Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale) - Humboldt Brewing Co.

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Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale)Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale)

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559 Ratings
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Ratings: 559
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 10
Gots: 60 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: boatshoes on 04-04-2010

Formerly called "Hemp Ale".
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 559 | Reviews: 225
Reviews by Scott_at_Beer_Frog:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think this the hemp infused beer I have had,poured into a standard pint glass a mix of deep brown and amber a thinner wispy white head atop.Very light aromas I pick up a little spice and brown sugar but really not much going on,flavors are malt tilted no doubt and quite mild a hint of chocolate and roasted nuts with a lingering earthy finish with a cola quality as well.Not much complexity to the beer and very faint hops glad I tried it but to me its just a standard brown ale with a touch of "herb".

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber from the Berkeley bowl. Wasn’t sure about this brew but when in Rome…

Pours a pretty dark crimson color with ruby hues. Rapid bubbles, really wicked carbonation but almost no head. What there is of it is white.

Nose is grassy and dull. Taste is malty and nutty, walnuts I think, and reminiscent of an American Brown Ale. Mouthfeel is light because of the carbonation but surprisingly round as the beer warms and flattens.

There are no marijuana flavors to speak of and really not much of any flavor. Pretty dull beer that I will pass on in the future.

Photo of liveandletdie
2.48/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I hadn't realised this was a brown ale from passing it by on the shelf at albertsons. However it was on sale and a closer look revealed it was infact a brown ale and not the pale ale one might think of with a green cardboard cutout. So since I usually like browns I decided to try it out. Looked pretty thin, not a lot of head on the beer. Slight hempness smell though not like the weed smell you get from some green bottles- more of a foresty smell. Flavor was not good and not bad- just rather lacking. Made me wonder why they called it a brown ale. This one does go down pretty easily but that's about it, not much flavor to speak of and hardly a brown ale.

Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of srandycarter. Many Thanks! Pours a clear, copper body with a small beige head that leaves some minimal lacing. Aroma is subtle, notes of chocolate and herbal hops. Mouthfeel is light medium with moderate carbonation. Taste is cola and chocolate with some nuttiness and restrained earthy and leafy hops. Didn't really notice any hemp character. A fine drinking brown ale here, but nothing hempy about it.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness info. Purchased as part of a sixer at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours a familiarl brown ale brown, light khaki head, loose and frothy, leaves ample spotty lacing. Earthy, nutty nose. Pleasant brown, malty, nutty, more earthiness picked up. Musty light chocolate note also detected. I'm not exactly sure what Hemp smells like or tastes like so I cant comment on how much of a hemp character this beer exhibits. Balanced, drinkable, sessionable and quite pleasant brown.I'd like to try this one as the base for a marinade for chicken/pork tenderloin, cuz of the moderate sweetness and earthy notes. Nice new offering from Nectar Ales.

Photo of tigg924
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: light brown in color, 1/2 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: nuts, earth, leaves, and toasted malt

Taste: nuts, earth, leaves, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, slightly bitter, dry

Drinkability: An average brown ale at best. The hemp helps make the beer super dry. While present towards the end this really does not distinguish itself. I will pass in the future.

Photo of magictrokini
2.92/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap @ Clocktower in Mammoth. Pours murky brown with an off-white head. Dank malty aroma with the noticeable vegetable-hemp aroma. Same goes for the taste. BIg caramel malt flavors mixed with peppery hops. The straw/vegetable/hemp flavor is throughout, but doesn't really add anything in a positive way.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, fridge temp, snifter, bottled 10/19/11.

pours out a dark ruby reddish brown with a thin light tan/ off white head. thin lace and thin retention. good clarity.

toasted, light biscuit malts, fruity esters, maybe a hint of an herbal, earthy hop but thats streching it.

similar to the aroma, toasted grains, biscuity, the slightest hint of roast, fruity esters, slight earthiness. somewhat sweet mid palate then the slightest bitterness in the finish.

bland average mouthfeel, light bodied.

pretty average brown ale. wheres the hemp?

Photo of boatshoes
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this in a really generous random box from papollo, thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a deep ruby brow with a finger and half of slightly off white head sitting on top. Dies back in short order to a minimal sheet across the top of the beer. Very small amount of lacing as well.

Smell- Very mild smelling and I have a hard time detecting a lot in this one. I picked up a little roasted coffee and malt with a small whiff of hops as well. Not a whole lot going on but doesn't smell unpleasant.

Taste- Again, very mild beer. Some roasted malt, again a little bit of coffee, some mildly bitter hops coming through again. Pleasant enough all around but nothing to really wow me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is nice actually and fairly substantial for the style. Carbonation is good as well. This one went down easy but gets docked a little on drinkability for being a bit boring.

Overall, a decent brown ale. Nothing particularly distinguishing but not bad.

Photo of far333
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished copper color with a thick and tightly bubbled head of beige lumpy foam.

Aroma of biscuity malt, a little toasty, mild corn notes, some cinnamon and floral notes.

Rich flavor of toasted malt, some toffee and cinnamon, hints of brown sugar, rye-like spiciness, good bitterness offsetting the malt, faint citrus flavors, finishes a bit piney, some grapefruit rind lingers. Would not know there was hemp in the recipe if not for the label.

Full and rich mouthfeel, nice and creamy. Tasty and drinkable, thanks to barleywinefiend for sharing.

Photo of centbeerfest
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another sample provided for the restaurant. Poured into a pint glass. Not much head. Color is a deep brown with a reddish ting. Little to no bubbles and looks like a warm coca cola without ice.

Taste was just okay. Sat for a while on the tounge without ever developing much Pretty flat finish.

Take home scale, I'd leave this one on the shelf.

Photo of chinchill
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 26 July 2012 served in a snifter. "Brewed and bottled by Nectar Ales" on the label.

Pours clear, deep mahogany in color, with a large and durable tan head and excellent lacing (1st sample had a fragile and small head).

Aroma; a mix of with caramel and toffee malts, with a hint of alcohol infused dark fruits and an off aroma that may indicate I left this in my refrigerator for too long.

Flavor: hmm, a buttery (diacetyl?) component that is not entirely bad. Medium and dark roasted malt base. I believe I can taste the hemp seeds too; at least there’s an unusual nutty-herbal note. Slightly sweet until the balanced finish. Mild malty-toffee aftertaste.

Feel: Very smooth, with excellent, soft medium carbonation.

O: 2012 bottle probably past prime; revisited with fresh bottle in Nov. 2014 -- rating upgraded

Photo of glid02
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Yardhouse in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an amber-brown color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel and pale malts with a hint of nondescript fruits and herbal hops.

Tastes alright. Sweet caramel/pale malt flavors up front are joined by herbal hop flavors midway through the sip. There's a light bitter ending with some medium fruit flavors lingering in the aftertaste. Nothing bad here but nothing really good either.

Mouthfeel is alright. It has a slightly thin thickness with above average carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and wouldn't be averse to having another.

Overall this is a middle of the road beer that certainly has nothing disagreeable about it, but I'm not sure I would order this again.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep reddish-brown body that is crystal clear with a strong soda-pop carbonation of fast, big bubbles. The head is a light yellowish-white mousse that turns to a thin even layer floating on top but clinging to the sides.

S- A soft note of brown malt comes through with a note of sweetness.

T- This beer has a smooth brown malt body with some chocolate notes and a dry pale malt hint. The finish has a soft noble hop bitterness but there is no hops aroma of flavor other than the bitterness. There is a slight tangy flavor in the malt that is almost cidery but it is a bit more dry . This might be from the hemp or it might be a slight off flavor.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight fullness in the texture that is not quite a creamy texture but has some presents.

D- The malt characteristic has some good depth and flavor but the hop component were singular in flavor. It was interesting as a novelty but with a bit more enhancing it has potential to be a good beer.

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium to big light brown head settles into a decent lacing above a clear reddish amber colored beer.

Light roasted malts, nuts of some kind, and not much else in the aroma.

This brown isn't bad, it has a slight nutty taste that comes through with the light roasted malts and the taste of the hemp. I don't recall ever drinking a hemp beer before, so not really sure what I can compare the taste to.

An almost dryish aftertaste with some of the nutty and hemp taste sticking around with this medium bodied drink.

This ale brewed with hemp isn't to bad, sort of tastes like a slightly washed out Newcastle or something along those lines. I don't know what the purpose of adding hemp but what the heck give it a try.

Photo of Brenden
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This medium brown-colored beer's body lies in the median between clear and opaque. A soft, bubbly tan head reaches half a finger, shows reasonable retention while it slowly fades off, and deposits spotty lacing.
The nose is sturdy, neither too weak nor too strong, but in a good range for a brown. It doesn't have unnecessary roast, char or the like. It's got a steady, firm foundation of malts, as it should. The smell most prominently displays nut and earth.
The flavor offers the same, with an additional slight sweetness and finishes with a pleasant sesame/nut combination.
There's a bit too much spritz, but otherwise the medium body holds together well.

Photo of watermelonman
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a somewhat dark brown with a few other shades in it; it had a puffy head that disappeared quickly. There's no real lacing to speak of.

It's pretty light tasting for the color, with an almost half-dry mouthfeel. The hop content seems somewhat minimal, but what's there is balanced by spice. The overall taste is pretty decent.

It's an interesting beer and it's pretty drinkable.

Photo of IntriqKen
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Looks very dark amber in the glass with a small half finger of dark tan head that disappears quickly but leaves a sticky lacing.
Aroma is sort o a pale toasted malt but little else.
Taste is toasted malt with a hop sharpness and bite on the end.
Mouthfeel seems weak and thin to me.
Aftertaste is disappointingly lacking. Dry hop bite simply disappears to nothing.
Just a minor step above a macro, IMHO.

Photo of dacrza1
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Date tasted: May 24, 2013... Glassware: Victory Hop Devil nonick... Occasion: recognizing baseball coaching season is almost over... Appearance: dark brown body with a monstrous brown two-finger head that foams significantly--welcoming!... Aroma: lightly toasted, brightly hopped--a bit of mild sweetness too... Palate: smooth--too smooth?--with mild effervescence late, and little more... Taste: quite mild and unassuming--mellow to the point of nondescription; I recall having a Hempen Ale and wondering the similar thought--hemp doesn't seem to alter much... Overall: a pleasant, easy-drinking brew that has little in its complexity (it is a brown, after all), and yet its promise to be anomalous doesn't quite pan out....but for its price point, about right.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed with hemp....

A dark brown, 1" pretty standard formed head, dissipates pretty quick.

A sweet, dark malt scent, gentle chocolate, zippy herbs, slightly spicey...mild rootbeer scent too.

A very herbal and spicey edged hop flavor first, roastie malt after, the malt is very crispy and light feeling with decent complexity for a brown. Really nice balance, dark malt, sour-ish yeast in the finish.

The Hemp must add a certain complexity to the herbal and maybe even spice-like effect.Enjoyable brown.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours dark brown with a deep, reddish hue. Head is a light tan color, about 3 fingers thick with decent retention. Resulting lace is thick and sticky.

Smell - Lightly roasted malts, a touch of spice and a subtle underlying hop aroma.

Taste - Mostly light cocoa, and with faint hints of roasted malt and somewhat nutty... otherwise, this is a fairly bland beer. Decent hop character does well to give it some balance. A little spice toward the finish and into the aftertaste, felt mostly on the lips, otherwise there's nothing of real interest here.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Smooth. Underwhelming carbonation.

Overall - It's drinkable, but I don't think I'd buy it again unless my options were severely limited.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color is a reddish root beer brown, with a wispy dirty white head that doesn't last too long. Decent clarity. Just kinda okay and unexciting looking.

Aroma has an assertive nuttiness to it, and something a little brighter that reminds of a mixture of cola and mint. Interesting.

Up front, it tastes quite nice: hazelnut, cola, earthy toffee, semi-sweet spices, leafy herbal tea. Or nutty meets really, really watery maple syrup? But there's not much depth, and it doesn't last very long. In fact, the flavors die quite quickly, yet I wouldn't exactly call this "dry." Just not much staying power to those nice flavors. You sip, you enjoy, and you immediately forget.

Too much carbonation for my liking, even considering the style. Something a little smoother and less shocking on the tongue would have been nice. But there's a nice slickness that helps fight the tingle with some glide.

So, okay, I did pick this up because the "ale brewed with hemp" seemed like a cool novelty, something to check out at least once. And I like it, but all I'll do is once, because other than the earthy herbal qualities on the tongue, which are pretty enjoyable despite their lack of staying power, the plant doesn't really differentiate this very much from other everyday browns. Mixed feelings, for sure.

3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter: from notes
A: Pours a nice color body and head for style. Head formation and retention is low. Body shows medium level of carbonation.
S: Bold aromas of a brown, with a subtle pine note. Medium intensity aroma and a smooth finishing aroma.
T/M: The brew is medium bodied and medium flavor intensity. Slightly roasted malts make up this flavor profile, with a nice use of hops to give it a good west coast influence, while still holding true to the style. The mouthfeel is a nice silk, but lacks in prolonged lingering taste.
D: Overall a nice brown, but I really find a pine hop flavor, not too much hemp, but I expect this just adds to overall texture.

Photo of GrumpyGas
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Humboldt Brown carries an airy dissipating head over a rich brown body. The smell is fresh and outdoorsy. It has a sweet dark malt flavor that leans more toffee, which I prefer, than coffee. The clean and crisp aftertaste is a nice surprise given the milky, but not clinging, mouth feel.
This is an easy drinking beer with little alcohol burn.

Photo of Fatehunter
2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a finger and half of head on a dark amber colored body.
The aroma is earthy with some grain. A nice smell I had encountered in a beer before.
The taste has a metallic tone with vegetables and malt. It's interesting.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
The metallic and vegetable taste did not work for me.

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Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale) from Humboldt Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.