This Humboldt Brown from Nectar Ales invites with a maple nose that morphs into a curious syrupy crispness that almost percolates on your tongue. Part of the herbaceous nature of its profile comes from a brewing process that involves hemp seeds. Hopefully we do not need to explain that hemp seeds contain no THC, though we realize that the description above suggests the kind of lyrical hyperbole that sometimes accompanies a quick toke. But whatever your state of mind, this is a unique and refreshing sipper.
Nectar Ales has been around since 1987, and is operated by Firestone Walker Brewing Company, a mid-sized brewery located in Pasa Robles, Calif. This is noteworthy mainly because that is smack in the thick of the Central Valley, which is vastly more famous for vineyards than beer. If this hemp ale is any indicator, Nectar looks to be giving the grape-stompers a run for it where style and complexity are concerned.