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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
United Kingdom (England)

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: 884 | Ratings: 3,015
Photo of woodychandler
3.49/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I am away from The CANQuest (TM) for a short time, bottle be back to it in quick order, I assure you.

From the bottle: "Long ago, ale was known as 'Liquid Bread'. We've used our long history of creating the finest malt blends & added fairtrade bananas to awaken the senses with a seriously fruity, rich, yet surprisingly versatile banana bread beer."; "An inspired brew made with our natural mineral water & fairtrade bananas. tempting Banoffee [?] aromas & flavours are balanced by the silky richness of a masterful malt blend & the peppery spice of the freshest, ripest hops."

Recipe for Banana Bread: Take two large milk jugs and one fur-lined mixing bowl. Manipulate all until mixing bowl is well-greased. Insert banana. Remove banana. Repeat until banana is soft and mixing bowl is filled with fresh cream. CAVEAT: If bread begins to rise, leave town IMMEDIATELY, leaving no forwarding address.

What a buncha monkey business ... Banana Bread Beer, indeed! I remember the first time I made banana bread - it was in Home Ec (Foods 1), just before the Thanksgiving break. It was astounding! We had it with our dinner, slathered with butter and I can taste it even today. Thank you, Mrs. Minnich, for a project that projects itself into my latest passion.

The beer peeled out of the bottle at a speed unrivaled by any CANned beer. It really took me by surprise, so I got yellow and ran away until it had a chance to settle. The head was a puffy, pillow-y two-plus fingers of thick, yellow-white head that held in until a big exhalation of CO2, when it fell all at once. By Gar, I can smell bananas everywhere! Color was a deep coppery-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Now, if you thought BUPGOO! was wrong in being marketed to the kiddies, this is so far afield that I cannot believe that it exists. I am going to see if my current beau (she from "Cabaret" - 'If You Could See Her') approves. She does! Oh, my darling monkey. Wait, I see a monkey with a bomb! It's Inspector Clouseau yelling about "A minkey with a bimb!" or somesuch. These Brits ... it's so hard to tell what they're on about at times. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, so maybe he was saying something about it being thin. Why can't the British speak English? It's so confounding! Now, it's "Planet of the Apes" - Get your hands off of my banana beer, you damn dirty ape! It's irresistible to the simian set, apparently. Have you ever seen Woody Allen in "Bananas"? He sports a Che/Fidel beard that lends itself to my nickname. Taste was as advertised - bananas with a hint of caramel. Finish was very banana and if I liked bananas, that would be a good thing. The hops monkey on my back nodded in agreement.

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Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pt., 3.25 oz. bottle:

Pours orangeish golden with a fluffy white head. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of banana and raw sugar. (Not much of the bread aspect in the aroma, though there is some in the back.)

The taste is of banana - lightly sugar-coated. Bready undertones. The banana is not overwhelming as a whole, but it does dominate over the bread. Nutty tones mesh with the breadiness more than the banana does. Rather than a banana bread, as I expected, it seems to me to be more of banana candy with nutbread. Some metallic tinges are noticeable, but border negligible. Banana hangs on well into the aftertaste.

The body is on the lighter side of medium. It has enough creaminess to make it smooth.

This is interesting enough to try once. I can't say it misses the mark completely, though I do with that the banana and bread came together more completely while retaining some of the nutty quality to give it some depth. Anyway, the flavors alone are all there, and not bad at all. It's easy to drink, but it would take a true banana lover to reach for more than one. "Gimmicky" kept running through my mind, but better than many other "gimmicky" beers - fruity or not - that are out there.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've passed buy this a thousand times on the shelf in the past, today curiosity got the best of me.
Pours a clear deep amber color with a modest head that displays decent retention and fair lacing. Smells like banana's all right. Slightly sweet malty aroma deep behind and hints of spices like nutmeg and all spice. There's a beer under there somewhere, but for me only a swirling of the glass brings it through the banana onslaught. Taste is a hint more beery. Sweet candy sugar and light grainy malt mixed with banana's. Smooth sweet almost creamy mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation with a medium body. I kind of enjoyed this, although It's not something I would have all the time. Extra credit for thinking outside the box.

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Photo of tdm168
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a moderate amber/dark copper color with a quarter of an inch of dense, foamy, white head that has great retention. The nose is faint; mild clove spice and even fainter banana. The flavor is mild, sweet up front with a little caramel, followed by some mild banana and spice. The mouthfeel is a little thin but the carbonation is just right.

Overall, this is a good beer. The banana is rich and impacts the flavors in a positive way. The body and flavor could be better, but considering there aren't many beers with this flavor profile out there I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour it into a standard pint glass and the aroma of bananas leaps out at you. Clear amber-y color, creamy, off-white, merengue type of head.

Sweet aromatics, all banana & malt. Smells a bit like circus peanuts, a little plastic. But they swear they use real bananas, so I'll believe them.

Taste: Bready malt meets faint banana flavor, light bodied, easy-drinking. Flavor remains with every sip, right up at the front of the tongue, kind of a banana cream pie feel to it.

But all in all, a solid ale. Light in hops, clean, smooth, and slightly sweet. I'm liking this. You drink a few of 'em. And it's oh, so, banana-y...a nice novelty that could turn out to be a regular treat!

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium Brown body with low retention tan head.

S - Of course this beer smells like banana. It's more like banana laffy taffy (fake banana) but it still smells good. Slightly nutty/grainy smell as well.

T - The taste of banana is not as trong as the smell of it in this one. It does taste a bit nutty, slightly sweet and slightly bitter.

M - This one is more on the carbonated side and not terribly smooth. Same mouthfeel as any other traditional ale.

D - Pretty easy to drink but nothing standing out enough to make me want two. This beer is good but doesn't have anything unique about it aside from that mild banana smell and taste.

Notes - This one is worth trying. It's different and a good unique flavor experience.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.79/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Trying the wells and young banana bread beer at the Pie Factory in Florance, AL. The beer poured a clear copper with virtually no head and no lacing. The scent is definitely banana bread. The taste has a lighter malt base with banana and hints of spice (clove).The m outhfeel is lighter in body with subtle carbonation. Overall the beer hits the mark as far as taste. ..but one is enough for me.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.04/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass

A - Nut brown, not much a head.

S - Great notes of banana bread; caramel, bananas, nutmeg, trace of cinnamon. It's not overpowering though. Malt, touch of booze.

T - Malt, soft warm alcohol, almonds, sweet spices (allspice, nutmeg). Banana's foster rolls up through the middle of the profile and lingers in the aftertaste. Like the smell it's not overpowering, a touch more than a punch in the face, which I appreciated.

M - Light effervescence.

D - Very drinkable. For a novelty beer the flavors aren't over the top so it doesn't overwork your palate.

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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 GClarkage
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

08/03/08- Purchased at a random liquor store in Akron, OH.

Presentation- 500ml bottle...did not look for a freshness code. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a smaller 1/4 inch head and quickly disappearing at that. Not really any lace remnents.

Smell- Mild malty nose with a lighter banana nose.

Taste- Pretty much banana, light caramel malt and some grainy action going on...that's about it.

Mouthfeel- Medium to higher carbonation level with a sugary banana aftertaste.

Drinkability- Novelty beer that really wasn't half bad. Banana isn't too overpowering and not too sweet. Enjoyable, but not an every day beer.

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Photo of ShanePB
2.67/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle shared with me by a friend this evening... just to say we 'tried' it basically. I like banana bread but I, in no way, went into this expecting deliciousness that is the baked treat in a bottle.

A: Copper / orange colored body with a laughable extremely light bubbly "head" if you'd like to even call it that. It was more of those clear bubbles that you get after a bottle has gone flat, but this bottle was pretty fresh...

S: Hmm, surprisingly not as bad as I imaged it would be. Obvious notes of ripened banana and banana extract 'juice' would be the best way to describe this. Some hints of orange peel and loads of sucrose hit the nose with drastic force. It's nothing terrible but definitely has an artificial flavoring spin on it.

T: Well shit, that's just gross. Overly sugary, artificial banana flavored liquid. No hops, a fairly weak malt base though it is there to tie this banana flavor to something. Maybe some brown sugar elements are here, but overall this is just a flavor mess & miss.

M: Well carbonated, medium-bodied but kind of syrupy in a way. Not completely bad here but just so-so.

This beer is definitely something to try for the novelty of it. I didn't find it to be a complete drain pour, although I did only have about 6 ounces or so of it, I could stomach it. It's pretty sickening after a while and something I cannot fathom why anyone would drink this more than once. Nice try, Wells.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.45/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

And old bottle that was handing around in my fridge forever. Date was 19/04/10, so this was close to a year old.

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Light brown/amber colour with a very small amount of white head.

S - Sweet banana, walnuts, brown sugar, caramel.

T - Banana is the predominant flavour but is definitely not overwhelming. A lot of sweetness overall with strong notes of brown sugar, bready malts, molasses and toasted nuts.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation.

D - A few sips were interesting but 3/4 of the bottle was a drain pour.

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Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at J.P. MacGrady's in Bethlehem, PA.

It's not bad, it's just bland. The problem is it's called banana bread beer and you expect some banana and bread flavors. I didn't get any of that, it was just sweet and smooth without anything standing out. Came off like an average amber ale.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: poured brown with orange highlights that had a half finger of hea that left a little sticky lacing on the glass.

S: I definitely get the banana bread with cinnamon and various grain notes.

T: I cannot deny the banana flavor but the bready notes aren't there like he nose and I actually get more malts as well. It kinda tasate like banana candy.

M: light body with a low amount of carbonation that had a sweet. And grainy finish.

D: this beer drinks exceptionally good for a fruit beer and is not too sweet. I really use to drink this brew on a daily as a session beer years ago beer I became a beer advocate and I can tell how my palate has evolved because this beer was the shit to me.

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

Pours a clear, golden/amber color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, yeast, banana, hops, and slight vanilla. Fits the style of a Fruit / Vegetable Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight dryness noticeable. Tastes of strong banana (just like banana flavored smarties), pale malt, yeast, slight grain, and slight spice (clove). Overall, good aroma and body.

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

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It smells like a English pale brewed with hefe yeast. The banana/clove aspect is in full swing. The taste is decent. It has a dry pale and bisquit malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes with the hefe banana esters. I guess there is real bananas in here as well. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinker, but a bit of a concept beer. I like the results, but not enough to buy another.

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Photo of Gavage
3.49/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Figuring I make banana bread frequently, this beer caught my eye when I saw it on the shelf.

Appearance: clear orange in color with short white 1" head that disappears pretty quickly. No lacing develops.

Smell: yup, smells like banana bread with some caramel candy sweetness. Nice aroma for a beer.

Taste: banana flavors are a bit mellow here, as the malt takes on a bready tone. Can be descibed as a bit sweet and bread-like. Almost no bitterness detected here. Very different beer here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Smooth from start to finish. Brief banana and bready malt aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer actually went well with a fresh loaf of banana bread I made. But as a stand alone beer, it is interesting and different, but not one you would drink regularly. Nice novelty beer in my opinion.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a golden copper color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the banana syrup with a little bit of malt mixed in. The flavor is more of the same. I get some banana and toffee malt, as well as a little bit of brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. It definitely tastes like bananas, but after a while the beer gets a little hard to drink.

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Photo of stevoj
3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Interesting aroma and flavor on this one, as it really does smell and taste like a loaf of banana bread. Appearance is somewhat lacking, relatively flat carbonation and almost no head. Smells like bananas, with some light maltiness. Taste again is sweet bananas with a short metallic finish.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of ripe bananas. Taste is also dominated by bananas, some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a unique and good quality brew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.88/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On Tap at Blue Dog.

Wells Banana Bread Beer is a light looking lagerish beer with a hazed yellow color to it and a short lived burst of white bubbles on top, no stick. Smell is what is advertised, banana and a whole lot of it. Some cereal scent after all the hoopla, small amount of grain. Taste is less artificial than expected, i was expecting this to be a sweet sugar bomb, while it's more of a lightly sweet banana infused pale ale without the hops, if that makes sense. Feel is very light with a low amount of bubbled activity, kinda dead on the mouth. I drank it and that's that, not something I would go for again. A bottle of this would be ideal to split with a group of 5 people or so, with a banana infused dessert, or just simply dump the bottle into your next banana inspired dish.

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Photo of biegaman
3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This definitely tilts more towards beer than banana in appearance. There's no yellow encasement here - just a clear, resplendent, lightly bubbled, golden ale on full display. (But one that still nonetheless looks on theme if you ask me.) Although it can't claim to possess any head, it is moderately endowed in peel after peel of white lacing.

This smells unexpectedly redolent of a Belgian tripel. The common thread being the banana. Some yeasts lend flamboyantly fruity notes, commonly the essence of bananas. While I assume the inclusion of actual bananas is responsible here for that component, this ale's yeast does impart a lot of other fruity esters, all of which work in perfect tandem.

Another thing about this beer to surprise me was that it doesn't taste like the antibiotic medicine I took as a child. Nor like those banana pop-sickles. It isn't artificial in the least and the enduring "beer-y" elements relegate the fruit element to second fiddle. All in all, this strikes me as just another easily quaffed, thoughtfully balanced English ale.

If anything I suppose it tastes like dried banana chips; the beer's malts supply a dry and sugar-dense base. What they don't provide is much body - by far and away the most prominent feature on the palate are the sharp water minerals that stick out like sore thumbs. While a dab of hops is perceptible too, the minerals are spectacularly discernible.

When you get down to brass tacks, this beer is essentially the same old English pale ale seen time again on the shelves here in North America: a rather plain and heavy beer that's thin in the malt department but chalk-full of minerals. This one, however, is laced with that delightful banana aura and is in turn that much more pleasurable.

Glancing over other reviews it seems that Wells Banana Bread is a fairly divisive beer. I'm not entirely sure why. I found it to be an entirely conventional, commonplace English ale, albeit with some banana flavour. It should be straightforward enough: Do you like beer? Do you like banana? Chances are you already know whether this interests you.

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Photo of Zorro
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber colored beer that is bordering on gold in color. Decent white head but nothing special.

Well this certainly is loaded with fruity esters! Sweet with a circus peanut candy aroma and a little bit of bread. Spice is there but not real distinct but nuts are fairly strong. The usual fruity British ale aromas are also present.

The taste begins sweet and nutty with a pretty strong banana and nuts flavor. Kind of tastes like banana bread but a little too much esters in this, they should have used a more neutral yeast strain. Finishes a little dry and woody.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Well this is a try one time kind of beer. Too many esters here, should have based this off a Bock or wheat beer.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Devoured at a Wetherspoons Beer Festival in The Shrewsbury Arms.

This is banana heaven for banana lovers, looks normal, but just one sniff and you know it ain't a standard UK bitter.

Really sweet in its cask form, and a lower ABV at 4.5% compared to that listed on this page (5.2%).

A Banoffee Pie sort of beer!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly interesting beer that is done quite subtly. No screaming banana flavors here, but instead some light fresh banana integrated with a malty/bready body. Not bad. Pours a light amber with an okay initial head that fades just a tad quickly. The smell is of banana and bubblegum. The banana smells natural- not artificial. The taste is a little more subtle but the bananas are still there along with a yeasty breadiness and a slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is dry and smooth. All in all, quite nice if not my every day cup of tea.

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Wells Banana Bread Beer from Wells & Young's Ltd
3.51 out of 5 based on 3,015 ratings.
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