1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
79
okay

468 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 468
Reviews: 212
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 14.16%
Wants: 6
Gots: 34 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 468 | Reviews: 212 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Finn
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A deep ruby/brown with a small off white head

Aroma: EArthy, mild chocolate notes, a bit of malt, caramel

Taste: Mild chocolate/roasted flavors give way to a quick burst of something funky (the hemp?) but the flavor quickly returns to an acrid brown ale sort of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Ample carbonation with a creamy feeling on the tongue.

Drinkability: Pretty good, interesting to try it at least once, but I could think of many other beers in the same class with higher drinkability.

Finn, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of cerveza5150
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent beer. I'm probably drawn to it more by the name than anything else. Sweet taste, followed by some hops, but pretty thin. This tastes like a macro brewed version of a beer that desperately wants to be micro brewed. Overall, just decent, nothing special.

cerveza5150, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of BarleyMine
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this into a pint glass. It poured a clear darkish amber with an initial thick, rocky head receeding quickly, leaving a very thin white line and fast lacing.

Smells herby with some malt characteristics.

Tastes of malts, mild herby flavors and notes of weak, flat vanilla soda.

Light body with medium crabonation.

It's what an Amber light might taste like.

BarleyMine, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of seanbhudson
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE:
Pours a brown color with a large tan head that dissipates at an average rate. Moderate lacing. A lot darker then I expected.
AROMA:
Light aroma of toasted malt and a little caramel.
FLAVOR:
Toasted malt and a little caramel sweetness. Finishes with a bit of earthy hops. I don't taste any weird spices here.
MOUTHFEEL:
Light to medium body beer. Soft carbonation.
DRINKABILITY:
A very easy drinking smooth beer. A bit one dimensional for me. I expected a funky tasting beer and what I got was a mix between a pale ale and brown ale.
NOTES: BBCSD-0901-Tim

seanbhudson, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle.

Appearance: Poured a ruby brown and a finger of head developed and dissipated gradually, leaving a dense lacing on top.

Smell: Has a weak, indistinct smell. A scent of metallic hop bitterness was prominent at first but sweetened to reveal an evergreen-like aroma, reminding me of a winter warmer. No hemp, unfortunately.

Taste: It wasn't as bitter as the smell first suggests. Smooth caramel maltiness with a hint of spice that mellowed as my taste buds adjusted.

Drinkability: Hemp Ale was better than I expected, though I'd never know it was brewed with something distinct unless it was spelled out. The hemp failed to deliver something unique (for the first time in my life), but it does make for good drinking. It's a well-balanced beer. I think I'll burn a little Nag for the hell of it.

TheQuietMan22, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of Buebie
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle courtasy of russpowell.

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a tulip. Brownish in color turning to a ruby red when held to light. 1 finger off white bubbly head. Leaving a thin layer of retention with an assortment of bubbles.
Thin drapes of lace.

Aroma...hmm doesnt really have a smell. Some floral grassy hops and a milkd rose pedal, but other then that, there is really nothing there.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a crispness from the carbonation. A bit of brown sugar and some more florral grassy hops. Reminds me of an english ale, or esb. Very laid back flavors and quite sessionable too.
Some mild cereal grain taste with just a touch of bittering chocolate grain flavor that lingers.

Not a bad beer, but just not my style. Glad I got to try it though. Was a nice extra.

Buebie, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.1/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Humboldt Hemp Ale is a deep raspberry brown in color with a small, dissipating parchment-colored head. The aroma is of piny, resinous hops and sweet malt, perhaps caramel. It is medium-bodied and ever so smooth with soft carbonation. It is not overtly bitter. The flavor is of resinous hops that linger lightly. I'd almost call this a brown ale. A great example of a West Coast ale!
(rated May 3, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of beachbum1975
2.3/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Got this as an extra from EinWeizenbitte - thanks, man!

Pours a clear brown with amber hues when raised to the light. Nice to look at with an average tan head with decent head retention.

Smells of mild Earthiness and malts. Not sweet or sour.

Light to medium body with medium flavor, much like the nose. Slight coppery or metallic aftertaste that lingers. Smell and taste were reminiscent to DFH's Theobroma to me, especially because of a light spiciness I detected on the nose and tongue. I wasn't impressed with this beer, but a friend I shared it with was!

Good for a one time review, but nothing great.

beachbum1975, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

magictrokini, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of Irie
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The hemp branding is clever, though it gives you no true hints as to the flavor of the beer, but in hindsight I guess I can see it.

A - This beer pours a very nice red. It almost glows like a Christmas ornament. Little to no head on it, which is fine, and a little carbonation action.

S - A very "herby" aromatic smell to the beer. A very rich smooth smell, but still subtle.

T - A little complexity in the taste of this one. A nice balance that leans toward flavoring and a touch of bitter. Very smooth and a little thick which is an interesting mix that I always enjoy. However, after it goes down I feel like a bit too much of the bitter is left behind. The flavor is still there which is good, but it seems like the bitter gets stuck to your tongue. Also, this beer really find it's calling when it's out of the bottle for a bit and starts to warm up. The bitterness is strong when it's too cold, but a few minutes later it really opens up.

M - Because of the low carbonation it sits wonderfully in the mouth. Keeping it on the tongue is great as it gives time for all the spices to find their way to the taste buds.

D - I do enjoy this beer, but I don't see it as a repeat winner as the night goes on. The sharpness it leaves sort of builds up and I think after a few I would need to move on to something else just to give my taste buds a break.

To conclude: An enjoyable beer that will surprise you if you expect anything related to the name. A smooth crisp drink with a bit of an after-bite. Good in moderation.

Irie, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of OlieIPA
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer from the very awesome PatronWizard...thanks man...I hope you enjoy my Stone 11th I gave you!

A: Amber with a micro-meter of head and almost no lacing.

S: Very malty...nothing more.

T: When cold, you get a very sour taste...but as it warms up...its settles a bit. A deep, dark fruity flavor that I couldn't pick up. Pehlman suggested plum...but I didn't get that at all...but maybe I'm insane.

M: Light to medium body...good carbonation.

D: Easy on the mind and stomach.

Overall: Better then a macro...but not much more then that.

OlieIPA, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of Pehlman
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark amber coloring. Very light head retention. Very slight lacing.

S: Very malty smell. Nothing in particular stands out to me.

T: Initial sour flavor but settels into a nice malty body. Slight notes of plum.

M: Generous carbontation. Like a soda. Leaves a nice coating with a flavor of malty goodness.

D: Honestly, better than I thought it would be. I would have this beer again. But not something I would break my neck to find.

Pehlman, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hemp Ale, huh? How could I not grab a sixer as a former po...uh, yeah, anyway, grabbed a sixer.

Poured and thought immediately, ah, nice color. Deep ruby brown. Soft pour left a tiny head. Hate when I screw up the pour.

Smell of molasses, dark fruits. Something else.

Taste same, some malts. Then the something else hits me. This tastes exactly like iced tea. Wife says "very, very, very watered down stout."

Feel is actually pretty damn nice to me. Thin but nice.

Overall:decent

PatronWizard, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of Offa
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is ok, has some flavour, and is drinkable, and it's somewhat interesting but it's rather subdued and ultimately soon gets tiresome

Dark, slightly murky, red, it has a medium, dense, lasting head and a hint of lace.

The aroma is light caramel, leaves, and grain with delicate citrus-flowery hop quality.

The taste is almost porter-like in a way, dark toasted bread with leaves, a little chocolate, light hoppy-herbal bitterness, and hint of grain. It's smooth and mellow, but blurred, very soft and subdued, and half-way through becomes tiresome. i could see how someone might like it, but it's not really my type.

Offa, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: snifter. Pours a dark, rich brown slight ruby color with an off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. light lacing.

S: earthy malt aroma, some slight nutty characteristics.

T: Nutty, oily, and bitter taste with malt background. Finish is a little bit more mellow, but the flavors wears down after a while.

M: Light to medium body and rather oily and smooth, with little carbonation.

D: Not a bad beer, but a novelty item to say the least. The flavor tends to get old after a while.

paulthebeerguru, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of bulletrain76
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught at Woodstocks IV. Dark brown with a medium beige head that laces the glass. Roasty and toasty aroma with some herbal quality. The flavor is between a brown ale and a porter, with some chocolate roasted bitterness showing, but remaining pretty smooth. The hemp is subtle, as has been every example I've had, but it adds a nice dimension, and makes for an interesting and drinkable darker ale. medium to lighter body and lighter carbonation.

bulletrain76, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of currysage1
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got in a local brew trade from Maudite, never had Hemp in this way, cereal yes, beer no.

Poured with a minimal head that quickly dissipated down to just a ring. Great coloring, much darker than I had assumed, nice stained mahogany brown with burgundy.

Malty smell, some light dry cocoa, dark fruits, not very complex but pleasing.

Cocoa flavor right off the bat, then darker malts then in the nose. Bitter coffee, and slightly astringent bitterness towards the end, almost solvent like.

Feel is not to bad, good thickness, slight coating of the tongue, carbonation is creamy.

Drinkability is not so high due to the flavor profile, but certainly glad I got to try it.

currysage1, May 17, 2008
Photo of bradybeer
4.33/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin head. I detect a whiff of hops and a little spice. Taste is unique, reminds me of Dr. Pepper? Malt and hops are in balance-neither are significant, I get more spices than hops and malt. Finishes with a little roast? Not sure, mouthfeel is medium and I think the hemp gives the mouthfeel a certain amount of oiliness. Drinkabiity is high.

bradybeer, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
2.83/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Pours a dark brown/ruby color with minimal off-white head that quickly turns to a film.

Smell: Floral notes with a deeper and more dank earthy-malt aroma.

Taste: Funky, bitter, nettle-like taste with malt background. Finish isn't sharp, but is still very intense; aftertaste is similar and astringent.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied and generally smooth, with little carbonation.

Drinkability: The taste wears down quickly into quite an annoying and tiring flavor. Maybe good for one (or half a) bottle.

Interesting, but nevertheless a novelty. Offers very little as a beer. I'll pass in the future. Anyone want the rest of my six-pack tonight?

mithrascruor, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of brandoneast
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found this across the street at a liquor store from the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resorts in Lake Tahoe, CA for $3.50 something. Great buy!

Typical brown ale with garnet hints and a frothy head that dissipates quickly. Average malt nose - not picking up too much else - dark fruit? Taste was average - I didn't know what to expect from a Hemp Ale in taste or mouthfeel .... sticky icky? Thiner body and average taste - nice very sublte nuttiness not much else. Maybe something for someone new to craft beet to try - great label. Interesting ingredient (hemp) but I didn't get much of it.

brandoneast, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of Maudite
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally had to try this out of curiosity... I understand it is in the herb/spiced category for it's addition of hemp(?), but it just tastes like a fine American Brown to me.

A- Deep ruby brown, nutmeg head, about a finger and a half, sticky, good lacing, disappeared quickly.

S- Small amount of maltiness, not much more. The lack of a nose was a near put-off.

T- Fine taste, unlike the nose. Malty, rich. A definite taste of chocolate, no bitterness. Very smooth, almost delicate. Not thick, but not thin...middle of the road. Very little hop presence, a bit towards the end. Enjoyable, no frills.

M- Not big, but sticky enough to be felt in there. The sweetness coats the tongue, the mild carbonation helping in its smoothness going down.

D- I could drink a couple of these with a meal, or on a hot Oakland night.

Maudite, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
4.45/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz from total wine

A - Pours orange-golden with a nice head. Leaves nice legs.

S - Pine, earthy hops, light maltiness too.

T - Pineapple, pine, malts, and just a touch of earthy hops.

M - Very refreshing. Buttery and light carbonation.

D - Would make a great session beer.

MisterClean, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.78/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark pour that looks basically black, with head that didn't hang around for long at all. Smell was a different sort of dark ripe sweet fruit, and roasted malt-ish. Taste was more nutty and kind of like a nut brown ale, and has slightly low carbonation, making it a touch watery since its body was on the thinner side as well. This wasn't bad, but not what I was expecting, and nothing to go out of the way for, I thought

JDV, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.42/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - deep brown color with a light beige head that thinned to a layer, leaving small bits of lacing.

S - malty aroma, very faint spiced smell.

T - tastes like a watered down Winter Ale.

M - thin and light, flat carbonation feel.

D - not impressed

Final Note: I was looking forward to trying this 'novelty' beer, but the 'novelty' quickly wore off

JoeyBeerBelly, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -8.1%
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".

oberon, Nov 01, 2007
Humboldt Brown (Hemp Ale) from Humboldt Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.