Beer Review: Humboldt Brewing Company Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale)

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Brewery: Humboldt Brewing Company (Nectar Ales)
Beer: Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale
Style: American Brown Ale
ABV: 5.7%
Character: Brewed with toasted hemp seeds
Metal Connection: Cannabis Corpse – Gateways to Inhalation

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Yes, you read this correctly… this is a Hemp Ale. No, it does not contain actual weed that gets you high, and yes you are a dumbass for thinking so! I have never been a weed smoker, but I have been a beer drinker. Even though I have never smoked pot, I do love a good pot comedy movie like Half Baked, Friday, or even The Stoned Age. When I saw this beer at the local craft beer store, I was drawn to it for it’s unique character. They brewed this beer with toasted hemp seeds.

This brewing company has had a twisted tale which started back when Humboldt Brewing Company was founded in 1987. In 2000, the brewery was needing to make more beer, which led to Firestone Walker Brewing Company stepping in and helping them brew, then in 2005, all the rights were sold to Firestone Walker, changing the name to Nectar Ales. In 2012, Total Beverage Solution buys Nectar Ales, and in 2013, they changed the name back to Humboldt Brewing Company. As the new labels from now on will show the Humboldt Brewing Company logo along with new artwork, the bottle I had was still with Nectar Ales on it.

Using a Branchline Brewing Company can shaped pint glass (even though you can’t see the logo on the photo), this beer poured a clear, dark caramel color, reminding me a lot of cola. There was a thin tan-colored head, which retained throughout, leaving rings of sticky lacing down the glass.

The aroma is mostly all malts. There are strong smells of caramel and bread, mixed with some nuttiness, and some earthy notes like wood, or some grass (yard grass, not the other grass!).

The taste is also the same as aroma with flavors of caramel and bread mostly shining through. There are hints of earthiness, and somewhat nut flavor in the background as well. This has a very strong, solid nut brown profile and should be used as a great example of this style. The toasted hemp seeds do add a unique characteristic here as there is an overlaying layer of a toasty flavor here. The tail end of the swill is a bit brighter than the bulk of the drink, as there is the grass or wood flavor there, which lingers for a bit in the throat.

The body is a nice medium to thick body, with plenty of carbonation present. The mouthfeel is slick, like syrup, but there is a dry finish to this beer.

This was an exceptional beer, and could be used as a gateway into craft beer for most people. It wasn’t too harsh on aroma, or taste, and  body and mouthfeel weren’t too much to handle either. This beer is definitely above average and will be a regular one that I drink.

Metal Connection: So many fun options to choose from for this one, but I decided to go with a song from the band, Cannabis Corpse, for obvious reasons. This band is a side project for members of the band, Municipal Waste, and is a marijuana-themed parody band of Cannibal Corpse. The band has released three full length albums, al with song titles in parody of real songs by famed Death Metal acts like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Morbid Angel, and others. The song chosen here is called “Gateways to Inhalation,” which is a parody of the album title, “Gateways to Annihilation” by Morbid Angel.

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