Beer Review: Southern Tier Hop Sun
Southern Tier Brewing Co. owners Sarah and Phin DeMink have been brewing out of Lakewood, NY since 2002. Two years after their launch, they introduced Hop Sun, a spring and summer American wheat beer that’s brewed to be a thirst quencher on a hot day.
Made zestier by the addition of fresh hop flowers after fermentation, the crisp and dry ale definitely could go the distance on a sultry August (or June!) afternoon. The appearance is clean and lightly golden with a perky - though shallow - head that clings to the side of the glass before slowly dissipating. Aromatic grapefruit bursts through on the nose, though a deeper inhale unveils grass and evokes a bright, sunny afternoon.
The body is thin-to-medium in a way that’s perfectly appropriate for a session wheat beer. The initial sip presents the dry tongue-tingle of bittering hops — a bracing first moment that gives way to a slightly sweet and not-unpleasant lemon flavor. On the second sip, a grassy taste appears, the three malts used combining for a flavor that truly embodies the taste of a summer’s day.
The brewers recommend pairing 5.1% ABV Hop Sun with warm weather faves like fresh mozzarella, gazpacho or fresh berries, or taking it along on a picnic for a perfect sandwich companion. Hop Sun is available in 12-oz. bottles or on draft throughout the Eastern United States, as well as in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.
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