The Hemperor HPA
New Belgium Brewing Company

The Hemperor HPAThe Hemperor HPA
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #5,829
ABV:
7%
Score:
85
Ranked #33,308
Avg:
3.75 | pDev: 15.2%
Reviews:
145
Ratings:
446
From:
New Belgium Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  9
Gots
  125
SCORE
85
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: 446 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Psilo:
Photo of Psilo
Psilo from California

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

Pours golden amber and perfectly clear. Single finger of off-white foam falls to a cap. Lacing is spotty but sticky.

Smells like a glass of cannabis. Very dank and earthy, weed resins overpower hop resins. 

Tastes like a glass of cannabis, too. Some bready malt sweetness plays underneath. Not sure I can identify any hop flavors. It was a bit much at first, but now that I've adjusted to the strength of the flavor, I'm enjoying it a lot more. 

Creamy mouthfeel, not overly resinous. A bit slick. I keep coming back for another sip and am almost through the glass, but I think I'll be satisfied with a single.

May 28, 2018
More User Reviews:
Photo of cuy50
cuy50 from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As gimmicky as the name might suggest, and as used to IPAs being marketed with clear marijuana references, this is the real deal. Popped this open and poured into the glass and IMMEDIATELY was smacked in the face with the smell of dank buds. Tastes like it smells. Not the dirty gross smell of burnt bud but really fresh flower. The flavor is reminiscent of taking a drag on an unlit joint. Tasty. I don't smoke any more but if I did this would absolutely be my go to beer for bud.

Aside from all the ganja talk, this is a perfectly adequate (albeit entirely forgettable) IPA that could pass as pretty much any other if you weren't familiar with the taste/smell of weed. I'm rating this a bit higher because it actually comes through on the hemp flavors and aromas that are advertised.

Jun 05, 2018
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Belgium Brewing "The Hemperor"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "ENJOY BY: 09SEP18 36432 18050206N 2017" and sampled on 04JUN18
$2.99 @ Whole Foods, South Street, Philadelphia, AP

Notes via stream of consciousness: So I've been wanting to try this since I first heard about it, not because I'm a pot head or anything, I'm certainly not, but I'm completely behind using hemp in all of the other ways it can be used. And I'm just curious, I've had hemp beers before but this is a new one. OK, let's see... well just popping the cap I can smell it quite strongly. It's like I'm at an arena rock concert circa 1984. There's also a little bit of a skunky smell there as well. Curious. I don't know if that's supposed to be there or not. It's poured a fingerprint-through-the-glass clear deep gold/amber body beneath a full head of foamy off-white. It's a little unusual in its color, almost a little like tarnished brass. I can smell some hops in there as well, and I also got a whiff of something that reminded me of a camp fire, maybe just damp wood or perhaps rotting bark. On to the flavor... it's interesting. It doesn't taste like it smells. There's some malt to it, golden and just lightly sweet, and it's herbal and almost minty, and then as it lingers it becomes a little like Red Hot Dollars cinnamon candy. It doesn't seem that bitter but there's something there. Does the bottle list it? No. It's more than a standard pale ale but not by much. Dry finish. Lightly spicy and minty/herbal. I'm noticing that it's got great head retention and lacing, that's nice. The alcohol never shows, but then it shouldn't for being just 7%. In the mouth it's medium bodied leaning toward medium-light, and fairly soft. The carbonation gives a delicate tingle on the tongue. Overall? I'm not really sure what to say. You can't judge it to style because there is no style, so you just have to do it hedonistically. With that said I'm not sure how I like the aroma. It's interesting but a little off-putting at the same time. kind of like smelling gasoline. The flavor is good though, and I like the lightly honeyish and wheaty malt offset by the spice and herb. And the appearance is quite good, and it's unusual - this isn't the kind of beer you can find anywhere, and to be honest, it's a lot better than all of the other hemp beers I've tasted. Nicely done. Worth trying just to see what you think.
Review# 6,044
4.25/4.25/4/4/4 = 4.08

Jun 04, 2018
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

2.87/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Reeks of cannabis as packaged in edibles along with notes of rice and 2-row barley sweetness. Hop profile seems floral but is eclipsed by the hemp.

Tastes as it smells, hitting on hemp seed, some kind of vaguely famliar cereal, 2-row barley, and mild floral hop flavour.

Mouthfeel is smooth, wet, and soft. Light to medium-bodied.

Hemp seed is overly dominant in this beer, preventing the hops from being well showcased. Drinkable but underwhelming, relying on a gimmicky flavour to succeed instead of delivering in terms of hops.

C (2.87) / AVERAGE

May 18, 2018
Photo of CisserOne
CisserOne from Michigan

1.75/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Just got this one on tap at my local shop, and I actually made this account solely for the purpose of leaving this review. This beer tastes and smells like a crappy lager that someone left out in the sun - it reeks of off-flavor skunkiness under the guise of being "pot-like." I understand that some people might enjoy it based on sheer novelty, but I couldn't sit idly and watch people rate this mistake of a beer highly simply because it smells unique. It's certainly a unique smell, but it's also a really awful one.

Apr 18, 2018
Photo of Lingenbrau
Lingenbrau from Oregon

3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer that is so difficult to review. As a special ingredient beer, this might hit all fives. As an IPA, well shit, I just don't know what to say...

The Hemperor is a beautiful beer without question. Straddling the line between golden and brass, it's polished as such, crstal clear and capped with thin and wispy foamed off white crown. It provides streaks of lace as it descends after each sip.

It smells like straight friggin weed. Dank herb, ganja, sensei, marijuana, skunk, weed... Oh and a little dose of hops. Pellet hops like you would homebrew with. Generically speaking of course, as I'm unable to decipher which variety because of so much friggin weed.

Whoa, was I not expecting this. Of course the weed comes in hard, but at the end, and seems impossible to remove from the taste buds. It lingers on forever. But first, a little splash of sweet honey, light malt, caramel, and peppery spice start things off before the dominance of them greens come in.

It's quite light and refreshing feeling, well carbonated, and bitter. Not too bitter, but just bitter enough. It's insanely earthy feeling on the end with lip licking dirtiness.

I'm a one hit wonder type of guy these days. The Hemperor delivers on it's intentions. A good beer, and one I'll gladly revisit when I feel like indulging in one of nature's finer offerings. Cheers.

Aug 06, 2018
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

people are freaking out about this one, one of the first to market with a weed type of beer, and i can see the appeal on paper, but in the glass, this really is pretty unremarkable, more of a novelty than something i actually want to drink very much of. im not totally sure about the process, but this really does smell like pot. i can smell it across the bar as he pours it, long before the glass is anywhere near my nose, its downright stinky. i get some hops too, but somewhat unremarkable there for an ipa type, but thats what i think about most of the new belgium hoppy stuff, so hardly surprising that its a little boring there. the flavor is weird, its weedy yes, but almost too intense, like allergic or something, its back of the tongue and throat, a totally different feel than hops alone provide. it tastes kind of just like skunky euro lager to me though, like the weed part of this gives it a green glass stella vibe, like actual skunk, its not as dank and sticky and heady in that aspect as it should be, and it sort of makes the beer taste old and seem a little gross actually, and after a little bit, its just totally unappealing to me, this all gets worse as it warms. i give them a ton of credit for doing this and getting it out there kind of first, but there will be a lot better beers in this category to follow, be sure of that!

Apr 14, 2018
Photo of Dcor
Dcor from Florida

4.34/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

COLD (33°) bottle into pilsner glass. This shit really smells like green bud. Until I retire this is as close as I'll get, so I actually enjoyed this beer. Good IPA finish considering it's mass brewed and that's not the actual focus of this beer. As a novelty I thoroughly enjoyed this, and even at 14 bucks a six will probably go there again. So far my favorite New Belgium variety behind Voodoo Ranger. Great amber color, odd considering it's an IPA, lacing remained on the glass between pours, and couldn't stop at one...or two...or...anyway check this out, if only for the novelty of it.

Sep 30, 2018
Photo of BorisNorris
BorisNorris from Idaho

2.12/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Beautiful amber hue, dirty gold, brilliant clarity with moderately dense, frothy white head. Dankest of dank upon cracking the bottle, but burnt rubber in the glass; herbal, subtle pine and citrus. Herbal/floral flavor dominates, slight citrus on the back-end, but still getting that burnt rubber character all the way through. Medium to medium-light in body, rounded mouthfeel. It feels good on the palate, however, that palate is now destroyed.

May 25, 2018
Photo of bbtkd
bbtkd from South Dakota

2.04/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

New Belgium The Hemperor HPA, 7% ABV. Pours orange and hazy, with a thumb of white head that dissipated quickly, leaving decent lacing. The stench is dank and skunky, not at all appealing. Taste is skunk here too, only moderately bitter. Decent mouthfeel, overall poor. Skunk is not a beer flavor - this bottle never sat in the sun since I bought it.

May 29, 2018
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy from Ohio

3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This smells like my sister's house. Less the animals, just the herb. She has a few plants growing (legally) and they do give the house an obvious cannabis smell. It helps cover up the three big dogs and the cats.

It pours a ruddy yellow with just a bit of fizz. The aroma is very much like my favorite plant drug, or at least very much infused with the smell, in a way that works.

The taste is a bit dark and odd. Kudos for letting the hemp shine, but hemp doesn't really shine that well in brews. The aftertaste is a little bitter, with a nice hemp smelling burp.

Recommended only as a novelty. It might compliment some bud (I don't have any right now so I cannot attest to that).

May 03, 2018
Photo of Spikester
Spikester from Oregon

4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lightly hazed deep gold with two fingers of dense white head. Rings of lace.
The smell is super dank.
The taste is green dank bitter hops and hemp.
Mouthfeel is medium good carbonation. The finish is dry and bitter.
Overall a stinky dank beer. I enjoyed it but my spouse is going to hate it!

Sep 26, 2018
Photo of AyatollahGold
AyatollahGold from Indiana

2.36/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very curious about this one and have no clue what it will bring. Let's see. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
First off, as soon as you open the bottle the smell hits you. Like crazy.
Another thing is this is way darker than expected. Very clear beer at a dark golden color. The crown doesn't complete the top.
The smell is like marijuana. Burnt marijuana. Resin like. Like you want to tell you friend to clean his bowl out. Not for me.
The taste is a lot more piney and juicy, acting as more of a regular IPA. But still has some of that nasty burnt resin.
Mouthfeel is where it should be. Wet and juicy.
Overall, I'm just not really into this at all. Can't get over the burnt notes. I like resiny but the burnt was too much. Gave me a headache and unfortunately had to drain pour.

May 13, 2018
Photo of ovaltine
ovaltine from Indiana

3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a perfectly clear burnt orange color with hints of brown and a sudsy off-white head. The nose is weed, weed, WEED.

Did I say weed? Yes, weed on the nose. All day weed, to the extent that you have to search for the hops, and as this warms a bit, you can detect them (slight citrus notes), but they certainly lurk WAAAAAAAY in the background.

The taste is what I’d assume dank week would taste lie: very earthy flavors, with a strong herbal component that is not off putting at all, but these flavors leave little room for any hop flavors. They are present, but they are oh so muted. And there’s a malt component that sneaks in, too.

If the hops were a bit more welcome to the party, I think this would be significantly better, but it is still worthy of a try. Definitely an interesting beer.

May 28, 2018
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, bottled on 4/24/2018. Pours fairly crystal clear golden amber/light orange color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, cannabis, peach, passion fruit, mango, melon, citrus peel/zest, light pepper/pine, wheat, lightly toasted bread, light honey/nutty, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity hops, hemp, and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, cannabis, peach, passion fruit, mango, melon, citrus peel/zest, light pepper/pine, wheat, lightly toasted bread, light honey/nutty, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine, zesty, herbal, grassy, spicy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, cannabis, peach, passion fruit, mango, melon, citrus peel/zest, light pepper/pine, wheat, lightly toasted bread, light honey/nutty, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity hops, hemp, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero astringent hop/hemp flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately bready/grainy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this is an excellent IPA. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity hops, hemp, and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and pretty refreshing to drink with the mellowly bitter/drying finish, never aggressive. Aromas were huge dank weed at first, but the hops balanced out as it warmed up. Great balance of juicy, vibrant, and dank hops/hemp; with a nice solid bready malt backbone. Very unique, but really well executed. The Cascade, Simcoe, HBC 522 hops have a nice showcase as well. A very enjoyable offering.

Jun 02, 2018
Photo of tdm168
tdm168 from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

May 26, 2018
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onabikechris from Ohio

2.57/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Apr 24, 2018
Photo of ajdemma
ajdemma from New York

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oct 06, 2018
Photo of ATXBrew
ATXBrew from Texas

3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

May 19, 2018
Photo of JohnDon
JohnDon from Texas

3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted like drinking sweetened mary jane.

Feb 02, 2020
Photo of archero
archero from Texas

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

Aug 06, 2018
Photo of JimboBrews54
JimboBrews54 from Michigan

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

Whoa! What a kick of flavor in every way. I do not know if it is a bad thing, but it certainly is different. The hops are replaced with hemp, that certainly might be close to the same thing but the difference is that they needed to mellow it out. The hoppiness in brews works because of the fact it is a bit more appropriate. This lacked hops to mellow out the hemp and this beer desperately need that.

Oct 10, 2018
Photo of JimboSlyce
JimboSlyce from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aug 30, 2019
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Greywulfken from New York

3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Medium amber and clear under an off-white head a coupla fingers high... If you haven't picked up on it yet, the ongoing theme to all the reviews is the dank aromas and flavors the beer produces which are reminiscent of marijuana... These things are true, as this beer has a dank, meaning earthy, musty, and resinous character... There is a mild citrus element, some caramel, and pine, too, producing, overall, a mildly sweet beer with a lingering shellac on the tongue... I rather liked it, but I can see some being turned off as it is not as IPA-ish as some might like - and of course, if you're not partial to that "dank" experience...

Aug 28, 2018
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Barley_Bill from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

May 11, 2018
The Hemperor HPA from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 446 ratings