Hemp in a Beer?

We take a complete 180 from where we were before. Up until now I’ve talked about a few more traditional European beers. Now we travel to the US, where things are a little … different. Oh sure, there are breweries that attempt authentic recreations of traditional old world styles, but Americans are more brash, more individualist, and less culturally conservative, and it really shows in the beer. The late English Beer and Whiskey writer Michael Jackson (no relation to the singer) would surprise European audiences by saying that American Beer was the best place in the world for beer.

Hemp, and Hop, and Rye oh my.

Take this Beer. There are two two ingredients that are not very common in a beer. The first is rye, which has been added to beer at various times throughout history. Largely when barely was too expensive. It is actually my favorite adjunct. It lends a real spiciness to a beer, that you just don’t really get from any other grain ingredient.

The many uses for Hemp.

Hemp you say? Like Marijuana? Am I going to get high drinking this beer? Well, no. Hemp generally has a THC content less than %1. It is like drinking non-alcoholic beer. Besides, hemp is extremely good for you. And guess what certain flowering plant is closely related to cannabis? That’s right, Hops are part of the Cannabaceae family. In fact, hops them self have nice calming affect when drunk as a hop tea (don’t eat hops unless you like to hug your toilet).

Now to the Beer, O’fallons Hemp Hop Rye. O’fallon’s is a brewery in Missouri that also makes the 5 -day IPA. So-called, because they dry hop for 5 days, although I personally think it drinks more like a Pale Ale than an IPA.

The Hemp Hop Rye is an American Amber Ale which is most noticeable due to the addition of Hemp and Rye to the mix.

Aroma

The Aroma is similar to other American Ambers, with some maltiness in addition to the citrus flavors from the hops.

Appearance

A hazy brown color. The head is an off-white, and as you can see from the picture, it has massive head retention.

Taste

The taste is spicy fruit cake like. The spice from the rye and the citrus from the hops. It tastes sweet up front, but has a good level of balancing bitterness on the back end. The hemp brings a good roundness to the beer.

Mouthfeel

Medium body, with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall

This is actually one of my favorite beers. I already tend to really like rye beers, but I think this is probably the best one I’ve had.  It is very drinkable, but definitely not forgettable. I’m not too sure how much the hemp adds to the beer, but maybe it adds more than I realize judging by how much I like this.