Hemp Hop Rye Debuts: You Know You Want Some!


Photo: Dave Nelson/The Riverfront Times
Dude, I am sooooo thirsty.

‚ÄčThe latest beer from O’Fallon Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri, sounds really tempting: Hemp Hop Rye. The bottled beer is “an amber ale brewed with both toasted hemp seeds and rye,” according to Tony Caradonna, president of O’Fallon, reports Dave Nelson of Riverfront Times.

“Hemp is a botanical cousin to hops and we use one that’s grown organically,” Head Brewer Brian Owens said. “It’s extremely nutritious and adds a wonderful nutty flavor in the finish. It’s a perfect complement to the rye and to the Cascade, Hallertauer and Summit hops in the beer.”

The recipe, concocted by Owens, includes three kinds of malted barley, two types of rye, the aforementioned three varieties of hops and of course my personal favorite ingredient, toasted hemp seeds. Rye isn’t a traditional brewing ingredient — it has been used more often in distilling whiskey — but it is gaining popularity with specialty brewers for its unique spiciness, Nelson reports.

While reporter Nelson gives kudos to O’Fallon for “not playing up the marijuana connection in is marketing for Hemp Hop Rye (like so many beers that make use of hemp seeds),” I personally wish they’d slapped a pot leaf on the label. Different smokes for different folks, you know.
In any event, “It smells of caramel malt, with a bit of butterscotch and a touch of spiciness,” Nelson tells us. “It’s pretty heavy, with plenty of toffee and toasty malt flavors. There’s enough hop bitterness to keep it balanced, but it’s not a particularly hoppy beer in either taste or aroma.”
All that’s great, Dave, but how’s it work for the cottonmouth?