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Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,093 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1093
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 05-15-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,093 | Reviews: 534 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice grapefruit, a C hop aroma, good initial foam in pour. Some creaminess wheat nice on palate. Decent hop bitterness,lemon and spice, above average carbonation. Balanced with malt, Drying finish. an above average brew, the paradigm of this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2005 04:02:46 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It's getting a little late in the year to be drinking a summer wheat, but I figure this bottle won't last until warm weather rolls around again. It's a bright sunny day, 'hop sunny' you might say, and if I use my imagination, I can pretend that summertime is still holding out, refusing to go gently into that good autumn (apologies to Dylan Thomas).

Yeast-filled bright gold with lemon sunshine highlights. The polished ivory crown is as stiff and as sticky as any in recent memory and leaves scattershot lace in polymorphous blobs on the upper reaches of the glass. Lovely nose, as bright and as sunny as they come. It smells like someone just grated a few dozen lemons and an orange or two.

I'm happy to report that the flavor follows the nose. Even though there's little in the way of malt flavor, it is a mite wheaty. The dominant flavor is a tangy, hoppy, lemon zestiness. The body is smack dab light, yet manages to avoid feeling overly thin or watery. I usually like at least a light-medium body, even on 'summer beer', but I just can't fault this one because the flavor doesn't care and the beer is so incredibly drinkable.

Hop Sun is my first Southern Tier beer and I'm impressed. It's tough to make a summer wheat stand out, but this beer is as radiant as Old Sol on a July afternoon. In fact, I'd love to have a few cases at the start of every summer. Thanks to HappyHourHero for the first of many bottles from New York State.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2004 20:04:15 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very bright golden yellow, huge white billowing head, decent retention. Nice side glass lace, good cloudy appearence, lots of carbonation. Very light, lots of yeast with a touch of some lemon maybe, light in aromas, not in overall strength of smell. Very very nice, light palate with a bigtime yeast presence. Lots of grain with a hint of lemon or some other kind of bitter hops, great flavors. One of the best haefe flavor profiles I have tasted. Crisp, clean. very nice carbonation. Great overall feel. Superb, could drink this all night long. Was great when first cold, even better as it warmed up.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 01:23:12 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light IPA with a wheaty finish, this is the ideal flavor to usher in warmer weather.

Hop Sun pours with a thinly clear straw color. Carrying an airy froathy white head that, while showing moderate retention, laces fairly well. Despite the wheat use, the filtration strips the associated haze and allows the carbonation streams to shine.

Medium hop intensity of grapefruit, orange peel, and herbal lemon grass governs the scent that stands above a slight bready, wheaty base. Very appetizing and zesty, the nose gives the impression of lightness and sprite.

Citrusy hop flavor also take comman of taste with white grapefruit, orange peel and pith, with a light lemon zest spiciness. Clean and crisp bitterness assists with refreshing impressions late, lessening just a bit in finish to allow for a strong wheaty aftertaste to return in memory. Quite simplified in taste, the beer relies on freshness, crispness, and cleanliness over complexity- and does so beautifully.

Light to start and light to finish, the well attenuated wheaty body has a cracker-like dryness with a dry crispness that controls the beer well before the finish. While shying away from astringency, the beer's crisp bitterness makes it the refreshing beverage that dictates its success

Like Three Floyds Gumballhead, Hop Sun has a crisp cracker-like wheaty taste that only shows it's maltiness in finish and aftertaste. It's all about the hops. It also reminds me a bit of Abita's Purple Haze, just better with the base beer and a focus on hops rather than the fruit.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 17:14:38 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pale and slightly-cloudy gold with hints of apricot. Nice white head and a bit of lacing as it goes down.

S: Some nice, subdued sweetness comes through in the initial whiff. This is followed up with a good dose and lemon pith and citrus hops.

T: A nice wheat base with some definite citrus notes from the hops coming through. Fairly simple, but quite well done.

M: Light bodied and a little bit dry. Very crisp.

D: Very drinkable. Although not nearly as good as Gumballhead, definitely the best I've found anywhere around DC.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 21:57:39 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured clear golden yellow in color with a thin white head that quickly diminished into lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of floral and citrusy hops in the nose, along with notes of wheat.
T: Flavors of pale malts and wheat are very well balanced with citrusy flavors from the hops. There is a little bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and crisp on the palate, but not watered down.
D: The beer is very refreshing, thirst quenching and easy to drink. It's a sessionable beer for a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 19:20:29 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Set down upon the bar top a crystal clear, yellow body with a thin, though long-lasting coating of white foam.

Smell: A sniff reveals a pop of lemon-scented citrus oil in the fore with some lesser, lighter notes of barley and pine trailing behind.

Taste: Placid barley and soft wheat, lightly sweet. Hops are predominately of the citric nature, with tastes of lemon juice and ruby red grapefruit juice, as well as that light pine carrying over from the nose. Finishes crisp with a light bitterness and a little bit of lemon enduring into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Hop Sun brings a bit more energy and liveliness to the typically bland, snooze-inducing APWA style. It's got the relative lightness of wheat ale, but a bright hop character to keep your tongue from falling asleep.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2010 14:04:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out clear light golden with a thinner white head leaving no lace behind,great aromas a real zesty/citrusy hop jumps out ya wich is unexpected but welcome along with a little buttery note that lingers softly.Alot of subtle but very refined nuances to this beer a dry wheaty malt backbone holds up well to a healthy dose of citrusy hop I mean its nearly perfect finishing pretty dry and buttery.Compares very well with Three Ffloyds G-Head man I like these hoppy American wheat ales!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2005 21:10:18 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone weizen glass.

This one was a half-recommendation from my man down at Whole Foods. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a thick mass of white froth. The nose comprises coriander, wheat, light vague citrus, and a dash of cardamom. The taste tones the spices down a bit, and a good amount of orange-peel bitterness is introduced in lieu thereof. The body is quite light, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly crisp finish. Overall, a very plain, uninteresting brew, but rather highly drinkable and, for those who stick to seasonal drinking schedules, a very nice summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 01:24:20 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A combination of citrusy hops and wheat-based malt greets you in the nose of this delightful summer ale. It's deep gold body is slightly hazy beneath an average-sized head of bright white froth that, unfortunately, slips easily away. It does maintain a thin surface covering, however, and leaves sheets of tiny spots and splashes of lace that cling throughout the glass. It's crisp and slick across the palate with a light-medium body and very fine-bubbled carbonation. The flavor delivers the hops that the nose promises, along with a solid backbone of bitterness that leads it to a dry and citrusy finish. Clean, crisp and refreshing... worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 21:08:46 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of MasterSki


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to d0b for tossing me a bottle of this brew to review. Served in a weizen glass.

A - Three fingers of creamy white foam with decent retention and lovely lacing. The body is a transparent golden color with tons of bubbles on the side of the glass as well as racing to the top. It looks a little more carbonated than I like, and is vaguely reminiscent of some macros I've seen (albeit with better head retention and lacing).

S - A mix of sharp wheat and citrus hoppiness - not quite as beefy in the hop department as Gumballhead, but still quite hopped-up nonetheless. There isn't much of the traditional wheat smells (banana, clove, bubblegum) - most of the wheat character instead comes from a touch of yeast and sharp bite that isn't normally associated with APAs.

T - The taste is a little lackluster - mostly APA here, with a little bit of citrus hop kick, and some caramel maltiness. It's nice and light and very easy to drink, but lacks depth and richness.

M - The wheat character comes across more in the feel - there's a tiny touch of grittiness that keeps it from getting too watery. Otherwise it's very light and refreshing, with some nice residual hop resins.

D - It's 4.3% and tastes nice - minimal aftertaste and very refreshing. Definitely a session brew and I can imagine it tasting a whole lot better in 100˚ weather. I wish they had something like this at Wrigley instead of macros.

Doesn't quite live up to Gumballhead, but still pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 21:37:55 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale gold color with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is heavily loaded with wheat, hops & citrus.

T: A strong lemon flavor jumps out at the beginning and dominated the taste, but it doesn’t make the beer overly sweet. Flavors of wheat and hops follow. The hops presence is pretty heavy for the style, but just like the lemon flavor, it isn’t overdone. Despite it having a weak malt character (even that’s normal for the style), I found it to be a very well-balanced beer.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, I would prefer a little bit more of a kick, however, with an APWA I don’t typically expect one. If I were going to drink something light, this would be one of my first choices.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 00:59:35 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has the best of both worlds. It has a light wheat/pale malt mix with a wonderful hoppy aroma that enhances the beer. The taste is great as well. It has a light wheat malt feel with a floral hop flavor that refreshes and makes this beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an awesome summer brew. It has great aroma and taste. What more can you ask for? This is a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2004 01:34:40 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #7 beer on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - American Pale Wheat Ale" list. Served from a bottle without a date on it into a New Belgium globe glass.

Beer is yellow with a mild haze, lazy thin white head small bubbles, some lacing moderate carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is a little like hop candy, sweet and a little citrusy, minor malt, minor yeast.

Beer is medium in body, pretty sweet, light on the finish and bitterness, light on the hops throughout, basically a little candied orange peel and that's about it, not a repeat.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 01:11:08 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80


4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a very clear, bubbly golden-yellow color with a small, bubbly, white head. The head held on for awhile then dissipated to left some soapy residue.

S - It smelled of citrus and orange peel. It had a nice grassy aroma with notes of wheat and yeast.

T - Surprise! A wheat beer with noticeable hop character. Nice bitter hop kick with a smooth wheat flavor. Some citrus and yeast flavors, too.

M - It was very crisp and sharp with a fizzy mouthfeel. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - This is a great american pale wheat ale. Its hop character defies conventional wisdom.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 19:05:14 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The HopSun was actually something that I like quite a bit. The pour of the beer was a cloudy yellowish orange color with a fluffy white head on it. The smell of the beer had a great mix of citrus and a gentle aroma of fresh wheat. The nose was very well balanced here. The taste reflected the same way, it was a nice wheat sweetness very mild upfront with a nice hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is mostly like any other wheat ale out there. It's bright and lively, also very refreshing for the summer season. Good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 17:58:45 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a one-finger white head that desccends to a thin cover. Some lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is lemony and floral. Wheat crispness in the back.

The taste is citric, esp. lemon, and floral. Hoppy for the style, with a solid malt sweetness balancing it out. Wheat dryness in the finish.

Light and refreshing, but with quite a bit of body for the style.

A summer refresher, for sure. Hoppier and more to it than many other wheat ales that come out for the summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2007 01:47:31 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly clouded gold. No head. Nose is light citrus aromas. Kind of like fresh air really. A bit hoppy. Flavor is tangy with bright citrus. Nice and light. Pretty crisp. I am starting to think that I might just not like this style at all. Too light. Not enough there. Just doesn't seem like it is for me. Overall this one is good. Feel has a nice bubble to it and a good liquid feel. Drinkable, sure. Light and crisp and it is well made. (it's just not my cup of tea)

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 08:48:07 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden light amber nice white head leaves a full coating of lace on my mug, not bad at all. Aroma: A deep piney hop nose very nice mild citrus edge, noticeable bready wheat profile nice. Taste: High bitterness prodcues regular hop burps, light malt and wheat sweetness flavors of the hops over shadows but it's not unbalanced not overly bitter really nice summer wheat. Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied evenly carbonated lawnmower brew with a nice hop flavor. Drinkability: Refreshing and hoppy not very much like the typical American wheat ale, I like it.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2004 01:24:49 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: crystal clear golden yellow in color sporting a 2" head that lasts a long time. Light lacing develops.

Smell: wheat, lemon, and light grass tones are easy to detect.

Taste: wheat, hefty lemon zest, hint of banana, and a nice bitterness which makes this the complete package for a refreshing summer beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, lightly dry and mildly crisp at the finish. Relatively clean aftertaste. Lighter bodied beer.

Drinkability: superb. This is an excellent example of a flavorful lower alcohol beer that is refreshing and easy to quaff. Awesome summertime beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2007 00:22:59 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The golden color of this ale is very misleading. One expects a fairly thin, neutrally tasting American Ale. This beer tastes bigger than it should. Once I got by the thin head and the Pilsner color, I was treated to a complex beer that is not lacking in hop or malt (although hop wins).

The hop aroma is green and somewhat flowery--definitely dry hopped. This is evident in the taste, too. A touch of sweetness is noted in the flavor, although I could not detect it in the smell. (A friend claimed he tasted the wheat, but I didn't sense it.) The beer is full bodied and moderately carbonated. I wish this were available around Boston.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2004 01:12:27 | More by smcolw
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden yellow color with the a fluffy white cap

S: Wheat, fruity but mainly citrus

T: Light citrus, wheat, slight hop bitterness

M: Light body, light booze, good feel for the style, well carbonated

O: A pretty good beer overall. Good beer to drink on a hot summer day.

Serving type: growler

05-24-2011 13:07:33 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice summer beer with hops. Golden-orange body with fluffy white head, so-so retention. Smells of floral, earthy hops. Taste has a light wheat backbone, but most of the flavor is in the hops. Fruity at first, then earthy and then heavily floral. Tasted like a pale ale at first, a pretty interesting beer. Its a little too light-bodied. A little more malt could turn this from a very good beer to a great beer. Give it try.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2006 04:10:40 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 08/21/12 notes. Had on tap at Stag's Head in NYC during their ST event.

a - Pours a bright yellow color with one inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of wheat, grains, bready malts, floral hops, and some earthy notes. Pretty nice nose, like the floral hops.

t - Tastes of lemongrass, citrus hops, floral hops, wheat, grains, bready malts, earthy malts, and toasted malts. Lot of citrus here which I like a lot; a step up from the nose for me.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty smooth.

o - Overall a nice wheat beer. Ton of citrus in the taste which is awesome, and easy to drink. A nice, easy drinking summer beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2012 16:18:14 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas


3.04/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with interesting label art and branded pry-off black/silver pressure cap acquired as part of a 4 pack (or was it a 6 pack?) at me local bottle shop and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery. "Brewed with 1 variety of hops and 3 types of malts." 5.1% ABV confirmed.

Not paired with food.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a two finger wide head of white colour. Somewhat thin. No real creaminess or frothiness. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes. Decent inconsistent lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent pale yellow. No yeast particles are visible. One of the most transparent beers I've seen in a long time; you can read through this. Appears adequately carbonated.

Standard fare for the style. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's not unique or special.

Sm: Citrusy lemon zest, clean barley, wheat, floral hop character, citrusy fruit hop character, and light resins. A clean pleasant aroma of mild strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Clean barley, lemon juice, lemon peel/lemon esters, citrusy fruity hops, floral hops, spring water, lemongrass, light spiciness/fruit zest, a hint of crackery malts, light resins, a bit of grain, fresh wheat, and herbal hop leaves. Somewhat simple, but well balanced. There's not much subtlety or nuance, but for a simple wheat beer it's pretty tasty. Refreshing and enjoyable. Not gestalt, but it does have some cohesion.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Clean.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. I like it for what it is.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to coax out the flavours a bit. Slightly oily. Refreshing. Crisp. Overcarbonated (perhaps its biggest flaw). Decent body and thickness. Okay presence on the palate. Clean. Suits the flavour profile well in a general sense, but there's not a marriage of texture to taste.

Not harsh, astringent, boozy, hot, or gushed.

Dr: A very drinkable summer seasonal that I enjoy but wouldn't go out of my way to get again. It's not Southern Tier's best work, but it's hard to not enjoy. There are better offerings out there at or below this price point, but this is certainly worth trying. While I wouldn't recommend it to friends, it's a tasty worthwhile beer considering the style. Hides its ABV well.

Low C+

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 02:02:26 | More by kojevergas
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Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,093 ratings.