Beer Review 0101: Wells Banana Bread Beer

Undoubtedly you have heard beer referred to as “liquid bread” at least once in your life. Today I’m looking at a beer that says it is just that — banana bread beer.

Brewed by Wells Young’s Brewing Company in the United Kingdom, this Banana Bread Beer is 5.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) and is made with fair trade bananas. Wells Brewery traces its roots back to 1875, when the ever industrial Charles Wells purchased thirty-two pubs at auction, and a brewery along with it.

In 2006, the company merged to form Wells Young’s. All the beer made by the company is brewed with 100% natural mineral water, from a well sunk in the early 1900’s.

Wells says this beer has subtle flavors of banana and has a delicate peppery flavor provided by the hops used.

The pour made a small head, with tons of bubbles streaming to the top of the drink. The head quickly diminished, leaving a golden/light amber beer, with a crystal clear body free of particles or sediment. The lacing was fairly good, leaving a good coating of thin and wispy sheets.

On the aromatic end, bananas: check. There’s a very ripe banana scent, almost overripe. On the back end, there’s a little caramel malt, and some graininess. Other than that, there’s not much to find, and the banana definitely dominates. In fact, as the beverage warmed, it almost turned cologne-like.

On the taste, there’s the initial hit of banana, followed by an earthy/creamy flavor, very butter-like. The finish is more of the banana, which is a little sweet, but there’s a hint of bitterness at the end with some of that burnt caramel malt. Despite all the bubbles immediately after the pour, this one had a soft mouthfeel in terms of carbonation, and a thin texture.

Banana bread, this is not. This is an okay beer, but honestly I think it would be better without the banana — think of a basic, no frills, solid Pale Ale. If you’re after bread in a bottle, this one is not going to do it.

Wells Banana Bread Beer, 74 points. Price: $4.99 US for a sixteen ounce bottle.


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