Wells Banana Bread Beer | Wells & Young's Ltd

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Wells Banana Bread BeerWells Banana Bread Beer

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 08-15-2002

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Reviews: 896 | Ratings: 3,059
Photo of decimator
1.34/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

500ml clear bottle poured into a pint glass.
ABV 5.2%

A - Poured a clear gold to amber colour with a thin to non -existent head. No lacing.

S - Banana candy and a light skunkiness. The banana aroma comes off as artificial.

T - Sweet bananas, light sourness, and a harsh bitter metallic finish. For Banana bread I would expecting more malts and some spiciness here.

M - Heavy, flat, and dry.

O - Drain pour. As much as I love banana bread this doesn't taste good at all.

 474 characters

Photo of cope0021
1.36/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours thin and resembles a cream soda

Smells like banana - duh! Sort of has the smell of a belgian ale

Taste is very wattered down. Tasts like a lousy cream soda

This s--t is bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S. This is the beer I envision everyone being forced to drink in hell.

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Photo of FatheadBrew
1.46/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I picked this up on a recommendation from a clerk at the liquor store...last time I trust that guy.

A: Pours a clear copper/amber color with a thin layer of white foam.

S: Smells like bananas. Could maybe pick up a little malt, but was mostly covered up by bananas.

T: Tastes like miller lite with a banana in it. Nothing "bready" about this. There is a hint of something in the finish, but it never really comes through.

M: Good and watery

D: Maybe the first beer I can remember that I didn't actually finish.

Might be interesting for the novelty of the idea, but it seriously lacks in the flavor department.

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Photo of DerBayer
1.46/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

The thing that stands out about this beer is the sickly and artificial smell of bananas which nothing to do with the beautiful taste of say Hefeweizen but smells and tastes chemical sweet and sickly.

In short this beer is entirely hampered by what it purports to be - Banana bread beer!

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Photo of drabmuh
1.71/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wells Banana Bread Beer, how can you walk past a beer with that kind of name in the store. I've been eyeing it for a while, even though I usually think that fruit beers are a terrible idea. I had to try this one. I never say I regret drinking a beer, and I don't regret drinking this beer but it is close to the worst beer I have ever had. I found myself debating whether it was an ale or a lager half way through. The beer is clear and light yellow. Nearly flat, so no carbonation at all. No head. Overwhelming smell of bananas, but not the fruit bananas, think banana runts. Surprisingly, it did not taste a lot like bananas (although each time I burped they tasted like bananas). Mouthfeel was weak and thin. The aftertaste of the beer was stronger than the taste. The aftertaste was that of a poorly made Kolsch. On the bottle, they wrote:"Long ago, ale was known as 'liquid bread'. We've used our long history of creating the finest malt blends and added fairtrade bananas to awaken the senses with a seriously fruity, rich, yet surprisingly versatile banana bread beer." Lies, all lies. Don't bother with this beer. It was close to undrinkable.

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Photo of Phizle
1.72/5  rDev -51%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased as a draft at the Brass Tap in Gainesville Florida. The beer is a clear amber, and has an aroma of bananas. It has the taste of a weak beer with artificial banana flavoring added. The two do not work together well and the result tastes like malty cough syrup. The feel is extremely light, to the point that it seems watered down.

This is the worst beer I've had to date and I would not recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of Urk1127
1.76/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

Pint poured into glass. Brown body very slight head if even. Smell is like those laffy taffy banana candies. Taste is sharp carbonation. Sickly sweet artificial tasting banana although the bottle states they use actual bananas. Not saying it is artificial but it's just a taste to me. Then toffee and some dryness but very little. Slight roastyness but not much. Happy to have tried it but will not buy again. But glad to have tried it.

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Photo of aerozeppl
1.85/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I hate banana. Damn it.

A: Reddish golden color. Sort of different. Almost no head and no lacing.

S: Banana runts! Artificial banana is ok. God am I really going to drink this?

T: Damn. Too much banana. Finishes with something else but my brain has shut down at this point.

M: Who cares?

D: I knew this was going to be bad and it was. I really hate banana. Damn it.

 370 characters

Photo of Scriba
1.86/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Ok, I have to admit: My expectations are very low on this one.

It pours an amber liquid with an almost white head. The head is initially two fingers high, but it quickly collapses into a thin ring.

The smell is defiantly banana. Synthetic banana. There is also some smell of malt, well hidden behind the banana.

The taste is that of... banana. It overwhelms everything else. I guess there is some malt in the background, but it's hard to recognise. The aftertaste is also disturbing. I guess the hops are supposed to balance the sweetness of the banana, but instead it makes it even worse. The bitterness of the hops turns the banana flavour into that of green - unripe - bananas. Not good at all.

Drinkable? I didn't even manage to drink half of the bottle.

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Photo of Higgy
1.9/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was sooo disappointed. I was sure that I would love this beer but I did not. It has a beautiful color, light copper, and a very small head that dissipates very fast. It smells lovely. But that is it. It's like water. For me, honestly, it is a drain pour and a waste of money. I wouldn't drink it if it were free. I even let it warm up a bit.

I'm not a beer snob at all but I just say No to this beer.

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Photo of McDosey
1.92/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had a pretty mellow New Year's Eve this year. Just wanted to catch Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championship, eat some frozen spinach pizza and enjoy my bottle of Wells Banana Bread Beer. Well, Canada won in a shootout, the pizza was actually better than expected, but I fell short of the hat trick because this beer missed the mark for me.

Things started promising, with a pillowy two-finger head developing after a straight-down-the-middle pour. The eggshell-colored head showed good retention and would re-appear on command after a couple swirls. The beer itself was a medium-dark amber, very clear, with some copper highlights.

Unfortunately, my first sniff confirmed my suspicion about this beer's unique flavoring. Rather than a rich, organic, banana bread fragrance, I got a thin, chemical whiff of banana candy. If you're familiar with banana Runts, then you know the smell. Cool for sugar snacks for six-year-olds, not cool for a $4 bottle of beer.

The taste revealed nothing that the smell already hadn't - more thin, chemical banana candy flavor without much else of interest. A slightly soapy, mineraly, flinty taste arrived behind the banana and finished quick and bitter. No aftertaste, nothing to savor. Like many other posters, I was hoping for something deeper, richer and more layered.

Overall, the beer was watery and thin, with little complexity. I found the chemical notes and bitter, flinty character not to my taste and dumped half the bottle.

For those looking for a good banana-flavored beer, I'm sure many hefe-weizens would fit the bill. There was a great one in Toronto at a brewpub called Denison's, but it's been closed for years and I'm not sure whether the beer went with it.

As far as Wells entry goes, it's a thumbs down for me, which is too bad because the idea is a good one and I do like banana bread. Maybe the beer is poorly executed, maybe I got a bad bottle, maybe my taste buds don't know sh*t, or maybe a banana bread beer is just not meant to be. After all, I like pizza too, but a pepperoni and sausage ale would surely fail from the start.

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Photo of ControlVolume
2/5  rDev -43%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is a beer that does exactly what it claims to do, and the banana bread taste is fairly spot on even if it veers a tiny bit towards a laffy taffy flavor. I have mixed feelings about it because it is simultaneously one of the worst beers I've ever had in my life and yet I'm still glad to have tried it, because it's terrible in such a unique way.

 350 characters

Photo of jsanford
2.01/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a Pint Glass.

Poured a clear, light brown with a thin white head that settled to a light haze. I thought this would be darker for some reason. Smells like...bananas. Banana RUNTS actually. I know they use "real banana" in this, but I can't help that it smells artificial. Perhaps banana is just a tough flavor to pull off. Anyways, there's some sweet caramel malt in there, too. I guess you could use your imagination and see where the "bread" comes from, but I'm not digging it. Taste follows the nose closely, mainly banana and some sweet malt flavors of coffee and cocoa powder. Too sweet. Body is thin with moderate carbonation. I can understand why some people like this, but it just isn't my thing. Pass.

 723 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.02/5  rDev -42.5%
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 kyleelton
2.05/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was given to me by a friend who heard I liked craft beer. She just picked a bunch of stuff from the craft beer section and this ended up in the bunch. In her defense the other stuff included some Dogfish head stuff, a Dead Guy from Rogue and some other good stuff. Anyway, I'd heard this was bad, and it was. Not as bad as I was expecting, but still, not good. I don't think it was the execution of the beer, but the concept. I hate pretty much anything banana flavored, except bananas themselves, and banana bread. I rank this somewhere between banana flavored candy and real banana bread. Mostly I couldn't handle the smell. Smelled like a banana peel that had been left in a hot car all day. It tasted okish, but the smell was always there. There's that.

 762 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.06/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500ml bottle given to me as a gift by nickd717. He mentioned that this is his favorite beer of all time, so I had high hopes for it.

Banana Bread Beer looks like banana bread. Beer. It's the color of banana bread with a head that looks exactly like banana bread, except it's foam instead of banana bread. It's similar to banana bread though. The body is like banana bread except clear, so in that sense it's nothing like banana bread, because, as far as I know, banana bread has never been made clear before. I doubt that's even possible.

It smells like banana taffy, not banana bread. This is hugely disappointing. I love banana bread and I was expecting this to smell like banana bread, not banana taffy.

This kind of tastes like banana bread at first, but then it doesn't taste like banana bread, it has this weird bitter flavor that reminds me of beer. After the weird beer flavor it starts to taste like banana bread again, but then the beer flavor COMBINES with the banana bread flavor and it tastes like someone made banana bread with beer instead of water, which is just a stupid idea. If you're going to make banana bread, do it right and leave the beer out of it. I don't know why you love this stuff so much nickd717, and I'm never trusting your opinion on banana bread again.

 1,290 characters

Photo of johnrf
2.12/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This beer is a light clear beer with a creamy tan head. When you open the bottle the smell of banana candy hits you. My wife reminded me of those large peanut shaped banana flavored soft candies we had as kids. Not a pleasant odor in a beer in my opinion. I don't taste much of a bread taste. I found the smell to be overpowering. The finish is more of the same, artificial banana. The liquor store in NJ where I bought it was Bourbon Street in Greenwich. The manager, noticing I was buying 2 cases of micros recommended it and assured me it was not too overpowering. I won't be taking his advice again. I just could not get past the artificial banana taste, it was all I could taste, before during and after. I rinsed my glass before going back to drinking real beer but the banana taste just lingered.

 803 characters

Photo of rarbring
2.18/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A clear amber liquid with a nearly white head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is sweet, jelly beans and banana foam. Cookies and dough.

The taste is also very sweet, banana candy, lemon drops, and a short chemical bitterness.

The carbonation is rather sweet, and the fluid is rather watery.

Far too sweet for me and rather unbalanced, and I have a hard time imagining something that would go well with it.

 410 characters

Photo of clark123456
2.18/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Medium brown color, not hazy at all.

S: Fake banana smell. It's hard to describe, buy you'll know it if you smell it.

T: Firm flavor of banana at first, but finishes as a not great beer. It isn't horrible, but it isn't great either.

M: Mouth coating.

D: Low carbonation.

Overall: I'm sorry I bought a 4 pack...I wish I had bought a single.

 347 characters

Photo of longarm
2.18/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Clear amber pour and well carbonated. Very nice color.

Pleasant banana aroma dominates, but maybe a bit one dimensional.

Not much happening in the flavor department. Hops attempt an appearance, but do not blend particularly well with the banana flavor. Poorly balanced flavors attempt to blend with a mildly astringent finish. Mouthfeel is thin.

This is a bad beer, but it's unique and trying to fit a niche. It certainly has some pleasant aromatic characteristics, but flavors lack balance and left me disappointed, especially since a 20 ounce bottle cost me $5.

 566 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
2.22/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Review from notes (last year's batch... hopefully it's much better this year)

A - poured clear amber brown with a fizzy 1.5" head that quickly disappeared and left no lace.

S - just like banana bread with a touch of malty sweetness, nuts, chocolate, and hops. This was a huge plus!

T - quite different from the smell. Tasted like watery beer with fake banana bread extract. Strange aftertaste that was somewhat sour. Ugh... had to force myself to continue the review and not dump the thing...

M - watery, medium carbonation, very light

D - ugh if it wasn't for that abysmal taste it would get higher markings

Overall - This seemed like a failed attempt at making a holiday beer. Fake syrupy taste like the candy with the yellow bananas... I think they're called Runts. Not worth the money. Not worth a try.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.24/5  rDev -36.2%
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 beersheppard
2.24/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: brilliant dark gold color, with a fleeting white head. The color of the beer is impressive and unique.

Smell: yeasty, banana, some spice

Taste: like an artificially flavored banana taffy, yeast, some spice.

Mouthfeel: slick

Drinkability: While this did capture the flavor of banana it was the taste of artificial sweetner mixed with banana. I went into it with an open-mind, many beers have banana undertones. Too much. Not my cup of tea. I would not buy this again.

 482 characters

Photo of isualum12
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I got this beer at a local bottle shop that typically pulls in great stuff.

cracked this bottle with a couple friends. They thought I was nuts for grabbing this bottle. It was not a hit with the crowd. I honestly couldn't finish my taster.

I did love the smell of this beer. color looked nice. Co2 was harsh.

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Photo of StephenRich
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I don't know about you, but one of my fondest memories from childhood was waking up to my moms freshly baked banana bread. Oh my lord was it delicious. I would jog from Toronto 200km back to London for this stuff!

A while ago while snooping around on the Wells and Young's website I realized that they made a Banana Bread Beer! These are the same guys that brought us the Double Chocolate Stout; so I had to go find this beer. But to my dismay, the LCBO had no interest in brining it in, and my recent missions to Premier Gourmet still left me empty handed (at least considering this beer).

My last trip to Ryan's Party Store in Port Huron though left me smiling though, for I had in my car a nice shinny, well, maybe not shinny... But I had a bottle of this Banana Bread Beer ready for my mom's homemade Banana Bread! I poured the Banana Bread Beer into a standard tulip glass trying to open the beer up and at the same time capture all of its aromatic potential. The pour was smooth and carbonated lifting an weak airy one one inch white head. The beer stood transparent golden mahogany with rich browns, amber bronze and copper colors shining through it all. The color was very nice, ripely what I would have hoped for out of a banana beer. However by now, the head was already gone. I would have enjoyed a nice thick creamy head for a beer of this sorts.

The nose was softly malty with an obvious scent of banana. Soft pale malts and biscuit show through with light spice characteristics, and soft hops. The banana is there, but honestly I am disappointed. I was hoping for a creamy rich pouring of warm gooey banana; this though is soft, slightly medicinal, and underwhelming. The touch of nutmeg and cinnamon is very nice.

Wells does describe it as their "traditional bitter with the subtle flavor of banana". This leads me to believe that they have added banana to an existing beer - perhaps they should have redesigned it. However, I cannot accurately comment on the production methods of this beer, only the final product.

By now the head had completely disappeared leaving only a faint ring on the beer.The beer comes in to the tip of your tongue immediately with pale malts and a sweet touch of caramel. Quickly a light but obvious trace of banana glides over the sides of your tongue and cheeks. Spices like cinnamon and allspice are light on the palate giving way more to soft biscuit and soft malt.

The finish is dry and slightly sweet - also is a touch medicinal due to the seemingly artificial flavor of banana. I actually didn't really enjoy this beer, and it definitely let me down. I really was excited for something warming, chewy and soft with luscious banana and dough flavors.

Maybe this is better in England, if so, it did not travel well. I bet Wells can do better, and I will be excited to see them try.

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Wells Banana Bread Beer from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.51 out of 5 based on 3,059 ratings.
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