Hemp and Hops are related, they are in the same family; this doesn’t necessarily imply that you can always do the same thing with one as you can do with the other, except with hemp you can use it instead of hops. This is precisely what Pivovar Regent have done, they have brewed a beer using hemp. Now this might appeal to a certain sector of society, and, given the label design, it is very easy to assume this is exactly what they have tried to do.
The Beer: 4% abv; It has a very strange greenish tint to its amber, it tends towards the darker shade of amber, the head doesn’t stick round long enough to tell whether it is good or not and ends up looking like curdled cream that went into overly hot coffee; the aroma can only remind me of my years living in Amsterdam, but it is still fresh and not overpowering; it has a fresh taste, that hempy smell is taken further into the taste of the beer, it is still a beer and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they just added hemp to the brewing process with a slightly less than usual measurement of hops; the after taste is still pleasant and fresh.
It is certainly a different beer, one that has not left me a high as a kite on the simple basis that hemp does not have the dose of THC (Google it) that it’s more pungent brother has. There is no escaping the fact that the marketing people didn’t really think this through; there are other hemp beers around that have subtle labels and do not try to go with the Bob Marley crowd. This is an interesting, certainly different beer. The brewer gets full marks for trying something different. Interestingly enough, the Pivovar Regent website doesn’t mention Mary-Jo, she seems to have her own website and domain, a picture and not much else (at time of writing).