Brewing is one activity humankind has been obsessed with for thousands of years. Throughout history, new flavors have been created to please the palate of curious minds, opening new pathways for brewing recipes and transforming the way beer is produced. Thanks to the legalization hemp, many breweries have decided to experiment with this amazing plant to give their products a new, fresh and unique flavor, creating what now we know as hemp beer.
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What is hemp beer?
Hemp beer is not actually brewed from hemp, but it incorporates different parts of the flower to give the beer an infused taste and aroma. Basically, the brew can be made with almost all of the parts of the hemp flower. Hops and hemp have very similar flavors, so adding this herb actually accentuates the dank taste of the beer, while adding a great herbal aroma.
The process is simple: breweries follow the classic method to produce their beers. Sometimes, hops are added along with yeast to give a unique flavor. At the final stages of the process, hemp is added after boiling the brew and then it is let to sit for several weeks. While the yeast ferments, the hemp becomes infused and the final product is a nice beer with the characteristic aroma of hemp.
To have a better understanding of how hemp beer is produced, it is necessary to break down all the parts of the plant and see how each of them enhances the brew:
- Hemp leaf: hemp leaves are used mostly for aromatic purposes, since they release their terpenes during the fermentation process.
- Hemp seeds: they add a nice nutty flavor to the brew when toasted.
- Hemp seed oil: it is similar to extract, but its effects are not as strong. It is often added to the post-brew process.
- Hemp flower: of course, a big green, aromatic nug of hemp flower works as a nice additive to the brew. In order to activate, the flowers have to be baked and then added to the brew as a powder. Since hemp flowers come with their very own flavors, they add new notes to beer, making it a total success.
For example, a hemp beer made of Botany Farms Suver Haze would give a normal lager beer a subtle citrus flavor and sweet, fruity undertones. Does that sound good to you? The more terpenes a hemp flower strain has, the more aroma and flavors it will add to the brew. Hemp flower as an additive to beer is definitely something to try out!
Where can I buy hemp beer?
Perhaps all this article has made you thirsty and you want to give hemp beer a try! So what breweries are out there making amazing combinations for you to enjoy?
You probably have heard of New Belgium, which released its amazing Hemperor and went nationwide, making it the first hemp beer to be sold in all 50 states. Using the terpenes found in hemp seeds, you can find this product in beer specialty stores and some other places like Target in several states.
Another brewery to check out is Cool Beer, which made Canada’s first hemp lager. Launched in 2003, the Millennium Buzz Hemp Beer is a great brew to try out. The mix of malted barley and German hops make the addition of hemp a nice finishing touch for this smooth beer.
Last but not least, the California-based Humboldt Brewing Co. created an amazing Hemp Ale with toasted hemp seeds, adding a unique herb flavor to the dark malts of the brew. This Ale won a recognition at the Great International Beer & Cider Competition in 2014.
With more awareness about hemp growing all over the country, we can expect to have even more breweries coming up with amazing ideas about new hemp beers recipes in the future. The hype about this product has extended to the point where some people are learning to use hemp flower for brewing at home, making their very own creations to satisfy their palate.