Wells Banana Bread Beer | Wells & Young's Ltd

895 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 895 | Ratings: 3,053
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some artificial banana aromas. Taste is much the same with a watery flavor. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer and not a good example of a fruit beer in my opinion.

 409 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

when i was a kid i thought it was crazy how much this actually tastes like banana bread, and how cool it was the could use bananas in a beer without it getting all mushy textured and brown, but now that i know a bit more about brewing, i am quite sure there is no banana in here at all. it is likely a product of the yeast, more german than english here, soft of like a hefe strain can create a banana complexion, this is like that, only a little more supercharged, maybe some natural flavors or something too, but no whole fruit for certain. the grain aspect is as cool as the fruit one here, sweet and baked and sticky and not quite as heavy (from the can) as i remember it being (from the goofy bottle) back in the day. still, pretty round and sturdy base, just sweet enough, molasses notes, caramelized sugar, bagels, yummy! i dont mind the residual sweetness here, because it is what it promises to be. it was funn to compare this to the distant memory of it, i think its better than it gets credit for, certainly different, and perhaps a neat gateway beer to craft for those who have not yet found what they like. seems a short leap to an esb, hefe, or dunkelweiss from here...

 1,183 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is definitely something that a little different. This beer pours out as a nice hazy light brown color. The head is thick fluffy and white. The aromas are exactly what you expect... Banana and Bread. The smell is dead on. There's not question about that. The taste is pretty much spot on too. The beer has a strong Banana flavor up from that turned into a bready dryness after you swallow. This beer is pretty tasty but I wouldn't want a ton of it all at once. I feel that the flavors are too sweet and are too much to have more than one in a sitting.

 560 characters

Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is crystal clear dark yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly died down and left a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and some lacing in the center.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of sweet bananas in the nose along with some hints of bready malts.
T: Banana flavors again stand out in the taste, although they are more balanced with the bready malts and the two combine to produce a taste resembling banana bread. The initial taste has some malty sweetness and the hops contribute some notes of pepper in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because the banana taste isn't gimmicky and is balanced to some degree by the flavors of malts and hops, however I couldn't drink more than one of these at a time.

 905 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bannana bread huh? Sure, why not. Expecting a novelty of a beer without any real meat or potatoes, I ended up with a well-brewed beer... with fruit. The base beer is a classy English Pale Ale with a biscuity, cracker-like maltiness (not so much bread), a crisp caramel flavor, light on esters, and crystal clean. Well attenuated and properly done. The bannana character does just what it should; it gives an extra flavor without overpowering. If anything the bannana notes remind me of the Gobstoppers bananna flavor- not exactly real, but not artificial either. The fruit character hits hardest in the nose, while residing a bit in the flavor and whispers away into the finish, allowing the true beer character to shine. Very nicely done. I will certainly revisit this beer, but it'll likely be one then moving on to something else.

 833 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half litre bottle, attractive as anything with a banana motif could be, I suppose...and though I can imagine what 'banoffee' means, the word still offends my better sensibilities.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves a decent layered paint job of storm front lace around the glass in its wake.

It smells very much like those banana marshmallow candies, banana chips, cloves, allspice, and sugary wheat and bready caramel malt - not quite as integrated as one would expect in banana bread. The taste is biscuity caramel malt, bruised banana, hard toffee, natural vanilla, with the muddled Christmas cake spices, and some earthy, leafy noble hops keeping this from being a tongue-scraping cloying runaway.

The carbonation is fairly sedate, just a wandering frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and plainly smooth, with a certain crispness. It finishes well off-dry, the dessert-ready banana essence still lingering, but pulling farther way from the sweet bready concoction this offering is aiming for.

While the constituent components are all there, they seem to come off as individual players, disjointed, rather than the supple blend that is yer two-week old bananas and sugary bread (and chocolate chips, can't forget those!). A mere curiosity, as far as beer is concerned, but relatively high on the drinkability scale for its ilk.

 1,443 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with golden highlights on the edge; just a few dots of lace are left by the moderately-sized head

Smell: Ripe bananas with a bready undertones but doesn't have the rich nutty/spicy aroma of freshly baked banana bread, unfortunately

Taste: Opens with a banana taffy flavor that adds some earthy hops by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a grainy bitterness that contrasts with the banana flavors through the finish; the mineral water elements emerge in the after-taste, as well

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Interesting, but doesn't quite cut it for me as there is something about the combination of bananas, hops and mineral water that I just fail to appreciate

 746 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 kojevergas
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle into a Paulaner stein in low altitude Galway, Ireland, on December 12th, 2010. Pours a clear gold, lots of bubbles, three finger head with cream.

Sm: Banana bread! Bananas. Hops, barley, the usual suspects.

T: Smooth open to well built body and wonderfully banana finish. I don't know how they did it. Kind of akin to runts candy banana flavour. Well balanced and wonderful for what it is. Well built for the style. Hard to do but they did it!

Mf: Nice. A bit too smooth but it dries up.

Dr: I'd have it again and recommend it to friends as a good fruit beer.

 590 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.12/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear light brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with minimal retention and some very light lacing. Aroma of banana notes is quite strong with light sweet notes also noticeable. Taste is also dominated by banana flavours with some sweet notes. Body is a bit light with medium carbonation. Interesting at first but the aroma gets to be a bit too much after a while.

 390 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big white to off white head settles into a pretty nice lacing with some bubbles of carbonation hanging on above a clear bright copper colored banana bread beer.

Aroma is all banana pudding to banana cream pie, i think I'm going to have to seek out one or the other now.

A light dry banana cream pie taste with a slight maltiness coming through.

A dry to almost too dry an aftertaste but I like it.

I don't know if I could drink a lot of these but with the right dessert this would probably fit the bill just right.

 518 characters

Photo of mothman
2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beige head. No retention really. Color is a hazed amber.

Aroma/Taste (pretty much the same here): Banana flavored runts. Very artificial with bready malts. It is pretty much what the name says, but it tastes like fake bananas.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and cloying. Lighter bodied with an okay amount of carbonation. Ends clean.

Overall, not really something I'd want to buy or drink. There are other beers out there that provide a better banana flavor.

 455 characters

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, best before 11/14/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear deep copper/amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big ripe banana, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, light caramel, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of banana, dark/bready malt, and light hop notes; with good strength. Taste of ripe banana, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, light caramel, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy/herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of banana, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, light caramel, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance and solid robustness of banana, dark/bready malt, and light hop flavors; with a good malt/fruit balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly dry mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good fruit beer. Good balance and solid robustness of banana, dark/bready malt, and light hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A bit one dimensional, but it accomplishes what it advertises. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,368 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As the name suggests, Wells Banana Bread Beer smells and tastes of bananas and nuts. And it's a touch sweet and bready, very much like banana bread.

It pours a crystal-clear golden amber body beneath a short head of creamy off-white foam that holds very well but leaves only spotty lace. Odd. Perhaps it has something to do with oils from the banana? Or perhaps they use real nuts?

The green banana appears initially in the nose, but the nutty and bready malt soon follows.

The flavor starts with green banana,, some soft berry-like fruit, and a touch of spice. Once across the palate that spiciness (hops?) widens a bit. Grassy hops flutter to and fro nicely. The spiciness fades at the swallow, and the nuttiness rises as it finishes dry and lingeringly nutty.

As for drinkability, it's certainly a well-made beer, and it's balanced and very, very interesting. One could mull over this one for a while. But it's certainly not a night at the pub quaffer, I think just one would do fine. Worth trying though. Unlike any other beer in the world!

 1,049 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can.
Lives up to its name ... This is like drinking a lager and eating banana bread but without the baking or chewing. Of course, actual banana bread can be much better than here; still, an impressive execution of the concept

 232 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bananas, spices, caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of bananas, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, I was expecting worse but was pleasantly surprised to find that this beer wasn't too bad

 775 characters

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

Well, someone had to do it. Definitely a big banana aroma. Pleasant beery taste and nice carbonated mouthfeel. Thin body, not much malt or sugar, surprisingly. Touch of hops provides a slight bitter aftertaste. Whatever they put in this, it does taste like muffins or carrot cake.

I"m not sure I need another one, but it does make you think. Maybe it needs hazelnuts. Or just a lot of malt and some burnt sugar.

 412 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear dark golden yellow in color. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that reduces to a small patch of extremely thin film. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bready malts along with sweet banana - actually the smell reminds me quite a bit of actual banana bread.

T: Taste just like banana bread - there is a bready malt body with some light hints of nuts and sweet banana. The taste is pretty well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp and the finish is dry.

O: Very enjoyable, quite interesting that the beer has the flavor and smell of banana bread so accurate. I liked this beer but it is not a sessionable one for me - I could see myself really enjoying this in the fall.

 810 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

($4.11 @ Green's on Buford Hwy in Atlanta, GA)

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber body with a full, foamy white head.

Smell: Banana-laden aroma more reminiscient of a taffy than a banana bread. Faint spiciness in the background.

Taste: Biscuit malt flavor with a brief, mild caramel sweetness. The banana addition, though strong in the aroma, eases up in the taste to allow the mildly bready malts to step forward. Hint of graininess. Spicy hop finish with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: These novelty beers are pretty hit or miss, usually miss, but this isn't half bad! I'd honestly try this one again sometime.

 674 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.57/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sparkly tangerine with banana peel edges. The three finger cap is somewhere between dirty ivory and beige and is firm enough to hang around long after the initial pour. Very little lace finds its way to the glass. Although it isn't a bad look, it doesn't look much like a banana beer (or at least like my expectation of what a banana beer should look like).

There's no question about the banana after assessing the nose. Actually, I got a big whiff on crown cracking that was music to my... uh... nose. I wish it was even more aromatic because I love the fresh banana esters that are emanating from the glass. I would have thought that since ol' Charlie decided to call this beer Banana Bread, that it would have more (or any) spice. Maybe on the buds.

It certainly does taste like banana, even if it isn't the banana bread beer of my dreams (see below). I don't believe that an English bitter was the correct base beer because the hoppy bitterness tends to fight the banana flavor rather work in concert with it. I'm usually onboard with a generous load of Challenger and Goldings, but not in this case.

The rear label brags about the use natural mineral water from the brewery's own well. As far as I'm concerned, the too prominent mineral character is another negative in a beer that has a few too many of them already. Softer water, more malt, fewer hops, fewer bubbles... the list of suggested improvements is impressively long for a beer that I'm kinda, sorta enjoying simply because I'm a monkey fruit freak.

My ideal banana bread beer would be a dark wheat ale or even a weizenbock. It would be heavily toasted caramel malty, sweet, nutmeg spicy, chock full of banana flavor and lushly creamy in the mouth. Now *that* is a beer that I'd buy by the case. It's a damn shame that this beer falls short on just about every item on that wish list.

The mouthfeel is light without a trace of creaminess or softness. Actually, it's a trifle harsh thanks to overly rambunctious carbonation. The bubbles are fine rather than large, but they sting instead of caress the tongue. A more enjoyable mouthfeel would go a long way toward making drinking CWBBB a more enjoyable experience.

I had this beer on my 'wants' list for quite a while and was thrilled when I spotted it on my recent trip to Ohio. I'm glad that I didn't give in to the impulse to buy multiple bottles because it really isn't that good. My scores are somewhat inflated because I enjoy the fresh banana part of the schizoid flavor profile so much. It hurts me to say it, but this beer misses the mark.

 2,569 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

BBD of 11/30/07

Pours an effervescent bronze with 2 fingers of white head. Zero lacing or head retention

S: Bananas of course & yeasty esters

T: Banana & some herbal hops up front. Dryness, lemony hops, & a little iron as this warms. I also detect a faint hint of sulphur also. Finishes with some grainynesss, bananas, dates, dryness & a touch of salt

MF: Thinnish with low carbonation

Drank average, nothing special here. Banana freaks may like this, was looking for a lot more breadyness to go with it. Makes me wish for some Bombardier on cask

 561 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A brilliant golden brown shade of ale with a moderately full head of white that declines quickly after decanting leaving sufficient lace.

S - Nice fruity banana with mildly bready malt scent. A gentle nutty essence is present in the nose.

M - A subtle sweet lighter bodied ale with a smooth clean feel.

T Sweet, ripe bananas and nutty banana bread flavor with hints of brown sugar and a pleasant ale undertone that makes it tast like a decent ale and not a dessert or strictly sweet fruit beer. a Nice tropical essence that doesn't overpower or give the impression of extract banana - tastes like real fruit.

D - a great ale to mix or compliment chocolate, but not cloying. Fruity but just enough to fit the style. I would try it any time I might be feeling a little "bananas"

 795 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light amber color and very clear. A very impressive head with thick lace left on the side of the glass.

The smell is as advertised--lots of banana and mild spice--just like banana bread.

The taste is unusual, almost fake, not as much banana here. The hop is distracting to the smell. Surprisingly dry flavor. Full bodied with a generous amount of carbonation.

This is almost like two different beers--the smell is a sweet banana bread experiment; the taste is closer to a sweet pale ale.

 490 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a golden amber color with plenty of carbonation and a nice off-white head.

S: What can I say, it smells like banana bread. Sweet banana, subtle spices, and a light nutty aroma to it as well as some bready base malts.

T: There is a slight bitterness to the flavor that I wasn't completely expecting, but otherwise it (again) is quite reminiscent of banana bread. Sweet banana and caramelized sugar flavors, along with a hint of toasted nuts.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is a bit on the high side, which was actually sort of welcomed.

D: I was not expecting too much from this beer, to be completely honest. However, I really enjoyed it. It did indeed taste like banana bread and was not cloying or overly artificial.

 748 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a plastic tumbler.

I've tried this seeming oddity before, but haven't been able to remember much about it. 'Til now. It pours a clear golden straw topped by a finger of light dirty white foam. The nose comprises wheat, nutmeg, light cinnamon, and rye bread. So far it seems to live up to its name. The taste brings in the same elements, along with some raisins and a touch of fake banana flavor, not entirely unlike that found in certain yellow Runts (full disclosure: it's my favorite flavor of Runt, but it doesn't quite do it for me here). The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a pretty nice beer, nothing really outstanding by any stretch, but it could have been bone-chillingly worse given the desired final product.

 796 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Wells Banana Bread Beer from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.51 out of 5 based on 3,053 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.