Nectar Brewing's Humboldt Brown. / Tim Dohms/News Journal correspondentAn article by Tim Dohms in the News Journal tells us they are drinking hemp in the Sunshine State!
Hopjacks Filling Station
Just typing that word, I can hear the conservative readers’ muscles tensing up.
Bear with me here. I’m not out to proselytize the virtues of marijuana; I don’t use the stuff. There is enough evidence available that shows that it does, indeed, have numerous medical benefits to those ailing from, say, cancer or AIDS or glaucoma.
We could go 12 rounds on the topic , but we’re not. This is, after all, a beer enthusiasts’ column, and I need to stick to topic.
To put a very fine point on the subject, I feel I need to remind the public that marijuana’s closest cousin, botanically speaking, is hops.
Before any parents get into a lather over little Johnny running out to score some whole-cone Cascade hops, let me reiterate that ganja and hops are from the same family — Cannabaceae — and not a narcotic unto themselves.
Brewers have a different approach to utilize non-THC hemp product, however, and that’s by using hemp seed as an ingredient. It makes sense; if one of beer’s main ingredients is related to that other plant, let’s see how they play together.
Nectar Brewing has just such a product called Humboldt Brown. It’s off-brown with red highlights around the edges and a tan head that leaves behind sticky lacing.
As a brown ale, all the classic scents are there: caramel malt, toasted nuts and a little toffee. What the hemp seed does is introduce a toasty, buttery note to the bready, cocoa-ish, light coffee-like flavors along with a slick and slippery texture. Just enough hops show up at the end to impart a twinge of bitterness to the finish.
A beverage this good should be illegal. Oh, wait … forget I said that.