The Hemperor HPA
New Belgium Brewing Company

The Hemperor HPAThe Hemperor HPA
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IPA - American
3.75 | pDev: 15.2%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
The Hemperor HPAThe Hemperor HPA
Notes: Get ready: an exciting new offering that’ll change the way you think about hoppy beers is coming your way. The brewers at New Belgium have created a new style of IPA: The Hemperor HPA. With the popularity of hoppy beers, our brewers are always on the lookout for different hop varieties and the complexities and flavors new strains can bring. That’s where hemp comes into the picture. Without getting too nerdy, we found a unique way to recreate hemp terpene flavors in a beer, which complement the inclusion of hop flavors and hemp hearts (seeds) in a brand new, delicious way—not to mention this beer is extremely dank! The flavors and aromas are so unique that it’s a style unto itself, hence HPA.
Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 448 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a super cloudy amber/gold with little to no head. Smells of pine, earth, some floral notes & of course... dank like some green. Taste certainly follows the nose, the hop bite & malts are pretty much perfectly balanced. Medium-bodied with a crisp finish to it. This beer is interesting to say at the least, straight up smells like you opened up your weed jar when you crack one of these open. It is nonetheless refreshing, I will be buying more of these in the future.

Sep 27, 2020
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Ernald_Elbertson from Delaware

4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wanted to try this one for a while, and it actually didn't disappoint (I was pretty skeptical about it).

Look: Probably the weakest aspect, as it doesn't look particularly appetizing. Kind of a muddy light brown, translucent, with off-white head. Lacing is present, but many, it just doesn't look like an IPA should. On the other hand, I'm sure this is sort of a sacrifice to make the smell and taste of the beer the way it is, so no hard feelings towards it.

Smell: There isn't anything to say other than "it smells like weed." It smells like someone just opened up their grinder! I was actually very surprised at how forward the smell is, and had expected it to be somewhat vague. But if you know and love the smell of weed, this will trigger that happy chemical in your brain.

Taste: Fortunately, it doesn't actually taste like cannabis too much. This was something else I was skeptical of; weed doesn't taste good, so why make a beer that tastes like it? Well simply put, it doesn't. It's mostly malt and hops (though a bit too malt forward for an IPA in my opinion), with a slight aftertaste of bud. Kinda like eating a really well made edible where the cannabis taste is just barely present at the end.

Feel: Kinda thick and syrupy, which isn't really desirable for the style, but again, I'd guess this has to do with the process of making the beer smell so much like weed.

Overall: A really unique beer that I think helps to demonstrate all the different things beer can be. I'm not sure if I'd buy it very often for myself, but it's a beer I'd love to drink with a group of friends and show them how cool it is.

Jun 25, 2020
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Appears orangish, with a nice foamy white head that lasted.
It's 4/19/2020 so a little hemp warm-up for tomorrow.
Smells initially dank, grassy, floral
Taste a little dank, hemp not at all overpowering, hoppy bitterness that I like.
Mouth feel is medium for an IPA.
Overall pretty tasty and I would definitely order again.

Apr 19, 2020
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gestyr from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
Pours a nice clear orange-gold with a tight white head.
Smells of hops and hemp. Very much hemp.
Tastes of hops and has a subtle malty sweetness.
Light bodied and refreshing. A good warm weather beer
Overall, i liked it. I will buy again.

Mar 23, 2020
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ZagZagg from New Jersey

3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into globe

A: Moderate pour yields a frothy single finger head with mild retention and some visible collaring. The beer has a honey-like hue that has opacity, leading me to believe this is not filtered. Carbonation is not apparent.

S: Somewhat dry and resinous, heavy terpene and herbal notes, subtle citrus, floral, bit of a cannabis aroma, light touches of a simple sugar sweetness. There’s also the presence of an iced tea fragrance. The dominating elements of the nose vanish shortly after the initial pour.

T: Hop forward, but without the piquant zest found in your traditional APA/IPA offerings. Mellow touches of dry wood, earth light coriander and lemony elements fade in and out about the middle mouth. Anonymous malt backbone is bready, although without much to balance. Finish is dry, and shy of refreshing. Not too much depth, somewhat one dimensional.

M: Crisp, light carbonation plays on the tongue, medium bodied with a certain dryness. After taste is dry and hangs around.

O: Eh, I appreciate the innovative style and exploratory brewing, but I think this brew lacks the complexity I’m looking for in the genre. It’s a decent beer, but nothing to write home about. It has an okay drinkability, which is a plus. I think if they could capture more of the terpene essence that presented in the initial nose and infuse it into the taste profile it would be much more interesting.

Mar 06, 2020
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4.77/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer tastes and smells amazing. I look forward to other brewers exploring this method of flavoring beer. It definitely has a dank smell that I liked, but may be a bit much for some.

Jan 09, 2020
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arizcards from North Carolina

3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead 10-15-19 for $1.99. Best by 10NOV19; consumed 12-19-19...whoops. Cold stored since purchase.

Beer poured golden orange with a beautiful white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose initially came across as skunky upon removing the bottle cap. After breathing a minute, hop profile is very minimal, a touch of grapefruit but not much else.

Taste is really well balanced where the malt base and the grapefruit and hemp combine very well but flavor wise is lacking compared to others in this class. Finishes with a light touch of grapefruit bitterness; 5/10 on my scale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly refreshing yet smooth.

Overall i will need to re-review in the future as this bottle seems a bit old.

Dec 19, 2019
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CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Clear copper with a modest head. Visible tiny slow rising bubbles. Head quickly dissipates to a foam cap that lasts
Smell: It smells like a bag of weed! If you are looking for a dank beer, they NAILED it with this one!
Taste: Biter from front to back of the palate.
Flavor: Flavor follows the aroma. It tastes like you are drinking marijuana infused beer. This is exactly the target they were aiming at and they hit it dead center!
Feel: Medium mouthfeel, soft carbonation finish is dry and dank.
Overall: They claim to have invented their own new category HPA - Hemp Pale Ale. I have had and enjoyed a lot of beers that claimed to be “dank” euphemistically saying that there was a marijuana-like smell/flavor, but When you open a bottle of this beer it smells just like you open your bag of weed. I’m not saying that makes it better than other beers (though I am giving it a 5 for aroma because they hit their target perfectly) but if you are looking for a “dank” beer you won’t find one better.

Dec 03, 2019
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Miguy from Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow this is something new to me and extremely enjoyable. Very well balanced and drinkable. I feel like the execution of this beer is exactly what I would conceptualize and never be able to pull off. Clean, innovative and Crystal clear about the intention. This kind of beer does not happen by accident. These people are clearly talented individuals! New favorite!

Nov 28, 2019
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jmbranum from Oklahoma

4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Homeland in Oklahoma City. 12 oz. glass poured into a glass.

Crystal clear, subtle aroma. Flavor is... to be honest I've had more interesting, more dank beers, even some that only had cannabis-like terpenes without any hemp. This beer isn't bad but it is kinda underwhelming.

But... I appreciate the effort and hope more brewers experiment with hemp.

Nov 28, 2019
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SmokySignals from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 6/16/19-Oct20/19, poured into New Belgium art goblet
Orangey caramel honey body, nice thick foam head
Skunked out for sure smelling like the old days! Quality brew smells underneath...caramel malt, hop...WHOA
Taste is there also, beer and skunk weed, together as one! Also reminds me a of the Euro beers from the 80's n 90's...but richer flavor/better brew. Damn good! Not too many at 7%!
The feel and overall of the beer itself is fine, and clean...Easy to keep chugging it.
I might share one with a friend here or there as a novelty, it's very good if you like that vibe/smell/taste! I do.

Aug 01, 2019
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Samlover55 from New York

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into IPA glass
BB 8/1/19
Pours light brown with a big head that slowly recedes
Sweet caramel aroma and of course the cannabis....
Taste is sweet caramel again, followed by a peachy taste, with the 'dank' finish
Overall as an IPA this was too malty

Jun 28, 2019
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HellsRanger from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

High everyone,
Well coming from the hemp(eror) capital of the world, this brew is interesting to say the least.
It pours a pale amber with nice white foam and mild lacing that disapates fairly quick, but looks nice.
As for the aroma...well this is where it gets smells like bong water, and the hemp definitely comes thru at this point, as soon as you open it, and then the skunk arrives too...hence the bong water comment. still has some essence of hops and maybe some old floral. Awesome!!!
Now for the taste...thank goodness it doesn't taste like bong water, not that I would know what bong water tastes like...(nudge, nudge, don't ya know). it was a bet. It has the flavor of the hemp for sure (liguid smoke, if you know what I mean), and with the hops in the background with maybe a hint of citrus...I still find it very enjoyable, just because of the whole concept. Nice job!!!
The feel highlights the dankyness (liquid smoke, bong water) with a dry snap to it, but again it is the whole concept that makes this brew work on all levels. Great mix of all combined...Genius!!

Jun 13, 2019
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defunksta from North Dakota

4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy bronze-copper color with a mild to medium head.
Aroma: Wow! Just opening the beer and HUGE aromas of weed fill the air. Nothing like this. After pouring into the glass the skunky, marijuana smell lingers and lingers. Closer, huge amounts of grass, onion, dank and floral marijuana. It's grassy, earthy, and dank. Subtle tropical and black tea hop aroma.
Taste: Tons of flavor of the oniony and fresh-cut grass marijuana with lots of pine behind it. The HBC 522 hops really showcase themselves. Completely unique Just a hint of lemon and tropical citrus underneath. Pale malts are hidden. Finishes moderately bitter. Not fruity. Underneath it has a bitter pine and citrus west-coast IPA quality.
Feel: Lighter bodied. Dry and bitter on the palate, but moderated. Crispy and smooth. Not resiny nor thick.

Overall: Incredible how the HBC 522 hops and hemp really provide such a genuine and unique marijuana flavor. It suffers from being onion-like. An onion IPA! ....but hits the marijuana nonetheless. This incredibly unique beer does exactly what it is described and prescribed to do. Very high ratings here because of just that. For what this beer is supposed to do, it nails the bullseye. 4.38 folks.

Jun 04, 2019
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This interesting concoction is made with both Hemp and Hops. It does not contain the active ingredients of Marijuana so it is only illegal in Kansas.

Look: Amber/apple juice with a half inch white head

Aroma: some dankness and some pine hops

Taste: The flavor is pretty typical of an IPA but a bit on the mild side. Grapefruit maybe, and sweet, pine resin, and a slightly different-off hoppy and sweet flavor that might be the Hemp. It's dank, very dank, no pun intended.

Body/Overall: light body

May 14, 2019
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Ltommy from Wisconsin

1.06/5  rDev -71.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I just never recovered from the skunky smell. That smell must not be consistent because many don't mention it. Got a pint at a small restaurant and could smell it from across the room. Skunky beer isn't my thing, I guess.

May 07, 2019
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tucson_brewson from Arizona

3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Never had a hemp beer and figured why not!


L - Pours a slightly hazy copper amber color with little to no head, faint lacing, lots of streaming bubbles.

S - Dank pine, citrus, a little bit of malty, honey sweetness but mostly skunky. Not sure how other reviewers didn't quite get that strong whiff upon opening the bottle/first sniff but it stands out to me.

T - Follows the nose with herby, piney hops, citrus rind, bready malt, slightly alcoholic bite toward the finish. Definitely an HPA/APA rather than IPA.

F - Light bodied, good carbonation, slightly oily and sticky, finishes pretty balanced.

O - A good special-occasion specialty beer but nothing outstanding. Has the dank, skunky aroma and a nice balance of hoppy bitterness and malty sweetness but would almost prefer more hemp and hops to cut the citrus and malt.

Apr 21, 2019
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izraelc from New York

3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I wasn't too optimistic about this one and my assumptions were correct. Pours clear yellow. Smells great. Very green and earthy. Doesn't taste all that great. Mild hops. Soapy with a bitter finish. Good gimic but i should have known better.

Apr 21, 2019
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Firehazel from South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

"Tee hee, hemp." Nah, this isn't your regular IPA. The hemp really does mellow it out, allowing for a broader stroke of the hops on the pallet (and less on the back end.) May have to get another one. It's ever so slightly sweet on the front end.

Oh, aroma. It's faint. It's there. It's not that bad. While at times I find it offputting, this isn't the occasion.

Mar 28, 2019
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Buckeye55 from North Carolina

3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery clear color with a one finger head on an aggressive pour.
No real weed aroma, just a slightly off regular IPA (the hemp) smell.
Taste has the pine overtones with what I would assume to be the hemp also. Mouth feel has the IPA with some dankness coming through. Pretty good brew, just not overly impressive. Would rank a 'maybe' on the would you like to sit down with a 12 pack of this brew scale

Mar 22, 2019
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MackT from Florida

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear honey/amber.
Aroma, as advertised, like MJ, (unburnt).
Decent mouthfeel, if one is experienced with hoppy ales, the herbal taste should not be off putting. Don’t be afraid of the dankness. More like a novelty. Not bad, although not as good as Sweetwater (420 G13 Strain). Which is in a similar “herbal” style.

Mar 21, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$ 3.50(Including tax and discount)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.291/oz) from Spec’s #100, DeZavala, San Antonio. Reviewed 3/11/19.
“ENJOY BY 03FEB19” on label. On shelf in store. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Gold, slight chill haze.
Head – Average (Maximum 3.5 cm, aggressive center pour), off-white, creamy with some surface rocks, good retention, slooowly diminishing to a three mm ring and a heaped, rocky, partial layer.
Lacing – Good. Bands of mostly tiny bubbles with a few small bubbles thrown in. Many short stalactites.
First pour – Light yellow, clear.
Aroma – 4 - Very dank – onion and weed.
Flavor – 3.5 – Begins with weak spice and much less dank than the nose suggests. No alcohol (7 % ABV), no dimethylsulfide, no diacetyl.
Palate – 3 – Thin, watery, lively carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 3.5 – Looks good, smells intriguing, but the flavor doesn’t meet expectations.

Mar 12, 2019
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hreb from Washington

3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle enjoy my 12May19. Served in a pint glass. Crystal clear and amber-y pale, and a small, white head. Aroma id decidedly hemp-y, not like dank hops, but like actual hemp. Flavor too, is hempy, with classic American IPA C-hops lending a supporting role to hemp. The two blend nicely, but ultimately this is a hemp beer with a hoppy bitterness first, and an IPA a distant second. I actually really appreciate the way hemp and hops compliment each other in this beer, but ultimately I just don't enjoy the taste of hemp that much, and I'd much rather have a really dank IPA.

Mar 10, 2019
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BrownNut from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't understand the people writing here about smelling and tasting weed. That's specifically why I ordered this beer and I got zero of that. In fact, while I was drinking it, I kind of spaced out and forgot that I had ordered a beer that was supposed to give me weed notes. I was just kind of idly sipping a beer and nothing stood out. Then I remembered and gave it a good sniff and a few tasty sips and nope, nothing. I got zero weed out of this. Without that, it's just a standard beer. Decent and just fine, but not at all memorable.

Mar 05, 2019
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 6-pack $8.88 Foodland
Smells of Pakalolo
Clear golden slightly amber tinged color
Medium mouthfeel
Medium-high carbonation
Citrus taste, Bitterness aftertaste,
Overall ok. More of a marketing thing. Made me curious to try. Wouldn't buy again.

Feb 23, 2019
The Hemperor HPA from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 448 ratings