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Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale) - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale)Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

452 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 452
Reviews: 211
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.16%
Wants: 6
Gots: 31 | 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:
Formerly called "Hemp Ale".

(Beer added by: boatshoes on 04-04-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 452 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -3.2%

Reddish brown body, topped by three fingers of light tan foam.

Very mild aroma of bread and chocolate.

Malty start but not sweet, hops working from the start. Chocolatey. Mid earthy hop bite.

Smooth light/medium mouthfeel.

Overall, pleasant, tasty, unexceptional.

03-30-2011 21:12:20 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of centbeerfest


2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

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.

03-30-2011 01:47:00 | More by centbeerfest
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +15%

A - Poured out a clear, reddish brown color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of hemp, malt and grasses.

T - It tasted toasty with sweet caramel and malt. Nice bitter bite and a touch of hemp-like flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice brown ale. Easy drinking and tasty.

03-23-2011 02:15:45 | More by zeff80


3.63/5  rDev +4.9%

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.

03-09-2011 18:19:18 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of jwinship83


2.9/5  rDev -16.2%

12oz bottle picked up ( as a single for $1.99) shortly after it arrived in chicago. drank out of my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent dark brown colored body with some red highlights to it. on top sits a very small light tan colored head that is really no more than a crown. little to no lacing is left behind.

S- the nose is pretty weak. the first thing i pick out is some faint sweet caramel malts and a little bit of toasted bread. after that i get a small amount of citrus and herbal hops.

T- the taste follows the nose closely. it starts out with some sweetness from caramel malts and a little bit of toasted bread. after that it moves to the faint hops i could smell. a little bit of fruit (citrus) and some herbal notes.

M- the body is on the thin side, and the carbonation is a little above average.

D- meh, this was mediocre at best. nothing in here really separates this from the other examples of this style. i wont be seeking this out again, and im glad i opted for the single and not a full sixer.

03-06-2011 04:02:09 | More by jwinship83
Photo of BeerLover99


2.95/5  rDev -14.7%

A: dark tan body, slightly bubbly, trace head floating.

S: very mild aroma of nuts, hemp, malt.

T: subtle/weak malt, nuts, and dash of hemp.

M: light/med body, big carbonation, too watery

D: I have been intrigued with the notion of this beer since I heard about it many months ago. I love beer, brown ales, and eat hemp/also own a few hemp shirts. This beer was an utter disappointment. If they boosted the body of the beer and flavor profile up on this beer, it could be delicious, but just too watery an unimaginative right now.

don't bother.

02-13-2011 17:44:37 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of arizcards


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Picked up a sixer from Total Wine in late October for $7.99.

Beer poured a clear reddish brown with a nice tan head that is leaving a bit of lacing behind.

Nose is light perfumed floral hops initially, and slightly nutty.

Taste is a slightly nutty with a decent malt base. Finishes with a light hop.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and mildly carbonated.

Drinkability is pretty good. This is not a bad beer, worthy of a try.

02-05-2011 01:20:46 | More by arizcards
Photo of yeahnatenelson


2.73/5  rDev -21.1%

420th Review - how apropos.

Appearance -- Pours a transparent chestnut hue with a slim sudsy cream head. Lacing is surprisingly good.

Smell -- Not much to report on: slight roast malt, earthy hops, rope bundle? Aromas is bordering on vacuous it is so weak.

Taste -- Not much flavor to this beer, honestly. Malt roastiness, earthy and floral hops, modicum of plum-like sweetness. Bitterness is forceful for the style. There is definitely a, uh, hemp character to this beer, but more akin to sucking on a rope than coughing up a lung at a Cypress Hill concert. Lingering flavor of gas station coffee and plum skin.

Mouthfeel -- Body is about equal to water with ample carb. Meh.

Drinkability -- Finally tried it, but could honestly take it or leave it, really. Nothing too special with the base, plus the hemp addition was a weakness rather than an asset.

01-30-2011 22:42:37 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of wcintula

New York

3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Not a bad beer here, it has some things going on. Poured into a tumbler pint a clear reddish brown with head that reaches the top or the glass and dissipates fairly quickly, leaving some lacing. Dark malts and hops present in the nose, the taste has a bit of a hemp-y flavor, not too strong, and a tinge of metal with a nice roasty aftertaste. I'd say the beer has moderate body and is a good example of a brown ale.

01-20-2011 23:49:54 | More by wcintula
Photo of notsoprobeer


3.65/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured a dark reddish brown with an off-white head that dissipated quickly. No lacing. Aroma is mainly roasted malts. Flavor is again roasted malts, with some nuttiness, but without a lot of hops. I don't know what hemp taste likes, but I expect the nutty flavor is coming from it. Medium bodied, smooth, and and very drinkable.

I like this beer. I don't know what the hemp really adds to it. But if nothing else, it makes for some nice conversation.

01-02-2011 04:47:38 | More by notsoprobeer
Photo of grittybrews


3.95/5  rDev +14.2%

Poured a reddish-tinged cola brown into a pint glass with a finger of off-white head. Malty, toasty aroma with herbal, grassy notes.

Moderate carbonation and a light, creamy mouthfeel that borders on thin. Flavors of toast, toffee, hazelnut, and hints of vanilla with a slightly spicy, herbal hop finish.

Very light and drinkable with some nice twists on the usual brown ale formula. Doesn't come across as excessively "hempy" but its presence is definitely notable and makes for a nice brew.

12-31-2010 06:02:28 | More by grittybrews
Photo of Tucquan


3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Had this on 2010-04-22 at Rivermont Pizza in Lynchburg, Va (from tasting notes)

A - Clear, dark brown with zero head

S - Light coffee, roasted grain, mild fruit and spice

T - Coffee, nutty, toasted grain, oil, spice, slightly sour and bitter. There's a metallic aftertaste that got tiring.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation.

D - It's a light feeling beer but the taste wouldn't bring me back for another.

12-28-2010 14:54:33 | More by Tucquan
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev +2%

Two fingers of nicely frothy deep tan foam, mostly larger bubbles yet has decent retention, more sheets of lacing than streaks, you can see it slowly slide uniformly downwards. Light gauziness deepens the otherwise clear reddish brown colored liquid, takes on a zinc orange cast at the rims and glass bottom, pleasing to look at. The nose has a casual softness to it, mocha, cocoa, molasses and cinnamon, ginger spice, spiced orange peel, then a moss, herbal element which one assumes is hemp derived, abbreviated burst of apricot and peach scents, there's a mineral water to tonic water component which lends additional stiffness to its posture. Medium-bodied, chocolate, caramel and butterscotch first into the pool, albeit not in a very sweet manner, more cinnamon and nutmeg, more like a cake than pie, perhaps due to the quiet peach, apple, apricot fruit. Raw Brazil nuts. The lemon, orange citrus dryish and more pulp than peel. Same minerally, earthy "organic" character to it, brings freshness but not flavor. The carbonation is not that big but arguably higher than needed given the lightness of the flavors. Smooth texture and easy to quaff, but where's the beef?

12-19-2010 02:54:32 | More by farrago
Photo of Estocker


3.9/5  rDev +12.7%

Pours a dark reddish brown color.

i cant smell any hemp, but i do get a decent amount of crystal malt. Gives a nice brown sugar and roasted aroma.

tastes slightly herby. lots of earthy, roasty flavors. this is definitely a solid brown ale. i am impressed.

drinkability is good especially because of the low abv.

12-17-2010 05:49:10 | More by Estocker
Photo of bradleyp


3.35/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured into a 6oz glass from the Sasquatch brewfest. I did split this beer with the GF.

A: Medium dark brown body.

S: Smells like spiced malt and light hemp.

T: Similar to smoking pot, but not quite.

M: It went down smooth, but I didn't really enjoy the flavor so much.

D: I probably wouldn't drink this again, just like I wouldn't drink the Hemp Ale again. It just isn't the same as the real thing.

12-07-2010 05:31:20 | More by bradleyp
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.45/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a crystal clear brown color with a small tight khaki colored head. The aroma is of brown sugar and a touch of an herbal spice. Has a bit of a multi-grain bread aroma. The taste starts off with a brown sugar sweetness, which is quickly cut off by a ropey herbal note and lemony twang. Has a bunch of tea like flavors. The feel is light to moderate with pleny of fizzy carbonation; sweet to start but finishes slightly tart. Too much of a lemony tea characteristic to this brew for a brown ale. The malt profile is so-so and the brew is a touch over carbonated. It does drink quite easy.

11-27-2010 06:00:37 | More by Gmann
Photo of CountJustinian

New York

3.43/5  rDev -0.9%

Rich ruby red color with a one-inch white frothy head that dissipates fairly quickly. Tastes like root beer, almost Dr. Pepper. Creamy and fizzy mouthfeel, more like a sweet soft drink than an ale. Overall, pleasant and distinct, not bad for a gimmick beer, worth trying once, no reason to try again.

11-22-2010 03:30:43 | More by CountJustinian
Photo of Thorpe429


3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a light tan head and a light touch of lacing. The nose is a bit of light brown malt with some brown sugar, caramel, and a touch of citrus hops. The taste is mostly malt that is slightly bready with a bit of sweetness. Pretty good feel. Not a bad brew, but nothing special.

11-14-2010 00:01:01 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BARFLYB


3.53/5  rDev +2%

12oz bottle into a regular kitchen type glass. Been meaning to get some of dat Nectar.

A- A brown type color coming from a brown ale, who wudda thunk it. A nice brown with some brighter spots towards the edges. A nice fluff of caramel colored cap up top, lines of lace.

S- Smells very malty with a mix of toast and roast in that order, more toasty though. Caramel and some underlining hop nose as well, not earthy, not citrusy, but just there.

T- Getting a big rush of toasted malt with some caramel and other sweet malt attributes. Hops are there, but I cant describe them right now. Maybe a bit of sweet chocolate, but not really.

M- Smooth, semi sweet, not bitter, easy going, less than medium build, light carb, relaxed, subdued. Easy to get around.

D- Im not a big brown ale fan and I'm thinking that this is just another brown in my book, which it is, but I still like it, so I hope this company makes it to Philly soon. What are you guys/gals waiting for?

11-02-2010 05:42:17 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.63/5  rDev +4.9%

A: Poured a dark reddish color with brown hues and a nice tannish head

S: Nuts, perhaps coffee, roasted malt

T: Roasted malts, Earthy, some nuts, sweet, some hints at cocoa, hint at floral hops on the end

M: Medium, light booze, good carbonation

D: The look threw me off on this but the drink is good

10-30-2010 13:16:13 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of industrialswill


2.85/5  rDev -17.6%

Dark brown with a fairly thick head.
The smell isn't real prominent, but when I press the issue it reminds me a little of wet dog.
The flavor isn't bad, just somewhat weak for my taste. If I was told that this was Budweiser Ale, I wouldn't have any reason to doubt it.
I would never buy this again. I'm glad I was able to pick up a single bottle of it for $1.30.

10-23-2010 23:29:11 | More by industrialswill
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

10-05-2010 20:57:33 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of DoubleJ


3.4/5  rDev -1.7%

With the recent news outbreak of some beverage distributors and brewers opposing the now infamous Proposition 19 in California, perhaps it's appropriate I drink a beer infused with Mary Jane. Unfortunately, no such thing exists, so I'll settle for a hemp brown ale. On to the beer:

This is really dark in my chalice. Almost black, but closer to dark leather brown with ruby red hues. Fine head retention which does drop to a thin, long lasting sheet on top, and gives a little lacing. There's enough butterschotch and fudge in the nose to warrant a fair score, and the hemp makes me think it's a hoppy brown.

The hemp part is there, the beer part is there to a smaller extent. One thing is for sure, it's already a better tasting hemp beer than the original Hemp Ale I tasted 30 months ago. Light notes of butterscotch, taffy, and hard brittle candy sweeten the pot (no pun intended), and the hemp imparts a strong chimmarão flavor. The body is medium-light, smooth, and approachable. I wouldn't drink more than a couple at a time though, because of the added herb.

This is what I would hope for from a beer like this. A solid base beer flavor, and a smack of hemp. Worth trying if you're into trying new things.

09-22-2010 05:15:48 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev +4%

Picked this up last summer when I was out in California and never got a chance to review it...and here in New Jersey after both the name change and the availability of this in my neck of the woods. Sure enough, this is lighter than other Brown Ales that I have but I didn't think this was a bad beer at all!

Decent pour to this - a right dark brown with hints of burgundy in the hue and just a bit of head that quickly fizzled out. There wasn't any lacing to be found and unlike other Brown Ales, the mouthfeel to this wasn't "sticky" at all. This was relatively thin for its style with a lot of malt and roasted caramel in the taste, and some "stink" from the hemp. Will this cure the munchies or give you bloodshot eyes afterward? Not quite, but this will satisfy those late-night beer cravings and go down relatively easily, with just a faint hemp aftertaste.

It wouldn't be hard to have more than one in a sitting, but I still wouldn't categorize this as a session beer. I remembered in California backcountry last year and trying this for the first time, the vibe of the region seemed to be perfectly reflected in this beer. It won't win any awards but it has nothing to hide and is pretty easygoing. Like the other Nectar Ales that I've tried, this shows what a nicely crafted brew is capable of and is worth a go once because there isn't anything out there quite like this.

09-21-2010 23:25:18 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of TMoney2591


3.28/5  rDev -5.2%

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

And the Leaving Falls Church uber-bender continues to proclaim its greatness. This conspirator pours a clear ruby brown topped by a finger of short-lived ecru foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, very light sugar-free maple syrup, graham crackers, and a touch of flowers. The taste is similar, though the brown sugar doesn't stick and water pervades everything else. The proceedings are too fluid to allow the 'buds to really savor anything. The body is a very light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, an okay brown at best, too light and watery to really maintain anything.

08-27-2010 04:59:13 | More by TMoney2591
Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale) from Humboldt Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 452 ratings.