The holidays are over. Family has come and gone, the tree is down, the lights are packed away, and I am left with a few days before I have to head back to work. Before the holidays I got in contact with someone I know who lives in Lethbridge and they very kindly agreed to go to Theoretically Brewing, pick up a growler of Geminid Gingerbread Porter, then drive it to Calgary and drop it off at my door on their journey north. I have great people in my life.
I brought that growler with me to my in-laws’ Christmas Eve dinner – it didn’t last very long. That growler was passed around in the name of merriment and good cheer and its contents quickly vanished over the course of a card game. I thought I should try to get my hands on a bottle before they disappear as fast as my growler did and decided that I would go on the hunt after Christmas. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had already made arrangements to track down this beer for me, and the next morning I opened up a present containing two bottles of Geminid. The gift of beer is the best gift. So now, as I try to capture the last bit of Christmas magic (and try to put going back to work out of my mind), I am pouring some Geminid Gingerbread Porter and singing Christmas tunes. Fa la la la la.
Appearance: The beer pours almost black. There are a couple fingers worth of tan head, which dissipates quickly, leaving a nice bit of lacing on its way out.
Aroma: This is where you notice the titular ginger. The aroma of fresh ginger is at the forefront, followed up by malts and some molasses. It smells nice but it does not put you with in the mind of gingerbread.
Taste: Again, the ginger used in this brew is sitting in the driver’s seat. You pick up the ginger, as well as a sweetness that is quite pleasing. There is some coffee and chocolate notes on the tail-end of this brew.
Feel: This is a medium-bodied porter. It’s light on carbonation, which gives this beer a rather tame mouthfeel, relying on the very active ginger to give the back of your throat a noticeable zing. It has a very drinkable 5.5% ABV and low IBU.
Overall: Much like when I would watch Gilligan’s Island, ginger is what draws my attention. You smell it as soon as the bottle is popped open, you feel it at the back of your mouth, and you are convinced that you’re in shape, knowing that you’ve ingested something with many health benefits (it still counts if it’s delivered via beer, right?), but this beer is missing the ‘bread’ of its namesake. There’s more to gingerbread than ginger, which is the star of this show. I get none of the nutmeg or cloves that give gingerbread its unique taste and aroma that put you in the spirit of Christmas. I am not transported back to constructing gingerbread houses with my mom, nor am I reminded of being kicked out of the kitchen because I would sample too much of the baking she would be whipping up. It’s a good beer made with ginger. It is drinkable, flavourful, and is a very nice offering from this small brewery. I would gladly buy Geminid again and I was glad to share this beer with family at Christmastime, but gingerbread it is not.