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Wells Banana Bread Beer - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Wells Banana Bread BeerWells Banana Bread Beer

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841 Reviews
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Reviews: 841
Hads: 2,806
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 95
Gots: 565 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 08-15-2002

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 841 | Hads: 2,806
Photo of dbrauneis
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear dark golden yellow in color. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that reduces to a small patch of extremely thin film. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bready malts along with sweet banana - actually the smell reminds me quite a bit of actual banana bread.

T: Taste just like banana bread - there is a bready malt body with some light hints of nuts and sweet banana. The taste is pretty well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and the finish is dry.

O: Very enjoyable, quite interesting that the beer has the flavor and smell of banana bread so accurate. I liked this beer but it is not a sessionable one for me - I could see myself really enjoying this in the fall. (810 characters)

Photo of mothman
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beige head. No retention really. Color is a hazed amber.

Aroma/Taste (pretty much the same here): Banana flavored runts. Very artificial with bready malts. It is pretty much what the name says, but it tastes like fake bananas.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and cloying. Lighter bodied with an okay amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, not really something I'd want to buy or drink. There are other beers out there that provide a better banana flavor. (455 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
2.67/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle shared with me by a friend this evening... just to say we 'tried' it basically. I like banana bread but I, in no way, went into this expecting deliciousness that is the baked treat in a bottle.

A: Copper / orange colored body with a laughable extremely light bubbly "head" if you'd like to even call it that. It was more of those clear bubbles that you get after a bottle has gone flat, but this bottle was pretty fresh...

S: Hmm, surprisingly not as bad as I imaged it would be. Obvious notes of ripened banana and banana extract 'juice' would be the best way to describe this. Some hints of orange peel and loads of sucrose hit the nose with drastic force. It's nothing terrible but definitely has an artificial flavoring spin on it.

T: Well shit, that's just gross. Overly sugary, artificial banana flavored liquid. No hops, a fairly weak malt base though it is there to tie this banana flavor to something. Maybe some brown sugar elements are here, but overall this is just a flavor mess & miss.

M: Well carbonated, medium-bodied but kind of syrupy in a way. Not completely bad here but just so-so.

This beer is definitely something to try for the novelty of it. I didn't find it to be a complete drain pour, although I did only have about 6 ounces or so of it, I could stomach it. It's pretty sickening after a while and something I cannot fathom why anyone would drink this more than once. Nice try, Wells. (1,433 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It smells like a English pale brewed with hefe yeast. The banana/clove aspect is in full swing. The taste is decent. It has a dry pale and bisquit malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes with the hefe banana esters. I guess there is real bananas in here as well. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinker, but a bit of a concept beer. I like the results, but not enough to buy another. (560 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a golden copper color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the banana syrup with a little bit of malt mixed in. The flavor is more of the same. I get some banana and toffee malt, as well as a little bit of brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. It definitely tastes like bananas, but after a while the beer gets a little hard to drink. (369 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

08/03/08- Purchased at a random liquor store in Akron, OH.

Presentation- 500ml bottle...did not look for a freshness code. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a smaller 1/4 inch head and quickly disappearing at that. Not really any lace remnents.

Smell- Mild malty nose with a lighter banana nose.

Taste- Pretty much banana, light caramel malt and some grainy action going on...that's about it.

Mouthfeel- Medium to higher carbonation level with a sugary banana aftertaste.

Drinkability- Novelty beer that really wasn't half bad. Banana isn't too overpowering and not too sweet. Enjoyable, but not an every day beer. (655 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a moderate amber/dark copper color with a quarter of an inch of dense, foamy, white head that has great retention. The nose is faint; mild clove spice and even fainter banana. The flavor is mild, sweet up front with a little caramel, followed by some mild banana and spice. The mouthfeel is a little thin but the carbonation is just right.

Overall, this is a good beer. The banana is rich and impacts the flavors in a positive way. The body and flavor could be better, but considering there aren't many beers with this flavor profile out there I really enjoyed it. (571 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I am away from The CANQuest (TM) for a short time, bottle be back to it in quick order, I assure you.

From the bottle: "Long ago, ale was known as 'Liquid Bread'. We've used our long history of creating the finest malt blends & added fairtrade bananas to awaken the senses with a seriously fruity, rich, yet surprisingly versatile banana bread beer."; "An inspired brew made with our natural mineral water & fairtrade bananas. tempting Banoffee [?] aromas & flavours are balanced by the silky richness of a masterful malt blend & the peppery spice of the freshest, ripest hops."

Recipe for Banana Bread: Take two large milk jugs and one fur-lined mixing bowl. Manipulate all until mixing bowl is well-greased. Insert banana. Remove banana. Repeat until banana is soft and mixing bowl is filled with fresh cream. CAVEAT: If bread begins to rise, leave town IMMEDIATELY, leaving no forwarding address.

What a buncha monkey business ... Banana Bread Beer, indeed! I remember the first time I made banana bread - it was in Home Ec (Foods 1), just before the Thanksgiving break. It was astounding! We had it with our dinner, slathered with butter and I can taste it even today. Thank you, Mrs. Minnich, for a project that projects itself into my latest passion.

The beer peeled out of the bottle at a speed unrivaled by any CANned beer. It really took me by surprise, so I got yellow and ran away until it had a chance to settle. The head was a puffy, pillow-y two-plus fingers of thick, yellow-white head that held in until a big exhalation of CO2, when it fell all at once. By Gar, I can smell bananas everywhere! Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Now, if you thought BUPGOO! was wrong in being marketed to the kiddies, this is so far afield that I cannot believe that it exists. I am going to see if my current beau (she from "Cabaret" - 'If You Could See Her') approves. She does! Oh, my darling monkey. Wait, I see a monkey with a bomb! It's Inspector Clouseau yelling about "A minkey with a bimb!" or somesuch. These Brits ... it's so hard to tell what they're on about at times. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, so maybe he was saying something about it being thin. Why can't the British speak English? It's so confounding! Now, it's "Planet of the Apes" - Get your hands off of my banana beer, you damn dirty ape! It's irresistible to the simian set, apparently. Have you ever seen Woody Allen in "Bananas"? He sports a Che/Fidel beard that lends itself to my nickname. Taste was as advertised - bananas with a hint of caramel. Finish was very banana and if I liked bananas, that would be a good thing. The hops monkey on my back nodded in agreement. (2,686 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Figuring I make banana bread frequently, this beer caught my eye when I saw it on the shelf.

Appearance: clear orange in color with short white 1" head that disappears pretty quickly. No lacing develops.

Smell: yup, smells like banana bread with some caramel candy sweetness. Nice aroma for a beer.

Taste: banana flavors are a bit mellow here, as the malt takes on a bready tone. Can be descibed as a bit sweet and bread-like. Almost no bitterness detected here. Very different beer here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Smooth from start to finish. Brief banana and bready malt aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer actually went well with a fresh loaf of banana bread I made. But as a stand alone beer, it is interesting and different, but not one you would drink regularly. Nice novelty beer in my opinion. (811 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at Blue Dog.

Wells Banana Bread Beer is a light looking lagerish beer with a hazed yellow color to it and a short lived burst of white bubbles on top, no stick. Smell is what is advertised, banana and a whole lot of it. Some cereal scent after all the hoopla, small amount of grain. Taste is less artificial than expected, i was expecting this to be a sweet sugar bomb, while it's more of a lightly sweet banana infused pale ale without the hops, if that makes sense. Feel is very light with a low amount of bubbled activity, kinda dead on the mouth. I drank it and that's that, not something I would go for again. A bottle of this would be ideal to split with a group of 5 people or so, with a banana infused dessert, or just simply dump the bottle into your next banana inspired dish. (794 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Devoured at a Wetherspoons Beer Festival in The Shrewsbury Arms.

This is banana heaven for banana lovers, looks normal, but just one sniff and you know it ain't a standard UK bitter.

Really sweet in its cask form, and a lower ABV at 4.5% compared to that listed on this page (5.2%).

A Banoffee Pie sort of beer! (315 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at J.P. MacGrady's in Bethlehem, PA.

It's not bad, it's just bland. The problem is it's called banana bread beer and you expect some banana and bread flavors. I didn't get any of that, it was just sweet and smooth without anything standing out. Came off like an average amber ale. (290 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly interesting beer that is done quite subtly. No screaming banana flavors here, but instead some light fresh banana integrated with a malty/bready body. Not bad. Pours a light amber with an okay initial head that fades just a tad quickly. The smell is of banana and bubblegum. The banana smells natural- not artificial. The taste is a little more subtle but the bananas are still there along with a yeasty breadiness and a slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is dry and smooth. All in all, quite nice if not my every day cup of tea. (539 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've passed buy this a thousand times on the shelf in the past, today curiosity got the best of me.
Pours a clear deep amber color with a modest head that displays decent retention and fair lacing. Smells like banana's all right. Slightly sweet malty aroma deep behind and hints of spices like nutmeg and all spice. There's a beer under there somewhere, but for me only a swirling of the glass brings it through the banana onslaught. Taste is a hint more beery. Sweet candy sugar and light grainy malt mixed with banana's. Smooth sweet almost creamy mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation with a medium body. I kind of enjoyed this, although It's not something I would have all the time. Extra credit for thinking outside the box. (732 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden orange color with a one finger off-white foam head that quickly settles into a thin ring. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is dominated by ripe banana with a decent malt backbone and slight hops. Bready yeast along with the ripe banana notes make this smell exactly like banana bread.

Surpisingly hop forward with a some nice floral characetr. The flavor is again dominated by a sugary sweet banana flavor. Slightly bready medium body which is pretty crisp and clean with some biscuit nutty malt. Kind of a silly gimmick but actually succeeds in tasting like banana bread. (591 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a transparent amber with a small, white head that slowly fades into a mild collar. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of obvious banana, heavy caramel, biscuit, and a touch of vanilla.
Taste is of the aromas. Heavy caramel leads the way with a touch of banana that seems to be hidden in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, heavy of crystal malt, slightly astringent due to sweet grain.
Hmmm...an interesting concept that I can give them credit for trying. I'd rather just stick to having a slice of banana bread with a nice, robust porter, or milk stout. (595 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber colored beer that is bordering on gold in color. Decent white head but nothing special.

Well this certainly is loaded with fruity esters! Sweet with a circus peanut candy aroma and a little bit of bread. Spice is there but not real distinct but nuts are fairly strong. The usual fruity British ale aromas are also present.

The taste begins sweet and nutty with a pretty strong banana and nuts flavor. Kind of tastes like banana bread but a little too much esters in this, they should have used a more neutral yeast strain. Finishes a little dry and woody.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Well this is a try one time kind of beer. Too many esters here, should have based this off a Bock or wheat beer. (701 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.24/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I've actually had this multiple times before, but either my review's been lost or I've not actually reviewed it before. This was a 500ml clear bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.

Pours a clear burnished golden colour, almost tending towards amber. Head forms a bubbly froth on pouring, but settles out to a modest ring with some slick film across the top. Minimal lacing, and the body looks quite weak. Not a great look all up: it would be better on a hand-pump.

Nose is much more like those banana lollies you get than true banana or even the eponymous banana bread. Sickly sweet, quite cloying and most artificial. Swirling it doesn't help much, although some of the malt comes through a little, giving some more golden syrup and treacle which strangely enough helps make it a little less sweet and cloying.

Taste is mercifully less cloying and sickly, but it maintains that artificial banana character right from the start to the back of the palate. Apart from that, there's a rather loose grainy malt character that oddly feels rather empty: as though there's no real substance to the sweetness of the banana. Fine but prickly carbonation also countermands some of the cloy, but adds a fizzy acidity to the mix which doesn't work well at all.

Overall, this is pretty poor stuff. The banana is a gimmick and no more, and it doesn't work with the other characters of the beer at all. It certainly doesn't live up to its moniker, a concept I can believe would actually make a rather tasty brew. (1,513 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm still kicking myself for ordering a glass of this at Max's the other day. Told myself I needed to be less stodgy, don't always have to order IPA's and Belgiums. Sigh...

The beer pours a light amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, well, the beer smells like banana bread. A rather sweet and malty banana bread if truth be known. However, as soon as I tasted this beer I knew I'd been had. The banana aroma is a complete gimmick, and the beer itself is very light, thin, watery and simple. Finish is practically non-existent. I could tell the abv. was pretty low, but even so I would not describe this beer as very drinkable.

This beer isn't poison, but it's nothing special either. Very unimpressive. (729 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love Banana Bread but I did not love this beer as much as I do the real thing of course but it was a good effort. It was ok though. Poured with a nice cream head that fades slowly leaving a trace of lace. Had a clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Strong banana nose. Starts as a malty/hop mix but then the banana flavor kicks in, a strange soapy banana aftertaste. (385 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This definitely tilts more towards beer than banana in appearance. There's no yellow encasement here - just a clear, resplendent, lightly bubbled, golden ale on full display. (But one that still nonetheless looks on theme if you ask me.) Although it can't claim to possess any head, it is moderately endowed in peel after peel of white lacing.

This smells unexpectedly redolent of a Belgian tripel. The common thread being the banana. Some yeasts lend flamboyantly fruity notes, commonly the essence of bananas. While I assume the inclusion of actual bananas is responsible here for that component, this ale's yeast does impart a lot of other fruity esters, all of which work in perfect tandem.

Another thing about this beer to surprise me was that it doesn't taste like the antibiotic medicine I took as a child. Nor like those banana pop-sickles. It isn't artificial in the least and the enduring "beer-y" elements relegate the fruit element to second fiddle. All in all, this strikes me as just another easily quaffed, thoughtfully balanced English ale.

If anything I suppose it tastes like dried banana chips; the beer's malts supply a dry and sugar-dense base. What they don't provide is much body - by far and away the most prominent feature on the palate are the sharp water minerals that stick out like sore thumbs. While a dab of hops is perceptible too, the minerals are spectacularly discernible.

When you get down to brass tacks, this beer is essentially the same old English pale ale seen time again on the shelves here in North America: a rather plain and heavy beer that's thin in the malt department but chalk-full of minerals. This one, however, is laced with that delightful banana aura and is in turn that much more pleasurable.

Glancing over other reviews it seems that Wells Banana Bread is a fairly divisive beer. I'm not entirely sure why. I found it to be an entirely conventional, commonplace English ale, albeit with some banana flavour. It should be straightforward enough: Do you like beer? Do you like banana? Chances are you already know whether this interests you. (2,105 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Coming in a 500ml clear bottle (why has the brewery changed the bottle from brown to clear anyway???), filtered and pasteurised. BB 31/07/09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark amber hue with good clarity and constant flows of moderate carbonation; the beige frothy head settles to a thin cap to last.
S: banana oil (the sharp edge of the scent), overripe bananas and buttery bread, "almost" like a banana-cake that the cask-conditioned version was reminiscent of. Also a touch of melted caramel lingers in the background, along with a little plastic edge which maybe rings a bell of banana-flavouring.
T: slightly spicy (a bit like dried green olives) and weird-herbally bitter on top of a much more restrained taste of banana-flavouring, grainy malts, and medium-bodied biscuity malts; a long but again, weird, sour undertones of fruitiness almost like mango-skins or apricots lingers. In the aftertaste, the bitterness stays at a low level but sufficient to provide some hints of hops.
M&D: slightly fizzy on the texture, medium- to thin-bodied for a 5.2%abv. ale, and the filtered+pasteurised version is way less enjoyable as the cask-conditioned version. I guess, without a slightly richer and fresher body as the cask version demonstrated, the more artificial and thin side of this beer has simply woken up to rock the boat. (1,351 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
2.02/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly leaving a trace of lace. Chrystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Strong banana nose. Starts as a malty/hop mix but then the banana flavor kicks in, a strange soapy banana aftertaste. $4.09 for a 19.25oz bottle from John's Market Place Tigard, Or. The bottle ABV is 5.2%. (344 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.69/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ksak for sharing this bottle from Al's of Hampden.

A: The beer is an autumnal yellow/brown combination that hasn't list its translucence. Not much head on pour or thereafter.

S: The label doesn't lie. This is as close to banana nut bread as I've ever come in a liquid. The banana is intense, freshly pureed, but very nice. A big score on the nose, even if it is sweetened up artificially.

T: The ale is fairly one dimensional, with the banana acting as star of the show. The sweetness doesn't linger for long though. Before it passes on, a grainy graham element mixes with the fruit to create a banana cream pie flavor. After the fruit passes, things fall apart quickly.

M: The upfront dose of banana works for as long as it lasts. The creaminess pairs well with banana.

D: An interesting ale. Banana as a sole ingredient (and not a yeast by-product)? Paint me surprised. (886 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.45/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

And old bottle that was handing around in my fridge forever. Date was 19/04/10, so this was close to a year old.

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Light brown/amber colour with a very small amount of white head.

S - Sweet banana, walnuts, brown sugar, caramel.

T - Banana is the predominant flavour but is definitely not overwhelming. A lot of sweetness overall with strong notes of brown sugar, bready malts, molasses and toasted nuts.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation.

D - A few sips were interesting but 3/4 of the bottle was a drain pour. (554 characters)

Wells Banana Bread Beer from Wells & Young's Ltd
80 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.