Good news hemp heads; looks like you don't have to move to Colorado after all. (It's beautiful out there, but all that snow could really complicate a late-night Funyuns run). Nectar Ales' Humboldt Brown Hemp Ale -- which, perhaps sadly for some, is made with THC-free hemp seeds -- will be available during a special event from 6 to 8 tonight at Riverside Market. The regional launch party is being hosted by Brown Distributing.
John Linn of Brown Distributing said Hemp Ale is "the flagship brand of Nectar Ales -- started in the '80s in California by a former Oakland Raiders linebacker, believe it or not."
Why a hemp beer? Because of hippies, of course.
"The culture of hemp and marijuana was pretty prevalent (in California), so they decided to merge that culture with craft beer and make this hemp brown ale," Linn said.
"They use 100 pounds of hemp seed per barrel, which does lend a slightly herbal, nutty flavor."
But hey. It's not just about the novelty of the hemp seeds (which, let's be honest, you can find in plenty of ingestible products on the shelves at health food stores and Whole Foods Markets). This brew comes from a pretty fine pedigree, and at the end of the day, that's all most beer geeks really care about.
According to Linn, Hemp Ale's current producer, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., "is one of the most highly regarded in the country." He said they've won "numerous medals for Hemp Ale and Red Nectar and Nectar IPA at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival."
"(Nectar's) Black Xantus Imperial Stout is barrel aged and regarded as one of the best in the country," Linn said.
Check out the Hemp Ale and other sought-after Nectar Ales brews -- like Nectar IPA and Red Nectar -- for $5 at tonight's launch party. Brown also will launch the beer at the Filling Station in Miami where it will be available all month long on draft and at World of Beer Coconut Creek on Saturday, November 24. Linn said Laser Wolf will "likely" carry the beer at some point as well.
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