Homegrown Hemp Ale | C'est What?

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Brewed by:
C'est What?
Ontario, Canada

Style: Herb and Spice Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This cream ale-style brew has the nutty flavour of toasted hemp seeds.

21 IBU

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 27
Photo of kwjd
2.87/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this beer a couple years ago as I was getting into beer and I just couldn't appreciate it at all. Well time to finally try it again. Had this on tap at C'est What. Pours a pale orange colour with a finger of head, nice lace down the glass. The smell is quite unusual, almost like grass and flowers, but not like hemp as much. Sweet flavour. Medium bodied carbonation. I'm still not a fan of this beer, but glad to try it again.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/8/10 at C'est What. Arrived to me at my barstool (sans smokecloud) in an imperial pint with a very thin head. Colour is golden with a twinge of red. Not much smell to speak of but what there is is sweet like plums. Taste is along the sweet side, almost like plums and peaches with a hint of rhubarb pie. Really no bitterness to speak of. The sweetness builds a bit then fades into tangy clean finish. Mouthfeel has good carbonation and is enough to spark up the flavor if you know what I mean, but not overly so.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears a slightly muddled medium golden colour, with a thin cap of wispy white head, and a small ring of lace bleeding onto the side of the glass. It smells faintly of sweet florals and hazelnut. The taste is sweet nutty malt, a bit of earthy pepper, and herbal, floral hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body medium weight, and velvety, and it finishes sweet, soft, grassy, and herbal.

A nice inherently left of center ale.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love it when friends leave beer in my fridge that I wouldn't have otherwise tried. Because even though this is brewed by one of Ontario's better breweries for C'est What, I can't help but think of it as little more than a novelty beer and I've passed it over countless times.

Anyway, pours a nice golden color with a tinge of green to it. The eggshell white head fades quickly leaving a film and then, in the end, there's nothing.

The aroma is sweet, like honey on lightly buttered toast, with notes of roasted nuts.

The taste is most unusual with almost a grassy butteriness to it. Has a very light fruity taste to it with a bright punchy finish that melts in your mouth before fading away slowly.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy.

A very light and refreshing beer and not a bad one, certainly something a little different, but really nothing I'd come back to unless my other options were incredibly thin on the ground.

I imagine the LCBO moves this product more because of the hemp connection than because anyone considers it a truly great beer.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On draught- Poured a medium amber/gold with an average one finger of white foam. In the nose, candied malts and fruits with a bit of earthy nuttiness. Tastes like sweet dried dark fruit and also quite earthy with a shard hop bite leading to the finish. Not too bad really.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a 6 of this on our way into town at the Beer Store on Bathurst south of College. Something to have in the hotel; poured into one of those crappy hotel glasses (of course).

Well, it shows a decent, clean body of a blonde-ish color. Solid finger of head with moderate retention and carbonation.

Scent does show off a little of the weird hemp deal. It also adds some good hop pininess. Malts are very light and lightly roasted. Good for a lager regardless of categorization here.

Shows a decent amount of robust flavor for a standard lager. Bouncy in its step; the raw-ish malts and the hop pine give it solid backbone without weighing it down.

For the decent level of flavor this keeps it crisp. Cleanliness persists on the finish.

Maybe it's not something I'll fall all over myself to pick up, but it works in a pinch. Decent stuff for style.

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Photo of Genry
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent pour from the 341 bottle into a glass mug, bit of a flat head, lots of bubbling. Head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lace. Golden in appearance, but with little tone besides that.

Smells like honey, caramel, with a bit of spice.

Taste comes thick with honey and hemp, but the sweetness is set off by bitterness from the malt. Crisp and light, and still manages to stay complicated - but in a good way.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth, and comes with some carbonation.

Drinkability? Good, but not the best. An interesting ale though, and I found the unique taste enjoyable. Will have again.

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Photo of bobsy
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light gold pour with a frothy white head which says hello before leaving a film behind. Fruity, floral smell with nuttiness present. The initial taste is of sweet fruit malts and light floral hopping, but this soon transitions, and the nuttiness becomes more apparent in a surprisingly creamy finish. The body is a little lighter than I prefer, but the creamy flavours of the finish seem to obscure this somewhat. Despite this, I find the beer a little too light to last any substantial time, so it is both eminently drinkable yet at the same time probably not the best candidate.

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Photo of iceball585
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden yellow color, semi-clear, thin white head that lowered to a thin ring around the glass

S- Caramel malts, sweet, earthy, honey, light fruity smell

T- Herbs (mostly hemp), fruity, light spices, sugary, toasted malts

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, very light herbal feeling

D- Worth buying again (the next time someone goes to Canada)

I wish this beer was more available in my area because I found it very interesting... and good. This beer has a surprisingly original flavor and auroma.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the second beer I sampled while visiting the pub. The beer is 330 cl and arrives cold with a clear copper hue and minimal bleached white head that fades quickly to nothin. Aroma is grainy and husky malt with herbal and grassy hops mixingin in. Overall the nose is fairly mild. First sip reveals an average body and fine yet fizzy carbonation.
Flavor is crisp with caramel and toffee giving way to some general tangy sweetness and finishes with earthy and grassy notes, hops or hemp? Not sure. A nice clean easy drinking beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Green, sticky, fired up nicely. No, wait! That was something else entirely in a totally different setting. Let me start over.

It arrived with a big, white head that had absolutely no retention. The color was a deep-gold/light amber and the nose was malty, but not exactly sweet. More toasty than sweet. The mouthfeel was light with a toasty, biscuity flavor on the palate. The finish had an unexpected sweetness to it. It was light and refreshing and definitely worth trying once. Say, what did they use to brew that beer, anyway?

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Photo of gbarron
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap, served in a full imperial pint glass.

A - medium amber, caramel colored. Perfectly clear with a slightly off white head of tight bubbles. Leaves good lacing and good retention.

S - sweet malt aroma with a mix of lemongrass, herbs and hard-to-place spice. Hops not really identifiable from the aroma. Some citrus.

T - very unique flavor. Best way to describe it is tangy and I assume this is from the hemp. Tart, tangy sweetness is predominant. Some grassy, herbal flavors. Malt is there but in the background, same with your common hop flavors of citrus. Weird twang here, not loving it.

M - average body, a tad chewy. Carbonation is average. Sweet finish.

D - Did not love the hemp flavors in this beer, which were extremely strong, but if that's your thing, then this is the beer for you.

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Photo of Viggo
3.07/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden/amber, tiny white head forms, goes real fast, no lace. Smell is sweet and malty, some citrus/floral notes, little bit of caramel. Taste is sweet up front, decent malt though the middle, some floral/citrus at the end, very low bitterness, but a clean finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Decent for the summer, refreshing, but pretty unremarkable.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color with a medium head. Strong, very distinct aroma that I can only describe as potpourri with orange rind and dry dog food.

Taste is sweet and very grassy, even "grassy" (if you know what I mean). Hemp flavor is quite distinct and identifiable. Unlike any other flavors I know, incomparable to any hops flavors, no other way to describe it other than it tastes like weed with a little toasty malt.

Mouthfeel is soft and clean, otherwise presents itself as a typical cream ale. An oddity that actually works, I could have a few of these.

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Photo of biegaman
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured off tap, on location at C'est What in the beautiful downtown Toronto. This is one I've put off for some time because I didn't expect much from the brewpub nor the style, however my expectations were well surpassed. Beer came in a completely transparent, shiney light copper colour; did not seem maleable and it did not lack any lustre (to make use of my grade 7 Science finally) But honestly, an actually quite attractive appearence. A lot of aroma really. Very spicy hops in the smell. Mouthfeel is great of tap, smooth and creamy. Quenching flavour, but certainly a good deal of taste. Hot damn, I like this alot. There is a peppery spicyness, wow. Impressed with flavour. Very. I don't know how well this would boad in the bottle, but off tap, along side my dinner - this was just the thing.

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

On the 6 pack box 'Although hemp grows like a weed, the nuttiness is limited to the taste so dont inhale just enjoy.' This beer is contract brewed by Durham and is described as a cream ale.

It pours a gold color with brass tones. The head is unimpressive and leaves small amounts of lace. The aroma is spicey with some wet grass cuttings and even lactic notes. The taste is also spicey with ginger and musty pumpernickel notes. Hops are light, this is a different kind of spicyness. Though Ive never tasted hemp, Im sure thats whats imparting these flavors. Malt flavors are light. The mouthfeel is rather full with an almost fibrous character and low carbonation. The finish is Herbal and gingery.

This is a decent beer with a unique flavor. Its more assertive than I was expecting. Pretty good, Though it could have more malt and hop character.

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Photo of DrJay
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Straw yellow, brilliant clarity with a bright white, rocky head that recedes quickly to a thin ring. Mild sweet malt aroma with a bit of citrus. Starts moderately sweet and malty, but the bitterness quickly builds to the point of being sharp, particularly at the finish. Citrus hops throughout with a medium dry finish. Light body, good mouthfeel, and moderate carbonation. A simple beer, light and refreshing, better than I expected.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Straw. Nice foamy head with retention. Modest nose of corn and thin malt. Flavor is relatively creamy, politely grassy. No real notions of the hemp used, course since my intake of hemp is USA-mandated-low maybe I don’t really know what to be looking for. A very modest, light beer that seems more in line with the just-crossing-over-to-good-beer-crowd than beer geeks. Also seems more inclined to an after-hemp session than anything else with its sleek, thin flavors. Not too bad but one pint was plenty.

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Photo of Beersignal
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear amber brew with a decent cap of white foam that fades within minutes of the pour. Minimal lacing but a remarkable effercescence and a galaxy of CO2 bubbles cling to the sides of the glass... wierd?.

Aromas were very subtle and clean. Light malt and hops wrestle up front and tag in a touch of nutty hemp near the middle. The finish is somewhat grassy. I would have liked more robustness from the aromas, as I was drinking this only slightly chilled.

The flavours are basic but well done and are right in line with the aromas profile. A malty, hoppy attack followed by hints of grassiness and hazelnuts. The finish is dry but the brew is of substance at first sip. Firmer body than I would have expected.

I enjoyed this beer enough to buy it again and recommend it as a good hemp ale.

Thanks again to Goldorak for this taste... I should give him some of my karma points for all the beers he's given me.

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Photo of pootz
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled pint from the LCBO. Poured a slightly hazy gold with a smallish cap. Huge soadie pop bubbles literally coat and cling to the glass sides and bottom. Nose detects vegetable aromas with some musty pine and sweet malt. Very spritzy on the palate...malts come through in the middle then finish isn’t as fast as expected....the malts drop off abruptly and the piney hops and very detectable hemp gang up on the after taste leaving a tinny-tart-resinous taste. The hemp is very evident in this brew compared to the other bottled hemp red beer commercially available. This ale is hoppy in the finish and the hemp compliments the pine hops and leaves resinous aftertaste....not bad.

Just finished a second bottle of this and I've upped my ratings to reflect the unique spiciness of the hopps and hemp in this brew....Nice change from the norm.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale red-orange, very clear with very little head.

Smells like candy orange (artificial orange) to me with some hops.

Mouthfeel is a little watery with medium carbonation. Nearly like soda water.

Taste is sweet brown sugar at first, with a hoppy and bitter finish. The aftertaste is "hot" bitter. Very pleasant and very hoppy. The taste and aroma are where this beer's strengths lie. A good, but spotty beer.

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Photo of Sammy
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok beer. We were told it would have no taste and even the waitresses discouraged us. Wasn't half so bad. Unique taste, some ginger. They must have upped the carbonation. Have to have it to tell others you did. Grassy colour and also in the floral aroma.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another interesting brew from the great brewers at C'est What? This beer poured a nice peachy amber colour with a nice bit of head. The aromas were fruity, hoppy and almost rope-like. This beer tasted great and was very thirst quenching. The mouthfeel was very well balanced and the drinkability was very good as well. The last of the 5 C'est what? beers available.
what a great brewery.

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Homegrown Hemp Ale from C'est What?
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 27 ratings