The Hemperor HPA, New Belgium Brewing’s new year-round release, is billed as offering “a mystical marriage of hops and hemp that fills the senses with a ground-breaking blend of herbal olfactory like no other beer on the market.”
Right now, it’s only available on draft in limited release, but it will be widely available in bottles in May.
The sample bottle I received came in a plain brown carton, with no label or anything else identifying it as a “Hemp Pale Ale.”
But beyond, the obvious grin and snicker factor, New Belgium is very serious about this product, dedicating years to research and development, not to mention much time navigating the legal system.
“Let’s face it, brewers have been trying to get cannabis-like aromas from hops for years, but it’s always missing a certain something,” said Ross Koenigs, New Belgium’s Research and Development Brewer, in a press release. “The Hemperor HPA is possibly the first beer to deliver meaningful hemp flavors and aromas.”
Hop and hemp plants are genetically related and produce similar