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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)
Very Good
1,472 Ratings
Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer)

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

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 05-15-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,472 |  Reviews: 570
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.

 1,216 characters

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!

 472 characters

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

 521 characters

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.

 1,485 characters

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.

 736 characters

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.

 586 characters

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.

 330 characters

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.

 1,451 characters

Photo of SpecialK088
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Golden and very carbonated looking alot of fizzyness. Low head leaves a flim over the top of the beer

Cascade hops are the 1st thing you get with some other grassy hop notes and a slight alchol undertone. Also a very slight sweet fruit note almost like a grape

Grassy hops in the front of the beer that give it a very big IPA start but supriingly the bitterness does not come into the middle of the beer or the finish. Very crisp clean and refreshing beer. Swetness comes out a little in the middle along with the slightest bit of funk from the yeast.

Ever so slightly overcarbonated not enough to knock it on. Very smooth and complex. Medium to light body fits summer perfectly.

Easy to drink and a great all occasion summer beer. Congratz to Southern Tier for getting their big beer taste in something this easy to session.

 869 characters

Photo of naterock
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass pale straw-like yellowey color. thin but resilient head.

Smells of floral cascade hops with a wheaty malt backbone, and a tinge of yeast.

Tastes overlyhoppy for a wheat but that's not necessarily a bad thing. kinda wheak on the malt end but this is a really great beer regardless

Mouth is slightly over-carbonated and a bit oily but this is suprisingly refreshing and crisp. Drinkability is all day with this one and is a great pair for a summer cookout.

 482 characters

Photo of drcarver
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - a clean yellow color with a nice fluffy white head.

S - Not much in the way of aroma. A little floral.

T - Clean and crisp. Not much in hop flavor, but hints of citrus and the hop floral came through at the end. The wheat sweetness comes through.

M - Finishes clean and dry.

D - Very drinkable. The hop is not overwhelming making it go down easier than some other hoppy beers.

 385 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass.

3.5 A: Clear dark yellow color. White head starts out alright, but doesn't last very long and leaves only minimal lacing.

4.5 S: This smells really good if you like hops and I do. Big hits of really strong floral hops. Next is citrus, mostly lemon but also a bit of orange. Lastly, the wheat backbone is evident.

4.0 T: Surprisingly, the lemony hops stick out the most. There's also a decent bitter punch to it. An earthy wheatiness is also there, but no sign of any spices.

3.0 M: Light-medium body. I don't know if it's the beer or the bottle, but I find it to be moderately undercarbonated. Not flat or anything like that, but not bubbly enough. Smooth finish with a kick of bitterness.

3.5 D: Fix the carbonation, and the drinkability goes way up.

 785 characters

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

Nice golden hazy orange in color with a good white head and killer lacing noticed on the pint glass. Smells are of hops, wheat, lemon, and some light honey tones. Taste is nice and hoppy in the front and very refreshing overall. The wheat/honey notes come out in the back and give it a sort of fruity smoothness. Highly carbonated, ABV MIA, and light in body make this the perfect gulper for a session. Dangerously drinkable. My new summer beer of choice just has been confirmed for the '09 season.

 498 characters

Photo of emsroth
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no freshness date

App: Perfectly clear, pure gold with a nice white head.

Smell: The fruitiest hops I've ever smelled. Smells like summer fruit: peaches, pineapples, berries. No wheat malt to speak of which makes me sad, hence the 4.5.

Taste: Husky/grainy wheat malt paired with a balanced bitterness. Maybe the bitterness is too strong.

Light mouthfeel but a bit of a film from the bitterness. COuld have plenty of these on a hot summer day.

An interesting and delicious hybrid. A nice, bitter summer refresher

 535 characters

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

Pours a clear gold color with 2 fingers of foamy white head. OK retention and some decent lacing. Smells of grass, pineapple, lemon, honey, and toasted grains and wheat. Tastes of lemon, pineapple, and green apples up front, then some honey, toasted grain, wheat, and a grassy finish. Medium in body with pleasant carbonation. Smooth with a nice dry finish, nicely hopped. A really easy beer to session, great for a hot summer day.

 431 characters

Photo of gameface23
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Transparent, macro-lager color with a small head. This is a wheat beer? Where's the cloudiness?

S: Grassy, herbal hops dominate, followed by citrus fruits. It really smells like you are opening up a bag of hops while homebrewing. Awesome aroma.

T: More of that hop kick, sweet malts, citrus, and a hint of spice. I wish they didn't filter out the yeast, but it's still a very nice taste.

M: More full-bodied that I was expecting from the appearance. It's creamy and silky.

D: Excellent drinkability. I want more right now.

 530 characters

Photo of gdfan47
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

so i picked up this beer hearing from numerous intelligent people that its very simular to "3F gumballhead"

A- a lightish staw with a inch or so of pretty white head
S- Ammarilo, some other hops, corn, very pleasant
T- Its def more of a "hoppy" beer than a wheat beer
M- Very nice, light a little on the carbonated side but I like that
D- wow im a slow drinker and im half way through this beer already, very easy to drink. Low abv (4.3%) and its not too overbearing or complicated to drink. Def a great session beer

not as good as gumballhead, but not bad at all

 566 characters

Photo of beernut
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into my sam adams glass. Pours a light golden color. Violent pour gave about 1/2 inch of head that quickly faded, good lacing throughout. Aroma is that of citrus/fruity and floral hops. Taste is crisp slight hop taste, hint of lemon also weak on the wheat. Taste is almost watered down in a way but still good. Aftertaste is refreshing, not really bitter, clean and very good. Great beer for drinking during the summer.

 440 characters

Photo of william5586
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a- Very clear, very light yellow. The head, or I should say lack of head was kind of disappointing. However, tt did have some lace that appeared, then slid back down the glass.

S- Floral hops and citrus fruit.

T- A light does of hops start things off, followed by lemon and some citrus fruit. Finally, some malt sneaks in to balance things before a slightly bitter/grassy finish.

M- Light body. Very clean and refreshing with some bite from the carbonation at the end.

D- A great summer session beer. Not filling, easy to drink, full of flavor, and refreshing. What else can you ask for?

 593 characters

Photo of boralyl
4.62/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours one finger of frothy white head that fizzles away pretty quickly and leaves very little lacing. The beer is a clear golden straw color with a decent amount of visible carbonation.

S - A tiny bit of wheat malt combined with a nice helping of lemon and grassy hops.

M - Light-bodied with some very active carbonation. Crisp and light on the palette.

T - A nice hoppy opening. A combination of light citrus, lemon and grass. This is followed by a wheat bite in the finish along with some lingering sweetness. This beer remains light, but has that hops flavor to make it stand out from the other wheat beers out there.

A wheat beer that isn't as boring as most of the rest out there. It has a pleasant flavor and it's drink-ability is off the charts. It goes down like water on a hot day. This is in my top 3 favorite summer beers for sure. Since I can't get 3F Gumballhead in my area, I'll settle for this as my summer session beer.

 943 characters

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

A- Bright golden color with a nice tint of orange. With a nice lacing of head.

S-Yeast, wheat and a pleasant sourness. Grassy hops are there but very mild and grassy. Lemon aromas are there as well.

T- Lemon, citrus and malt come through first. Then the hops that are mild and have a nice bitterness behind them. Yeast and wheat come through in the aftertaste. The hops are in all aspects of the taste, they are very grassy but not over powering.

M- Soft mouthful with a nice carbonation.

D- Very Drinkable makes for a great summertime beer.

 545 characters

Photo of IMincedTheKing
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours blonde with a bubbly white head. Very clear, definitely filtered. The head recedes in moments.

Smells like piney hops and lemon-scented cleaner. That's (probably) not a good thing, but damn it, I'm a fan. There's also something very faint that reminds me of blueberries.

Taste starts off with hops and follows through with a fruit cereal flavor. Blueberries? Fruity Pebbles? It's the same strange quality that's present in Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat, only, in this case, it's done superbly. Because it tastes like cereal, I can't bring myself to score it any higher than 3.5, but it's definitely done right: before the fruity cereal taste, an excellent, sharp bite of hops rears its head and gives the brew all the character it would otherwise lack. A little thin, but the hops boost the mouthfeel to acceptable levels.

Drinkability? Yeah, totally. (Repeal the drinking laws and) Give this one to the neighborhood kids. But make sure to snap a couple for yourself.

 973 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tb69 for this bottle, poured chilled into a double walled tumbler.

A - A brilliant and clear golden straw color w/ substantial creamy white head of about an inch. The streams of bubbles indicated moderate to high carbonation appropriate for the style. The bead is fine and the lacing collects but doesn't really hold, no matter.

S - The aroma of citrus in the hops is evident, but more of a floral or herbal aroma to my sniffer. There is mild wheat malt noted, but the hops and fruit from the yeast are more noticeable

M - The feel is great, smooth almost nutty texture, moderate carbonation but not overdone. The sweetness is balanced by the hops a very great balanced texture on the tongue and throat.

T - This is a very good wheat in the pale american style, but has more flavor than most and the low abv makes it one you can drink in full gulps. There is a nutty malty wheat flavor that keeps up with the american hop. There is more hop aroma than taste, but after all this is an American Pale Wheat. The balance in the taste really makes this a refreshing beverage. I like crisp clean flavor that doesn't shy away from malt taste at the same time.

D - just great for the style. I would not hesitate to pick this up by the case. I could see it as a compliment to burgers or ribs for summer grilling events.

 1,326 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really digging on these pale wheat ales from Southern Tier, an odd choice and ABV content for a brewery that is known for their massive line of bombers.

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

A: Pours quite clear, bright golden yellow with a thickish head held up and together with some surprisingly significant hoppiness. Head fades but some lacy hemming around the rims of the glass remains.

S: Citrus peel, lemon zest, light on wheat but stronger than most other beers of this style. This beer reminds me a little of Gumballhead and could serve as the closest thing as to substitute to it as I can think of, I'd say this one leans a little heavier on the wheat than gumballhead, but perhaps because the amount of hops are reined in a little bit more on this beer than on Gumballhead.

T/MF: Light and crisp as it hits the tongue and works its way around my tongue. That familiar Amarillo hoppiness opens things up than gives way to a refreshing wheaty smoothness that steps aside and allows the hops to reenter the equation on the finish. The feel is surprisingly substantial, rather filling and almost chewy.

D: This beer is fantastic, super drinkable, a fantastically sessionable beer that I could easy keep an constant case of the entire summer. Could look a little prettier and flavors tend to wash out a bit when the hops take over, but this beer packs so much into a small package that it almost makes up for any shortcomings. Good stuff, underrated and worthy of fridge space.

 1,486 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 1,478 characters

Hop Sun (Summer Wheat Beer) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 1,472 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.