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New Belgium Announces Beer Brewed With Hemp

New Belgium Debuts Beer Brewed With Hemp

New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colorado has announced The Hemperor HPA, which is a new style of IPA -- a beer brewed with hemp hearts to provide a supremely weed-y aroma and flavor to an already dank and resiny beer style. Since Hemp is still a Class 1 substance in America on par with heroin, cocaine and LSD, the brewers had to do some finagling in terms of what elements of the hemp plant they could use.

Though the beer smells like a huge spliff hit, New Belgium wants to make it clear that this hemp-infused beer contains no THC or CBD.

This beer will release on draft in April and in bottles in May. The full release from New Belgium is below.


The Hemperor HPA

Get ready: an exciting new offering that’ll change the way you think about hoppy beers is coming your way. The brewers at New Belgium have created a new style of IPA: The Hemperor HPA. With the popularity of hoppy beers, our brewers are always on the lookout for different hop varieties and the complexities and flavors new strains can bring. That’s where hemp comes into the picture. Without getting too nerdy, we found a unique way to recreate hemp terpene flavors in a beer, which complement the inclusion of hop flavors and hemp hearts (seeds) in a brand new, delicious way—not to mention this beer is extremely dank! The flavors and aromas are so unique that it’s a style unto itself, hence HPA®.

Keep an eye out for The Hemperor HPA and brace yourself for a new experience in hoppy beer. The Hemperor HPA arrives on draft in April and on shelves in late May. So, hit the beer finder to set up alerts so you’ll know exactly when this game-changing beer lands near you.
 

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Brewing the Beer

As Colorado brewers we have long pondered the possibilities of blending hops with hemp. We expected the two elements would work well together so we set about researching the potential.

As research evolved, it quickly became apparent that the Federal government would not allow us to brew with whole hemp flower because parts of the hemp plant (which contains little to no THC) is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug. To be clear, there is no THC or CBD in this beer.

The federal government said we could still use hemp hearts (which are the meat of the hemp seed minus its shell) but we needed to find a workaround if we wanted those floral hemp terpenes – the key flavor attributes of the hemp plant that deliver the citrus, piney and dank flavors you’re smelling now.

Our next step was to identify those hemp terpenes and then find natural plant materials that would best emulate them.

That recipe is the secret sauce, so without getting too specific, we can tell you that we looked at things like orange peel, grapefruit and pine sap as examples. We feel our brewers nailed it, as you can tell by what’s in the glass in front of you.

TASTING NOTES 

VISUAL
Very light golden.

AROMA
Herbal cannabis in a big way (does not contain THC).

FLAVOR
Sweet throughout with a mild bitter finish.

MOUTHFEEL
Coating initially, slightly sweet, with a dry finish.

BODY
Medium body.


BEER FACTS 

ABV:  7%

IBU:  55

YEAST
Ale Yeast

CALORIES
200

HOPS
Nugget, Cascade, HBC 522 and Simcoe

MALTS
Pale, White Wheat and Midnight Wheat

SPECIAL PROCESSING
Hemp hearts and natural flavor