New Belgium Brewing Company (Ft. Collins, Colorado) has officially introduced The Hemperor HPA, a hemp-infused IPA, as the latest addition to its Year-Round portfolio.
With a mission to revitalize the use of hemp in America and bring attention to the restrictive regulatory process surrounding its use, New Belgium has developed The Hemperor HPA as an American India Pale Ale that “offers 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.” Since “federal law prohibits brewers from using hemp leaf and flower”, The Hemperor “is brewed with hemp hearts (the meat of the seed, minus the shell) and dry-hopped with Simcoe and experimental HBC 522 hops to create a dank, pungent hop aroma balanced by a sweet, mildly bitter finish.” The Hemperor HPA weighs in at 7% ABV and 55 IBUs and “contains no THC or CBD.”
“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. “The Hemperor HPA is possibly the first beer to deliver meaningful hemp flavors and aromas.”
“This beer has been over two years in the making, most of the time spent learning and reacting to laws that really suppress this crop’s usage,” Koenigs said of the beer that is currently banned in Kansas. “Flavor-wise, this isn’t the beer we wanted to make, but due to misinformed laws governing the use of industrial hemp, we had to take a creative and long-winding road to get to this point. We’re happy with where we landed, and we’ll be working to change federal regulation so that one day we can brew The Hemperor HPA with hemp flowers and leaves as we originally envisioned.”
The Hemperor HPA will initially roll out on draft on April 2 and 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles will follow on May 21. Once fully released, you can expect to find this new Year-Round at craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina and throughout the rest of New Belgium’s nationwide distribution area. Prost!
Vital Information for The Hemperor HPA from New Belgium Brewing Company
Release – Year-Round, launching April 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 7%
IBUs – 55
Malts – Pale, White Wheat & Midnight Wheat
Hops – Nugget, Cascade, HBC 522 & Simcoe
Added Ingredients – Hemp hearts & natural flavor
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles (May 2018) & draft (April 2018)
Beer Finder – https://www.newbelgium.com/beer/finder
Fun Fact – Concerning the use of hemp and The Hemperor’s mission: “The restrictive regulatory process around brewing The Hemperor HPA gives New Belgium the opportunity and platform to raise awareness around the social, environmental and economic benefits of industrial hemp. Beer drinkers will be encouraged to learn more and take action at www.thehemperor.com. New Belgium is also partnering with GCH Inc, the company founded by Willie Nelson and family to build brands inspired by his journey as an artist and advocate, in supporting the national campaign, Hemp 4 Victory, www.H4V75.com. One dollar from every barrel of The Hemperor HPA sold will be donated to Hemp 4 Victory in support of its mission to raise awareness and promote pro-hemp bills in the House & Senate.”