It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed a beer ’round hurre. But I picked up a sixer of this beer on a lark and I was blown away.
In the interest of full-disclosure I should tell you that a buddy of mine from college is the brewmaster from O’Fallon Brewery, I’ve enjoyed a lot of their beer for next to nothing, and it is most likely a total conflict of interest for me to review their beer. Then again, I’m assuming most of my regular readers aren’t here for unbiased reporting.
Besides, if it hadn’t come from O’Fallon, I probably wouldn’t have tried this Black Hemp beer. Aside from owning a hacky sack in high school and thoroughly enjoying the NSFW cameo of Bob Saget in Half-Baked, I’m not exactly knee-deep in the weed sub-culture. But I trust Brian so I picked it up. And it was awesome.
I like O’Fallon’s flagship beer, O’Fallon Gold, because it goes down easily but you can tell it is hand-crafted. The Black Hemp continues that tradition of drinkability but adds some complexity. It’s sort of a lot of things. Sorta dark. Sorta chocolatey. Sorta smokey. Sorta malty. Sorta light. Sorta perfect. But not very hempy (or at least I’m guessing not, since it doesn’t smell at all like that one guy who spent 12 years getting an associate’s degree in forestry).
As a side note, O’Fallon does make plenty of beers that are “craftier” in the weightier sense of the word. I do like those as well (the 5 Day IPA isn’t slap-your-momma hoppy but gives you plenty of what you came for, and I truly believe — but have yet to verify — that the Smoked Porter would be perfect with a big old Cracker Barrel-type breakfast). I just happen to love the high-quality but extremely drinkable beers they put out. I call this category “Braverman beers” because they always remind me of the TV show Parenthood where the Braverman extended family seems to have 3 enormous cookouts a week where all of their problems magically melt away under a tastefully-lit table where everyone is getting shnockered.
I’m giving this beer an Amighetti’s Special for two reasons: one, I have to leave a little room in case someone brews a beer that has a TV in it or something, and two, I don’t want to believe I’ve found the perfect beer because that would mean I should stop looking.
I’ve really been trying to expand my beer portfolio lately, and it is very, very common for me to like one. It is very, very rare for me to like one this much. I actually drank it over the weekend, and ran right out and buy some more (on sale for $6.99 at Schnuck’s this week) so I could review it properly (meaning I had an excuse to drink a couple on a week night and not have to pay attention to American Idol while someone next to me watches it).
And, since it is sort of seasonal, I even bought a back up sixer for when they run out of stock and I want to have my own little Braverman day.