Humboldt Brown (Ale Brewed With Hemp) | Humboldt Brewing Co.

227 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Humboldt Brown (Ale Brewed With Hemp)Humboldt Brown (Ale Brewed With Hemp)

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly called "Hemp Ale".

Added by boatshoes on 04-04-2010

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 227 | Ratings: 606
Photo of John_Squires
1.93/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

For the most part I'm generally disappointed with American Brown Ales. No exception here, either I really hate the taste of hemp or this is just a bad beer. Bitter with a poor mix of hops and malt.

 198 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
2.08/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Grabbed this one for the tick.
I'll openly state that I'm not the biggest fan of brown ales, though I have had (and even enjoyed) many.
12 oz bottle into pint.

Pours a deeep red. Like so red it looks brown, but it isn't brown. It is definitely red. Light brown sugar colored head rose up less than a finger, didn't stick around long, and barely left any lacing.
Smells chocolatey and coffee-y with a little dank earthiness to follow. The taste follows suit. I'm unsure if there is a real hop contribution here because the finish has this really powdery, teeth coating feel that covers up most flavor by distracting me. It feels dirty, not gritty, just dirty. The earthiness comes through on the finish too, with only a slight bitterness that reminds mr of dry, bitter, dark cocoa.

The body is a hair light of medium, has low carbonation, and the sickly chalky feel I previously mentioned.

Overall-- I won't be getting this beer again. It simply isn't a pleasurable experience.

 984 characters

Photo of benito
2.33/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The jokes to be made about this beer are too easy: did you know they sell it for only $4.20 a six pack? Ah, America's most famous pot-producing county puts out a Hemp Ale. Is this brewery run by teenagers?

As for the beer itself, it is a deep amber with aromas of alcohol and and caramel. This seems to be a brown ale flavored with hemp, though the base style isn't indicated anywhere on the bottle. The hemp tries to impart a drying finish to the beer as well as a nice oaky flavor. Overall, it's feel is smooth and creamy, though it doesn't really go anywhere from start to finish. Malts reign king at both the beginning and end, almost
overpowering the hemp presence. By the end of a full pint, the feel is a little tiresome and comes across as heavily viscous.

I'm a big fan of spiced beers and have always defended chile, spruce, and other herb beers in the face of aspersions ("they're made for tourists;" "they're a gimmick"). Humboldt's Hemp Ale hasn't convinced me that those criticisms should be ignored for hemp beers.

 1,036 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
2.34/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

 612 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.43/5  rDev -30%
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

 388 characters

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.

 660 characters

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.

 408 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
2.7/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A-Pours brown and slightly clear. Nearly zero head. Looks a bit watery despite its color.

S-Very soft and I also don't really like what I can decipher. Some wet cardboard, toast and another slightly off-putting aroma.

T-About the same. There seems to be two different flavors that I am having trouble describing; both are not tasty. Behind that lies some of the usual Brown flavors.

M-Semi-light. Not very crisp.

O/D-Not a fan of this one at all.

 450 characters

Photo of ccrida
2.72/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance is dark caramel brown with a small off-white collar that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is sweetish caramel malts and a hint of citrus.

Taste is very muted, some bitterness, maybe a touch of nutty malt character, but really bland, with some light phenolics. Served cold, this really struggled to open up, just a hint of caramel coming through as it warmed. Reminds me of a bad dubbel or something.

Mouthfeel is pretty dry, crisp, but with creamy carbonation. Medium bodied.

Drinkability isn't too hot. It's certainly not offensive, there's just nothing particularly redeeming about it, with a mostly acrid character that certainly doesn't beget seconds. Not even worth the novelty.

 698 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.74/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 858 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish-brown hue into a pint glass, with a finger of off-white, poor retention, and spotty lacing. The nose only revealed biscuit, yeast, and malt; nothing else. The taste revealed no additional flavors, with a semi-dry finish. A little underwhelming. Medium-bodied and more carbonated than the appearance would suggest; sessionable but lacking in flavor profile.

 373 characters

Photo of ebin6
2.78/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Decent in all areas, spectacular in none. I'm happy to drink this on tap or on bottle as an alternative to BMC beers, but would much rather drink a Red Nectar or Nectar IPA in almost any circumstance, not to mention beers offered by other breweries.

 249 characters

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.

 345 characters

Photo of JDV
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
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

 420 characters

Photo of blackc5
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap - pint glass at about 45F I would guess.

A - Dark brown in color, slightly reddish. Not much head or lacing actually.

S - Mild aromas here - mainly malt, caramel and brown sugar. Slight hint of hops.

T - A mild flavored brew, and I have to admit I am not sure what the hemp connection is as it tasted quite standard and mild. I assume hemp is included in the recipe, but it seems like a labelling gimmick as it doesn't really reflect in the taste in any fashion. This seemed like a pretty basic brown ale. Mild roasted malts, just a touch of caramel sweetness, and a smidgen of floral hops.

M - Somewhat thin, but nicely carbonated. Fairly dry. Again, pretty standard for a brown ale.

D - A pint went down easy enough, although I can't really see the point of drinking more than one unless you are just looking for a simple brew. Meh... next!

 863 characters

Photo of jhammerly
2.82/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to IntriqKen for the trade.

This beer was sort of a surprise to me. I have only tried one other hemp ale, and that was years ago. From what I remember, it was similar to an IPA. I was expecting something along those lines.

This beer poured a very dark mahogany with a tannish head that dissipated rather quicly. Not sure what I'm smelling...roasted hemp seeds? Definitely a roasted aroma. Taste of roasted malt reminds me of a black beer...but watered down. Mouthfeel is thin which could make this fairly drinkable, but the actual taste leaves nothing for me. Nice to try, but I probably won't be seeking this one out in the future.

 645 characters

Photo of industrialswill
2.82/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 362 characters

Photo of currysage1
2.83/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

 671 characters

Photo of silentjay
2.83/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

rather light for a brown ale with a smallish off-white head that recedes to a thin film while leaving a bit of lacing behind.

crackery, grainy, buttery, caramelly malts with some nuts, herbs and nothing exciting.

butterscotch, cereal grains, caramel, and some raw nuts. a bit of herbs, which I assume a bit may be the hemp's addition to the beer, and some flowers.

oily, syrupy, with subdued carbonation.

I don't quite know where the hemp came into play in this one, it just seems like a sub-par nut brown ale to me.

 521 characters

Photo of homebrew311
2.85/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a light chestnut brown with ruby highlights, appears thin, minimal head, zero retention

S: nose has muted brown malts, a touch of roasty character along with pumpernickel bread.

T: taste starts off with the brown malts and is overtaken by a somewhat chalky bitter flavor. The hop profile seems out of synch, or perhaps it is the hemp in the beer, but something tastes a bit off.

MF: light body, medium carbonation, a bit prickly

O: This brew is pretty uninspiring and has some weird things going on. Too many other good browns out there...

 554 characters

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.

 324 characters

Photo of DCon
2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar in St. Louis, MO for $6. Tapped from the Marijuana Leaf Tap Handle (which is an attractive one for some...) into a 12oz Pint Glass.

Appearance- Received with a 2 finger head that dies quickly. Amber color body, clear, and leaves no lacing...

Flavor- High malts and this makes up almost the entire taste. Very weak and has a mild bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Watery, and doesn't leave much on the palate except a bit of caramel here.

Overall Impression- How can you pass up a Tap Handle that has a Marijuana Leaf on the front of it!?!? Had to have. I did feel that it not only didn't have enough body behind it, it also was weak and could have used more ingredients. Sweet, malty, and had good tastes but lacked some. I'm not dissing this brew by any means, but just simply wouldn't go back to it..

 899 characters

Photo of jwinship83
2.89/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

 1,052 characters

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.

 418 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
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?

 688 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Humboldt Brown (Ale Brewed With Hemp) from Humboldt Brewing Co.
3.47 out of 5 based on 606 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.