Friday, September 08, 2006

HUMBOLDT HEMP ALE – BETTER THAN YOU RECKONED

We ventured to Big Sur on the wild California coast over Labor Day weekend, and for some (good) reason, that stretch of roughly 30 miles is home to at least half a dozen bars and/or restaurants that serve quality microbrew. The first night we found this place called the BIG SUR ROADHOUSE, and they had 5 beers on tap: Red Hook IPA, Sierra Nevada, Dos Equis, something else uninteresting, and HUMBOLDT HEMP ALE. I’ll bet the Hemp Ale does well in Big Sur, one of America’s hippie hotspots, third in California only to Humboldt county itself and maybe to Santa Cruz. It never dawned on me to try it. This time the mood was right, so I asked the fella to pull me a pint. You know what? It’s not half bad. The beer is far darker than I expected, sort of a reddish-black, and if they threw any hemp in there they covered it up nicely. It was a thin, clean taste, and went down much more quickly than a beer its color typically does, and I tasted lots of malt and some spices of unknown origin. I remarked at the time that it was “slightly out of balance”, whatever that means (that’s beer talk for ya), but at the end of the pint, I was bemusedly impressed with this one. I wonder how many stupid people buy this expecting to just get a little bit stoned in addition to a little bit buzzed? Wouldn’t that just be a friggin’ riot? 6.5/10!

1 comment:

John said...

I didnt really like this beer even when it was brewed in Humboldt. I frequented the old Humboldty brewery in Arcata while attending HSU. I think they used to put hemp seed in the mash but never cared due to the lack luster beer. No its not even brewed in Humboldt and still sucks IMHO. There are only two good breweries left in Humboldt co. ( Mad River and Eel River)