Northern Ireland craft brewery launches hemp ale

Farmageddon Craft Brewery, a Food NI member company, in Comber is brewing an innovative beer with hemp.

The new Hemp IPA is brewed with hemp juice and pulp grown on a family farm in County Monaghan which grows organic hemp. The brew contains the CBD associated with medicinal cannabis.

Eoin Wilson, one of the founders of Farmageddon, says blending hops and hemp is not as strange as it may sound.

He added: “The two plants are actually genetically related and would have smells and aromas that are similar depending what hops you are using.

“The hemp would be more like Simcoe or Columbus hops, that are piney and resinous. But as for the CBD in it or any medicinal benefits, we are not making any claims because we haven’t tested it for exact levels.

“What it was about for us was making an old school really hoppy beer. There’s been a trend lately towards sweeter New England style IPAs, but this is definitely more bitter and dry.

“The hemp certainly added flavour and bitterness. On the IBU [beer bitterness] scale it is 50, but it tastes more like 70.

“It’s a great tasting beer that’s been selling exceptionally well. The first batch was 1,800 litres and was snapped up fast.  We’ve since brewed another batch of about 2,000 litres.”

Farmageddon worked with Kama Hemp which is based near Clones and say their juice is the only organic hemp juice in Europe. Kama Hemp has been producing hemp juice since 2013. And is the only organic hemp juice grown in Europe. It features naturally occurring CBD Cannabidiol, a nutritional source of CBD.

Farmageddon, a brewing co-operative has developed a portfolio of craft beers. The co-op comprises seven home brew fans who got together from the martial arts and punk rock scene in Belfast and began initial brewing in 2012. The name of the brewery reflects its location on the small farm and the longstanding interest of its founders in horror and zombie movies!