New Belgium’s Dank Beer

“When I was a kid, I inhaled. That was the point.” – Barack Obama

IMG_1173

★★★

HPA
7% ABV
55 IBU
12 ounce bottle

The terms hemp and marijuana both refer to the cannabis plant genus. Hemp, however, is non-psychoactive and the seeds of industrial hemp plants contain virtually no cannabinoids. 

Recently, the Senate has voted to legalize industrial hemp. However, the complex mess of federal regulation and disparate state law creates difficulties for its usage in textiles, livestock feed, construction, and beer. New Belgium’s innovative creation, the “Hemp Pale Ale,” is an exciting foray into unexplored beer territory. Brewed by blending hemp with hops, the HPA is an interesting twist on the IPA.

Unsurprisingly, earthy and skunky flavors tend to dominate. Pine notes cut through well, but the drinker is left with a slightly unpleasant, syrupy finish. It’s hard to describe the taste and smell, but imagine someone spilling a barrel of molasses in a marijuana dispensary.

Ultimately, this beer is not bad. But it feels more like a novelty than something worth drinking again. Like the researchers currently studying on industrial hemp, New Belgium should be praised for their bold experimentation.

★☆☆☆☆
Disappointing beer. Sad.

★★☆☆☆
Average beer. Nothing special here.

★★★☆☆
Good beer. Would buy again.

★★★★☆
Excellent beer. Would buy many more times.

★★★★★
Amazing beer.

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