We Tried The Hemp IPA At Eating House

My wife didn’t even need to take a sip. Just passing the “HPA” from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing under her nose made clear what the “H” stands for.

If it’s dankness you desire, this is a beer you have to try. Eating House at Kapolei Commons is one of the only places on the west side where you can get it on tap.

There isn’t any THC in the beer. THC doesn’t cause marijuana’s unmistakeable smell.

No, what you sniffed while walking through the Aloha Stadium parking lot on your way to Bruno Mars was these organic compounds called terpenes.

Terpenes are a pretty handy invention. Plants evolved them to ward off predators (or perhaps attract them) with distinctive smells. We use these chemical building blocks for such useful substances as rubber, steroids, and perfume. Thanks, plants!

Back to beer. Brewers give beers unique flavors with different combinations of hops (which contain a terpene called myrcene). New Belgium’s brewmasters found a combination of hops that mimics the terpene aromas found in marijuana. They added some hemp seeds—legal in all 50 states—for good measure.

Reviewers on Beer Advocate definitely think the brewers aroma-chemistry hit the mark:

“As soon as I poured it, I thought someone was sparking up nearby.”

“It’s dank, hoppy, maybe a bit funky. Pot forward for sure.”

“This s**t really smells like green bud. Until I retire this is as close as I’ll get, so I actually enjoyed this beer.”

The beer doesn’t really taste very dank, once you get past the smell it’s actually less harsh that most IPAs. The Hemporer has a malty, slightly sweet flavor, almost like an amber.

And of course you aren’t going to get high off it—well, maybe a little, since it is 7.0% alcohol by volume.

Get the Hemporer HPA on tap at Eating House. The best time to go? Happy Hour, from 3-5pm. All draft beer is $5/pint.