There are few beers that go down easier than an American Wheat Ale on a hot summer day. It’s unfortunate that yesterday wasn’t the latter, but Southern Tier’s Hop Sun filled in admirably as the former. I’m liking this New York brewery more and more; they have yet to truly let me down.

Looks pretty standard as wheat ales go…a very faintly cloudy straw color. Truthfully, I didn’t sense a ton of wheat presence here. But right away there were fruity and earthy hops in my nose. Southern Tier describes Hop Sun as being “dry-hopped to perfection”, and I would fully agree with that statement. It came in at a reasonable 36 IBUs, but smelled a bit more potent. Sold so far.

Tasting confirmed what I had picked up in the appearance…the wheat malt presence is a bit lacking. But it pairs nicely with the barley to provide a bready, toasty sweetness at the beginning that fades back into hopland. While not overpowering in the least (remember, 36 IBUs), Hop Sun still lives up to its name, delivering a refreshing dose of piney bitterness. It’s almost more of a mild pale ale with subtle wheat characteristics, to be honest. Great carbonation, frothiness, and lacing. I tried to imagine myself drinking it with the sun beating down on me, sapping my energy: aaah…a definite thirst quencher!

Although we haven’t exactly hit Death Valley temperatures yet, you may want to set aside a sixer of this in preparation. After all, it is a March seasonal…

ABV: 4.9%

Grade: B+