You might think you gotta be bananas to drink a banana beer. However, there are some worthy flavorful banana brews that aren’t monkeying around.
Chapeau Banana Lambic: From the bucolic countryside outside of Brussels, DeTroc Brewery have been making beers in Wambeek since the 18th Century. At an unassuming 3.5% ABV, the Chapeau is an odd mesh of sweet natural banana notes and sour tang. The color is a unique ruddy yellow hue that lies beneath a thick white head. A tart, astringent finish lingers betwixt a slick and effervecent mouthfeel. The nose of this particular lambic is separate from the palate. It could be the sort of beer you either love or hate. Or perhaps, its just another beer along your journey.
Wells Banana Bread Beer: Wells & Young’s Brewing Company formed in 2006 when London Brewer Young’s (maker of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout among many other brands) of London and Charles Wells (maker of (Wells Bombardier Premium Bitter) of Bedford joined forces. The Banana Bread Ale possesses the tropical nose of the fruit combined with the subtle dry bitterness of the base beer. Using fair trade bananas, the beer was described by the late Michael Jackson as having a “..fruity roughness of winter barley and toffeeish sweetness of crystal malt… hugely tempting aroma of bananas; creamy head; firm, silky body.” The beer is a season release available on cask as well as in bottles. It has also been said that the taste of this beer is twice as good as the smell. Find out for yourself.
Mongozo Banana: Meaning “to your health” to the native Chokwe of the Republic of Congo. That is where the late Henrique Kabia, a founder of the Mongozo Brewery. Kabia, a refugee, moved to the Netherlands in 1993. Then, he and his parter Jan Fleurkens, a native of the Netherlands began making the Mongozo beers. Based on Chokwe palm nut recipes, the beer remains an exotic favorite. Kabia died in a car crash in 2003. Other Mongozo styles remain to this day including a coconut, quinua, and palmnut brew.
De 3 Horne Bananatana: From De 3 Horne Brouwerij in the Netherlands comes this in 750 ML bottles with a hazy yellow body, a torbid body, and a thick rocky white head. Featuring a cartoon sultan holding a big banana on the label, this beer is a bold 7% ABV. The nose is of fresh bananas while the flavor is of sweet-sour grapes and a bitter lingering finish. Not sure what the brewer was going for with this beer, but it was as unique a beer as there is out there.
Well, there you have it, some banana beers. All featuring natural banana flavors. What will the world think of next? Oh, and if you like the flavor of bananas in your beer, it is recommended that perhaps you try a Bavarian Hefeweizen, the phenolic yeastiness gives of an uncanny scent of bananas and cloves. …And no bananas were harmed in the making of these brews.
Angelo grew up in Maine and is proud to call New England his original home. Cascadia is now his home. He fell in love with great beer in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.
He has been a correspondent for the Portland Tribune's Guest on Tap column, LivePDX.com, and has been featured in publications such as Beer Northwest and PDX Magazine. Angelo also has a great interest in independent music, and has been a booker and organizer for shows around the Portland under the name Pop Tomorrow! Angelo garnered much knowledge regarding beer from his experiences homebrewing, working at Belmont Station, Pyramid Brewing, Upright Brewing, By the Bottle, Beer Revolution, Olde Depot Public House, Falling Sky Brewing, Cascade Brewing, and from many many knowledgeable, passionate, and loving people along the way. It is Angelo's mission to bring "infotainment" and "edumation" to the readers of this website. If you have any questions or comments, or would like to contribute, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org