Last day of school means summer is officially here

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By: Eric Strader
ericstrader69@gmail.com

Eric Strader/Hop Notes

Yesterday I finished my last day with students, and with the sun shining, I’m ready to celebrate.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But I really love the much-needed break of summer, as well. So let’s celebrate with a Sip of Sunshine and give away some stuff.

I have several things to give away, including a Moosehead beach towel (OK, it’s not quite craft beer, but it’s a nice towel), a Bell’s Brewery Winter White can koozie – to remind you on those really hot days that it will be cooler again sometime – and a Dark Horse Brewing Co. pint glass.  

The first three people to email me at ericstrader69@gmail.com with Hop Notes Summer Giveaway in the subject heading are winners.

The first person to respond will get first choice of the prizes, second will get second choice and so on. Winners must be somewhat local or at least be able to pick up their winning items at DIY Coffee and Ale Supply at 114 E. Washington St. in Goshen.

Please be courteous to other readers and if you have won something from Hop Notes in the past few months, let other readers have a chance.

Back to that Sip of Sunshine (IPA, 8 percent ABV) from Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Vermont. Vermont is putting out some awesome beer, and unfortunately, not much of it is distributed to our area. So it is really really nice to have friends and relatives that travel to Vermont and bring back beer.

Just a couple of Vermont breweries worth mentioning are Rock Art Brewery and The Alchemist, which is well known for its Heady Topper (imperial IPA, 8 percent ABV) which currently gets a 100 rating on both BeerAdvocate.com and RateBeer.com. Heady is a great beer and I have enjoyed it many times.

However, Sip of Sunshine, which also gets a 100 rating on both sites, is my new favorite IPA.  

They both clock in at 8 percent ABV, so I’m not sure why one is an IPA and one is an Imperial IPA, but that percentage is right around the middle area between the two styles.

Sip of Sunshine pours a slightly hazy golden color and the aroma of hops begins oozing out of the glass right away. The aroma has lots of orange and grapefruit citrus and a bit of pine. It’s not particularly balanced, but in this case, I’m happy with it tipping to the hoppy side.  It has a medium body with a good mouth feel and lots of juicy citrus hops from start to finish. This is definitely a hop-lover’s beer.

Neither of these beers are very easy to track down, even in Vermont, but if you know of anyone heading that way, make sure to have them bring some back for you.

Also, just off the press: The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer by Ashley Routson.  Ashley has been one of the foremost beer bloggers in the U.S. for quite some time. If you haven’t checked out any of her writing, you are missing out. Here is what she says about her book:

In a world dominated by beer books written by middle-aged men, The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer provides a uniquely refreshing, fun and unpretentious (and youthful) approach to one of the world’s greatest beverages. Part history class, part sensory training and part cookbook––The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer takes its readers on a whirlwind adventure, exploring everything from beer styles to beer history, ingredients and the brewing process, pairing with food, cooking with beer and designing beer cocktails.

I just received my copy for review and a second copy to giveaway on Hop Notes.  So keep your eyes open for this one.  I might even make you work a bit harder in order to win, so brush up on your Hop Notes trivia!

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