As large swaths of the country join the push for social justice and equality, many different types of businesses are coming under the microscope. Craft beer is definitely an industry that has some work to do, while the industry has been full of success stories in the last decade it has also been rightly criticized for being very white and male-centric. The overabundance of bearded white dudes at every level of breweries has made some people feel unwelcome at many breweries, and the frat-boy atmosphere at too many breweries has led to incidents of racism, sexual harassment and worse. There needs to be more done to help minorities get into leadership roles in the industry, and I see some welcome signs including the Pink Boots scholarships, the Michael Jackson Foundation stated by Garrett Oliver, and the Crafted For All pledge. It is also important for all of us that love craft beer to help amplify diverse voices and support breweries owned by minorities, one of the best ways to help local beer thrive is by expanding the number of people who enjoy it. I know I can do better and I will try. Of the ~200 breweries in Massachusetts there are 5 with Black owners, including White Lion Brewing in Springfield. I’ve enjoyed a number of White Lion beers in the past but was disappointed when I realized that I hadn’t formally reviewed any, so I am going to make amends for that starting now. Recently I grabbed a few different White Lion beers including Purrlicious, a NEIPA brewed with Sabro and Loral hops and available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.
White Lion Purrlicious IPA pours hazy light orange with a solid off-white head. The aroma is solidly hoppy, mostly tropical fruit. The flavor is also hop-forward, notes of guava, tangerine and mango along with a soft and mild bitterness. A full malt backbone adds balance along with touches of cereal and bread crust. Purrlicious is meduim-bodied and very smooth, not too boozy at 6% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. This is a really nice NEIPA, good flavor, well crafted and easy drinking. I need to drink (and review) some more White Lion beers soon! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.