I don’t go to breweries as much as I would like. Life is busy and I find that I buy more of my beer in bottle shops, which allows me to purchase a variety of styles from different producers all in one stop. I have made a personal goal to visit more local breweries and taprooms this year, with a focus on the places I have yet to patronize. Probably the biggest oversight locally was Aeronaut Brewing in Somerville, considering how close it is to where I live it’s inexcusable how long it took me to get there. When my wife and I were invited by our friend Jenny to grab dinner and then check out the Science by the Pint event at Aeronaut a couple weeks ago I finally remedied this oversight (and heard about some cool science while enjoying some quality beer). One of the beers I sampled was The Eye of Sauvin, a Belgian Pale Ale brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops. Nelson Sauvin hops are native to New Zealand and are known for the fruity white wine-like flavor they impart on the beer. I love the combination of fruity New World style hops with expressive Belgian style yeast strains, when correctly paired they make for some delicious beers. Aeronaut clearly has a successful pairing here because I enjoyed my first taste of The Eye of Sauvin enough to grab a growler to go.
Aeronaut The Eye of Sauvin pours a pale orange with a moderate white head. The scent is a complex mixture of floral hops and expressive Belgian yeast. The yeast leads the flavor with notes of pear, clove, white pepper and apricot. This is complemented by significant hop flavor, grass, lemon and the expected dry white wine. Despite the substantial hop flavor and aroma the beer isn’t very bitter, the hop additions were clearly added in mostly later in the brewing process. The malt backbone is muted, just a hint of cracker grain and caramel that lets the yeast and hops sing. The beer is light bodied and goes down easy, but packs a little punch at 7.2% ABV. The finish is dry with a little fruity ester flavor from the yeast. This was a very enjoyable beer, light but full flavored and perfect for spring. I clearly need to make more trips to Aeronaut to see what else they have to offer! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.