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

Not Rated.
Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,314 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,314
Reviews: 547
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 64
Gots: 92 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 05-15-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,314 | Reviews: 547
Photo of charlieos
4.46/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very good balance between wheat and hops. Probably leans more towards the hoppy side. Lots of flavor given the abv, would make a great session beer. As someone who finds most summer beers too weak, I think this is an extremely solid beer.

Definitely a good buy, would appeal to non beer people decently well.

Photo of tjkurz
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up in a pick a six, poured into pint glass fairly clear dark yellow to gold. Decent head little lace. Smells slight hops, fresh, not getting much. Tastes mostly citrus to spicy peppery hops. Mouthfeel is nice body - not too light and not too heavy and carbed moderately - excellent. Drinkability okay - spice hops kind of saturate the palate.

Photo of erosier
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice orangey color with a medium sized and thick off white colored head that laces the glass all the way down.
S: Smells of citrusy fruits like grapefruit, lemon, orange, and then a nice wheat aroma followed by a nice citrusy hop aroma.
T: Tastes like the nose with a sweet wheat base followed by a really nice refreshing citrusy flavor that melds into a citrusy hop flavor to finish.
M: Really refreshing, crisp, light, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Really drinkable beer, this might be my new choice for the lawnmower brew.

Photo of WakeandBake
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice ligt golen color pour with a medium sized fluffy white head, good retention, spotty lacing,medium carbonation. Aroma of floral hops,a little wheat, and some nice little grapefruit notes. Flavor is a bit floral up front with some spice, citrus hops and just a little of the wheat malt, hoppy but with balance, light to medium body ,crisp,refreshing smooth mouthfeel, lightly sweet fuity finish. Very sessionable, I would buy this again

Photo of Risser09
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Opens with a hiss, pours a transparent golden urine yellow with a super quickly rising white head. It's a towering 3" of foam that has great retention. Tons of carbonation rushes to the surface. A plateau of foam is created when the outside ring of foam dissipates first.

Smell: Fresh hop aroma of grapefruit, lemon, hyacinth and some pine. Wheat aromas exist as well. Quite powerful.

Taste: Vegetal, citrus, floral hop flavors of lemon, watercress, grapefruit all collide for a fresh flavor. Wheat malt is chewy but fresh in the finish. A hoppy wheat brew!

Mouthfeel: Fresh, floral, sweet, bitter with plenty of carbonation. A little bit of alcohol twang. A down and out bitter finish.

Drinkability: A great summer session beer. Because of the fresh, floral, citrus hops I would reach for this brew again and again. Nice!

Photo of vtfan77
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light gold with a small, fizzy head that goes away very quickly.

S- Quite citrusy. In fact, it smells a lot like fresh orange juice. Seriously, if I was blindfolded I might actually mistake this for orange juice instead of beer. Further review reveals a nice underlying wheat character, but the orange smell dominates.

T- Crisp, cracker-like wheat meets citrus hops is the best way to describe the taste. A leafy, tea-like bitterness comes through towards the middle and lingers into the aftertaste.

M- Crisp and on the light side of medium body-wise. Good carbonation level and quite easy to drink.

D- It's quite light and refreshing for those hot summer days and the ABV is just right for a session beer. I can easily see having two or three of these (or more) in one sitting.

This is a solid summer wheat beer with a good hop character. Perhaps it could use a little complexity, but it doesn't have any major flaws. It's a good beer to drink on a hot day or really any time. Recommended.

Photo of BierFan
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Small white head and a clear yellow body.

Smell: Aroma of tropical fruits and sour candy. Smell is similar to apple and pineapple.

Taste: Very tart. Cheek puckering tartness. Hard to pick out many flavors between the tartness and bitterness.

Photo of birchstick
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a clear yellow with a fluffy white head that hangs around for a while

S - for a wheat beer, this smells great. Some wheat, which is quickly followed by citrus hops

T - nice wheat taste that is balanced with hops. One of the better-balanced APWAs I have had. Usually they are all wheat with some citrus. This one has wheat, a touch of lemon peel, and some nice hops.

M - smooth and goes down easily

D - this is a great summer beer and one that I definitely will buy again. It is up there with Oberon and Gumballhead for my favorite APWAs, which is good company to be in.

Photo of wiseguy142
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hopped up wheat beer? I like how Southern Tier thinks.

Pours a light golden yellow with an average sticky white head. Decent amount of bubbles rising up from the surface. For some reason I've taken to drinking beer out of red win glasses lately (don't need a lecture on proper glassware) and it looks pretty tasty in here. Nothing too outrageous about the appearance but everything looks good and appetizing.

Aroma = pure cascade and crystal malt. Some mineraly notes like if you were smelling mineral water.

Taste differs a bit from the aroma nicely. More juicy flavor from the hops (centennial/amarillo?). Clashes a bit with the light feel of the beer.. I think I'd rather have it more piney and cascadey. Some cereal flavor from the wheat which is nice.

Nice frothy mouthfeel. The head really comes out in the taste like a nice German pilsner. A light beer with full hop flavor and low bitterness makes for really great drinkability.

There's nothing average about this beer. It excells in basically everything it does: all the categories above, ingenuity, brewing practice. I feel like I'd like to drink this in a beer garden in Germany, even though it's very far from classic German styles.

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks ratpack, for the chance to sample near-greatness in the form of american wheat ale.

a - hazy golden w/ 3/4 inch white bubble crown that last for some time. nice

s - grapefruit, orange peel, lemon slices, some wheat and grass aromas pull through as well

t - very citrusy and almost tart at first. the wheat provides some needed sweetness but in the end the hops bring us to a bit of a bitter close. really well balanced, and one of the top tier hopped up wheats that i've been lucky enough to sample.

mf - very highly carbonated and has a crisp "bite". also this tasty little liquid has a light body, perfect for summer quaffing

d - i could chase the heat away all day with this one(if southern tier distributed here in denver)

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler obtained fom good ole DeCiccios in Ardsley, NY. Pours lighter goldeny amber, near white head and tehn leaving expansive zones of lace on the glass. Lemon and fresh hop notes in the nose. Ahh summer time and the time is right for zesty, refeshing summer wheat beer, this one continues on what the sniff has started, more citrus, more fresh hop bite. It all adds up to an assertive take on the style, full of flavor, zest, citrus, hop character and summery goodness. More quality brew from NY state's own ST

Photo of Tone
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, golden/yellow color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, wheat, slight grass, and slight coriander. Fits the style of an American Pale Wheat Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. The bitterness level is only slight. Tastes of hops, wheat, lemon, grass, and sweet malt background. Overall, a very hoppy pale wheat ale, but the sour wheat and bitter hops aren't the greatest combination.

Photo of scootny
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A crisp hoppy summer ale. Golden hue with a light and fluffy head. Nice amount of carbonation and bits of lacing.

Smell is soft and hoppy with light wheat and malt. The hop combination is the star here.

Taste is a crisply structured pale ale with a hop oil finish. Just a touch of wheat in there. A delicate malt and wheat backbone that seemed too light to me at first blush is on the second night perfect. A touch of graininess and light grass. Finish leaves a dry faint crackery taste and a bit of phenol. Feel is light with soft crispness in the carbonation with a lingering dryness in the finish.

An easy drinker. Quenching and with a low abv for sessioning.

Photo of rregan
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Golden color. Small carbonation/head.

S- Citrus and Hop smell. Nice combo.

T- Just like the smell. Citrus hits you right away. Hoppy finish. Complements each other well.

M- Light and crisp. It has summer written all over it. Didn't look like it, but it was definitely bubbly and alive.

D- I love Sam Adams Summer Ale. This is just like that, but hoppy. Nice change of pace from the other summer wheats. Will most definitely be drinking this again. I highly recommend it.

Photo of weasbri
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just on the orange side of golden, with a lovely looking head all the way down.
Definitely citrus aroma, tending toward lemon, maybe a touch of grapefruit.
Flavor follows, but not nearly as bitter as expected, some flowery tones and a smidge of sweetness as well. Creamier than expected, with a lemony tang hanging behind.
Just got back from my 7 mile bike commute home on an 85 degree day, and man, does this ever hit the spot.

Photo of damienblack
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pale straw in color. Unremarkable in the way of head or lacing. Has an absolutely big hop smell, like a huge IPA. Unfortunately, it seems most of the hops were aroma hops. Tastes more like what they were going for. A pleasantly hoppy version of the run-of-the-mill summer wheat beers you find. Not too hoppy, just a bit. As it warms it mellows out nicely. Mouthfeel is a bit thin through. Drinkability definitely improves as it warms. It was nice to try, but I don't think I'll be making a habit out of it.

Photo of tigg924
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: small carbonation, 1/4 inch head, clear, gold

Smell: orange, hops, and grapefruit

Taste: malt, wheat, lime, orange, with a hoppy finish

Mouthfeel: smooth, sweet, light, medium carbonation with a slightly bitter finish

Drinkability: With a low ABV this is exceptionally drinkable. I could really session this in the summer. A pleasant surprise as the hops are not as biting in the taste as they are on the nose. A great lawnmower beer.

Photo of epicness
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden copper. Had a nice half an inch white head but it went away pretty quickly. Pretty nice lacing on the glass. I was surprised that.

S: Strong lemon and orange and what seems to smell like pine needles. It's truly a beautiful smell.

T: After smelling such a good smell I was worried that I was going to be highly disappointed by the taste. Definitely not the case! I was actually impressed that the taste was just as good as the smell! Definitely a dominating taste of lemon and orange. I also taste the pine needles that I smelled so I wasn't imagining it. Also, I can definitely taste some wheat and possibly banana. I would need to drink another bottle so I could get a better feel if there is banana. Also I tasted hops on the finish.

M: Strong carbonation with a light body. Very crisp refreshing beer that is specifically made for the summer, but I could find myself drinking it any time.

D: I'm going to use the word that comes along with the 5.0 rating on this site. EXCEPTIONAL drinkability is the only way to describe it. It's probably pretty easy to get caught up mowing the lawn or just relaxing in the yard and downing a 6 pack. With the low ABV, it would probably be hard to taste it also.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Went on a Summer seasonal binge using my local store's mix your own 12 pack special, this is the first one up.

Pours a nice light golden color, great head to it.. minimal amount of lacing. Light bodied (which is what I'm looking for on a nice hot day), some nice lemon type flavors in there. Goes down very smooth and easy.. incredibly refreshing! Nice balance going on here and not just a light bland summer beer like some other breweries do... good one to pick up here!

Photo of beerman207
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Special thanks to Kels for hooking me up with 2 of these for my wife and I to try.

A - Looks like a dark yellow poured into the glass. Head doesn't stick around long

S - Smell is of wheat, citrus (strong), pine, and some orange peel coming through - very very nice.

T - The taste is very refreshing with the orange and citrus dominating the palate. The wheat is in there as well.

M - Medium Carbonation - good

D - I would rate the drinkability of this as exceptional. The ABV is just right and the taste is very good

Photo of bamadog
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My second APWA review in two days. Hot damn. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass -- thanks to kels for introducing me to this one.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy light, wheaty golden color with a small, just under one finger head that is white and and uneven-- parts are thick and look a little bit like wet cotton balls floating on top; dwindles very quickly to a very thin skim on top. Very solid carbonation bubbling up from below; moderately thin lacing that is a little oily tries to hold on to the sides and becomes a little spotty.

Smell: Quite a bit coming out of the nose - I smell some grainy wheat coming out, some slight but sweet malts, some nice citrus (lemon, I would say, possibly some orange peel in there as well as it's a little on the sweet side too).

Taste: Immediately I'm hit by two predominant flavors - the grainy wheat-like aspect and the solid lemony citrus. After the initial taste starts to fade though, the wheat is easily the strongest in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body is very light; and due to the strong carbonation, it is a crisp and refreshing beer that is really perfect for the summer. There is just a very slight coating left on the tongue and beyond that it is a very clean finish.

Drinkability: With the warmer weather starting to beat down on us, this is really a great beer that is light in body and low in ABV, so it's very easy to drink without much worry in getting too intoxicated, always (well, maybe not always) a plus.

Photo of williamherbert
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From an octagonal tumbler...

I always remember loving this beer for summer, but it seemed to not quite live up to what I remembered.

The appearance is clear golden yellow. Brighter light gives it an even, lighter look. The head dies quick. Not much to write home about.

The aroma is nice, flowery hops that wafts above the glass. Underneath, a crystalline wheat aroma. They work well together in the nose.

The taste is a sharp taste of some flowery, but slightly bitter (German-style) hops. The floral flavors dominate. Sweet perfumey and summery. Not mind-blowing, but nice enough.

The feel gives a small bite on the way down. Light, but bubbly. It's not quite as sublime as I remember, but incredibly drinkable in the summertime.

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

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.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a hazed pale straw yellow color with about an inch of white foam. Nose and flavor are of light citrus (lemon), fruity, floral, slightly bitter. A notch better than medium bodied and amply carbonated. Excellent drinkability. A great warm weather wheat ale.

Photo of TaddyPorter
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer of these among a NY-centric beer selection I made at Heliopolis in Queens. It occurred to me that this could be my last visit to that store for a while, so here's to Heliopolis and to Sarah! Indeed, she (along with Rebe), is helping with the review the day after throwing us a going-away party at her place.

Appearance: A crisp, golden-looking sparkler with a thin bit of white film as its head.

Smell: The dankness of the hops stands out, and is balanced by clean-smelling fruit esters. The combination of a traditional wheat beer and an aggressive but nicely balanced hop profile is evident.

Taste: It hits the palate first with a smooth wheatiness quickly bitten through by a sting of grassy hops. The two flavors settle together and then a biscuit malt breadiness prevails. Leaves you with biscuit at the center of the tongue and juicy hop oils on the side.

Mouthfeel: Very light, tingly bubbles rush over the tongue and then dissipate, allowing the flavors to wash over the palate one by one. It is enjoyably fizzy at first but then mellows nicely.

Drinkability: Overall, a very enjoyable brew. I got a six pack and really liked several last night, so I wanted to review it today to dedicate some more careful attention. My sense is that the hoppiness is a bit too aggressive for its style, and dominates the aftertaste of the beer. Its name suits it though, and I'll never kick this sunshiney hoppy beauty out of my glass.

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Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,314 ratings.