Brew Review: Bison Brewing Gingerbread Ale

by Kelli H. on November 13, 2013

Beer: Bison Brewing Gingerbread Ale
Date: 11-10-13
Type: Organic Porter
Availability: Seasonal September – December  
Location: Berkeley, CA
Price: $8.99/4-pack at Whole Foods
Alcohol: 6%
IBU: 20

Appearance: Ruby brown to deep brown, creamy tan head with good head retention.

Aroma: Malty, tad sweet, spicy ginger.

Body & Texture: Incredibly smooth and soft. Light feeling for a porter but medium bodied.

Aftertaste: Malty with warm winter spices. Not hoppy at all.

Overall Impression: 
This beer is so easy to drink. It’s definitely much easier to drink than I had imagined, and went down the hatch a tad too fast (in a good way). Gingerbread Ale is one of my new seasonal favorites. I had tried it once last year with the old label, and this years seems more up to date and really gets your attention. They also upped the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg by 50% this year, and I think that’s a great idea. It wasn’t too spicy, and honestly I couldn’t really pick out one spice in particular as more over bearing than the other, which I always consider a good thing — it means it’s well balanced. While some people think of dark colored beers as a strong or heavy beer, this porter does not feel heavy in the mouth at all, hence it going down so easily! I really liked the mouth feel of this beer, as well as the initial tastes, and the aftertastes. All around I think it’s a great seasonal, and it will definitely be making an appearance in my house again. This is one of those seasonal beers you don’t want to miss! As a side note, I drank this after the brew review with some spicy jalapeno poppers, I know sounds like a terrible pairing, but it actually wasn’t. The beer totally helped cut through the spiciness.

After connecting with Organic Dan, Bison’s Chief Hoperations Manager on twitter, he sent me two Gingerbread Ale’s to develop a recipe using this beer. Before creating any recipe, it’s only right to conduct a brew review to know how I should use it. I had ideas in mind before tasting it, but I’ve now changed my direction. Look for my recipe using Gingerbread Ale very soon! Thanks for the opportunity, Bison Brewing!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara November 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Looks delicious. I have tried a few of your beer choices and love them all! This one looks delicious, I never had gingerbread beer before. Can’t wait for the recipe!


Made in Sonoma November 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I’m glad you’ve given some of them a try! I really enjoy this one, so I hope you do too!


Becky @ Olives n Wine November 13, 2013 at 5:12 pm

You do amazing brew reviews lady! I’m trying to talk the man into a Napa/Sonoma trip in the spring – you’re going to be first on my list to drag along with the fun! 🙂


Made in Sonoma November 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Thanks, Becky! That would be really fun! That’s a great time to visit Sonoma County. My husband and I would love to take you guys to some wineries in this area. I really don’t know Napa Valley that well. haha.


janerunssf November 14, 2013 at 12:23 am

Where did you find that? Sounds delicious.


Made in Sonoma November 14, 2013 at 1:47 am

I usually see Bison beers at Whole Foods or other specialty beer/wine shops.


From Valeries Kitchen November 14, 2013 at 1:07 am

Okay, you are a smart lady. Reviewing beers. Nice gig 🙂 I love really flavorful, dark beers so I’d love to try this one.

Reply November 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Gingerbread Ale – I can see why this would go down quickly 🙂 While I’ve never tried dark beer before, I think this would be a nice place to start!!

Reply November 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm

PS – Your comment did go into my spam folder. I removed it 🙂 Not sure why that happened!


Made in Sonoma November 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm

This would definitely be a good place to start!

It keeps happening on lots of wordpress sites. Unfortunately the only fix I can find is to ask the author to approve me and then hopefully it will learn I’m not spam, but that seems to not totally be fixing it for everyone’s sites.


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