Vermont-based Lawson’s Finest Liquids is infamous in the beer world for its acclaimed IPA, Sip of Sunshine. Weighing in at 8.0% ABV, Sip of Sunshine was one of the first IPAs deserving of the term “juicy.” The flagship offering is now brewed under the watchful eye of Two Roads Brewing in Connecticut, and despite the lamentations of some detractors over the brewery’s expansion, it remains one of the best and most sought-after beers in the country.
A psychedelic sun and a cartoonish font splash across a bright yellow can. It implores you to “Keep Cold!” and “Enjoy Fresh!” Seems like good advice. Once in the glass, Sip of Sunshine is golden orange with just a drop of amber that darkens up the beer. In contrast to the hazy IPAs popular in the region, Sip of Sunshine is mostly clear, with an appearance that is more about lacing and head retention than turbidity.
For a beer from Vermont, Sip of Sunshine’s aroma nevertheless conjures up images of sunny citrus fields, with sun-bathed fruits releasing their oils. Bright citrus and sweet tropical fruits combine with pine resin and citrus rind to form a balanced and enticing aroma. In particular, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, floral and grassy notes pop above the glass.
One sip proves why Sip of Sunshine is a legendary beer.”
One sip proves why Sip of Sunshine is a legendary beer. Juicy tropical fruit dominates, but it is a deep and complex fruit flavor with brightness, sweetness and bitterness. The brightness presents both citrusy and green—think orange and also under ripe melon. The sweetness is both floral and tropical, like honeysuckle and warm pineapple. The bitter punch offers a pithy and resinous balance to the melange of fruit flavor. The hops are the showstopper here, but a slightly sweet and drying biscuit-like malt quality is still present to remind you this isn’t a juice bomb.
A trailblazer that—despite the lack of haze—unintentionally helped kick off the hazy IPA trend, Sip of Sunshine is a whale worth chasing. One of the first juicy, creamy and tropical IPAs out of New England, it also has distinct malt character and plenty of bitterness. No tweaks can unlock yet more hidden potential—this is a flat-out perfect beer. If you are lucky enough to score a can, just take it slow, sit back, and enjoy a Sip of Sunshine.