Slumbrew, AKA the Somerville Brewing Company makes a variety of artisanal ales in their brewery in Somerville, MA. The “slumbrew” moniker is derived from the old “Slummerville” nickname for Somerville, which is funny now that the town has undergone a major revitalization, with the Davis, Porter and Union Square now go-to locations for nights out. One of the keys to the Somerville Renaissance has been artisanal food and craft beer, each neighborhood is loaded with bars and restaurants that favor local, fresh and seasonal food and drinks. This makes Somerville the perfect place for inventive and fun new beers.
I tend to shy away from fruit beers. I love the flavor of malt and hops, I don’t need my beer to taste like fruit and sugar. That being said, subtle flavors of citrus and tropical fruit are a major reason why I love American hops, and their use in Pale Ales and IPA’s, so I can be talked into the idea of trying beers that attempt to enhance these flavors using fruit as an adjunct. Slumbrew Sittin on Hop of the World is a White IPA fermented with peach puree. White IPA’s combine the yeast and malt profiles of a Belgian white ale, typically some wheat and mild funky and estery flavors, with the strong American hop flavors of an IPA. The difference between a White IPA and a Belgian IPA is mostly semantics in my opinion (the line is pretty blurry), but I’ll keep separate designations depending on what the brewer decides to call the beer.
Sittin on Hop of the World pours a clear amber with a mild, white head and heavy carbonation. It doesn’t have the haze (formed from insoluble proteins in wheat malt) that is typical in Belgian Whites. The beer produces light hop aromas, some citrus and cut grass notes. The first taste gives a nice mix of citrus hops and the funky and estery flavors from the Belgian yeast, but neither flavor is overwhelming. The peach is there, evident but in more of a supporting role. The beer is easy to drink, all of the flavors are present but well balanced. It is 6.8% ABV, solid but not overly high for an IPA, and at 68 IBU’s it is noticeably bitter without torching your taste-buds. A great beer to sip while you grill up some steaks or seafood on a crisp fall afternoon. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.