I try to focus my blogging (and thus the vast majority of my drinking) on New England beers, so my knowledge of breweries in the rest of the country is more limited. Occasionally I see other beer geeks get excited when an out of state brewery announces that they are going to begin local distribution and I need to do some online research to familiarize myself with the brewery. The exception involves breweries from the rest of New England, I try to keep tabs on most of the breweries in the other 5 New England states so I know something about their offerings if I am in their neck of the woods or if they move into eastern Massachusetts. One brewery that needed no introduction was Lawson’s Finest Liquids out of Vermont, who recently announced that they would begin regular distribution to Massachusetts accounts. Lawson’s is best known for their hoppy beers, especially their double IPA Sip of Sunshine, one of the beers that has been credited with developing the style New England IPA and putting it into the national consciousness. Sip of Sunshine distribution is somewhat limited, but you can find it on draft around the city and in distinct yellow 16 oz. tallboy cans in select bottle shops.
Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine pours a clear bright orange with a huge off-white head. The aroma is a large burst of hops, tropical and citrus fruit along with pine. The flavor is hop forward, notes of grapefruit, orange, grass and papaya. Sip of Sunshine is mid-way between West Coast and New England Style IPAs, some of the fruit flavor but less haze and just a little bitterness. There is enough malt flavor for some balance, touches of bread crust and biscuits. Sip of Sunshine is medium bodied and drinks very easy for 8% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. Sip of Sunshine is clearly an extremely well crafted beer, I understand why it has developed such a following. Some of my regular readers might wonder why it just missed “best beers” level, it’s just a matter of personal taste. While I enjoyed this beer and recognize the quality there are other DIPAs that I prefer. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Lawson’s Finest Liquids Reviews: