank scores of German beer.
Drunk, possibly also stoned, they probably concluded, "These
German style wheat beers taste great. Why don't we
make this style our signature brew?"
They must have been drunk
when they came up with their own hefeweizen formula, too.
And also when they translated their web site into English.
I don't know the Japanese words for 'Perpetual Drunk' but
maybe that would have been a better name for the brewery.
Because, my friends, this is
not a high quality German wheat beer. I drink a
hefeweizen here in Thailand from a little known German
brewery, Memminger. It probably wouldn't win any top
honor awards in southern Bavaria, but it is not an
embarrassment to the style.
I would think the only thing Ginga Kogen got right in their hefeweizen is the German
tradition of mixing at least 50% wheat to barley malt. They must have done that much, right, or it wouldn't be a German wheat beer at all.
Aside from that, I couldn't taste the overtones of banana and clove typical of hefeweizen. Hell, I couldn't even taste the snow fall rich
water in the brew either.
An hour after I sipped it, I told my wife, "I feel ill," and I knew it wasn't because I caught typhus. I had made the error of finishing
this bottle of Ginga Kogen Hefeweizen.