A couple of us had the pleasure of attending a little launch party for HogsBack's new seasonal, Sunofa Beach. Some of the lads from HogsBack were on hand to chat about it and meet some of their loyal customers. To me, this was a huge treat, on par with being able to sit back and enjoy a few pints of their new beer. After meeting a few of these gentlemen (first at the Watson's Mill beer tasting, and then last night at the Sandy Hill Bar and Lounge,) you really get the sense that they're down-to-earth, regular beer-loving Joes, who love to tell stories and talk about their trade. What's not to like, and even respect, about that?
If you're new to the Ontario craft brew scene, you might be asking yourself who HogsBack is. They've got a great little story about how they came to be over on their website. Essentially they're a group of good ol' Ottawa boys who got together very recently - only a couple of years ago - to start this great new brewing company. They have one lager that you can find in general circulation at most LCBOs: The HogsBack Vintage Lager. I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but this is fast becoming my go-to session beer (as a matter of fact, I am enjoying one as I write this.) So yes, they currently have this superb lager, and they just recently started doing seasonals. And that is what we're here to talk about today.
I only remembered to take one quick picture for a tweet while we were there. It unfortunately isn't the best picture - I promise to get better! The HogsBack Sunofa Beach Kristal Wheat:
In this case we were served this by the pitcher, and we all know pouring from a pitcher is much different than pouring from a can or bottle. However, when we poured it we got a clear golden straw appearance with minimal head and very little lacing. The nose if very faint, a slight sweetness that is difficult to discern at first but can best be described as a vanilla aroma. You get a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel every sip. The faint sweetness from the aroma becomes more apparent in the taste - but not to the point of being overpowering - and the vanilla aroma almost takes on a honey quality in the taste. Aftertaste is very light to almost non-existant.
The main thing here: smooth, crisp and slightly sweet. The perfect summer beer. It's a limited run that will not be available in retail, you'll only be able to get it on tap at select locations. The HogsBack boys said they'd have a listing up soon as to where else you can enjoy this fine beverage. In the meantime, do yourself a favour: stop by beautiful Sandy Hill and head over to the Bar and Lounge for a pint of this great beer.
Cheers to a job well done, HogsBack!