Up front, I’m just going to say this: please appreciate how hard I’m working to not fill this write-up with bee puns. Buzz, sweet, sticky, hive, wax, queen, worker, drone… I’m not annoying you with wordplay on ANY of them, and I think I deserve some credit for that.
New England love working with other producers in their local area, so it was only a matter of time before they brought in some Spring Valley Honey to use in a beer. That it would be a hazy IPA packed with whole Galaxy and Eclipse hop cones was perhaps a little less predictable.
The beer is Hop Buzz, and honestly it goes beyond hazy. It’s fitting that it contains Eclipse hops, since it blocks all the light that tries to push through it. It’s thick as orange juice and brings some of that flavour too, with a tweak of passionfruit and a gentle sweet spritz of mandarin as well. After the initial wave of fruit, the subtle honey character comes in like an afterthought, not increasing the sweetness but redefining it.
Since honey as an ingredient is so thick and chewy in the mouth, it's almost tempting to think the big mouthfeel of this beer is from the honey. But no, that's the result of oats, rolled oats, wheat, the spongey carbonation from New England’s signature can-conditioning, and a whole lot of brewing skill.
Overall, Hop Buzz is (unsurprisingly) not too dissimilar from Butting Hops, the hazy IPA with whole Galaxy cones that New England released last year. But that’s certainly not a problem.
Published March 24, 2023 2023-03-24 00:00:00