New England sports fans have a reputation for being boisterous and abrasive, but when you’ve won 12 championships in the past 18 years, there’s some backup for your boasting. Likewise, the region’s signature hazy IPA has also reached a near-insufferable level of success. So, it should come as little surprise that Massachusetts brewery Lord Hobo has married those two things in a liquid celebration of Boston. Named for the Title Town area code, 617 is an in-your-face juicebox beer that, despite any feelings you may have about the region's sports teams or its beer, you’ve just gotta respect.
617 is a little more muted than your average NEIPA, lacking that illustrious orange glow for which many of its ilk are known. It looks more like a melted Creamsicle than beer. Dumped into a Spiegelau, the beer forms a peaking head of glass-gripping taupe bubbles—by all indications, a well-made New England.
The bouquet of hops makes for an intoxicating first sniff. 617 smells like a freshly peeled tangerine, cottony pith and all. There’s a slight vegetal undercurrent, but this is a beer that’s built to hammer you with citrus. And it does.
Year after year, you can count on two things: juicy haze bombs and Boston championships.”
Like a Super Bowl ring, 617 is presented on a bed of velvet. It’s almost impossibly soft, to the point where it tastes puréed. You get the typical carpet bombing of fruit flavors: grapefruit, mango, pineapple. At this point, the sensation’s a little rote—another juice extravaganza from a region that’s staked it's reputation on the style. It’s fun, but it’s been done.
Sports fans, meet the Tom Brady of turbidity. The big hoppy Big Papi. Sure, it’s not the most original beer, but at this point, would you expect anything else? Year after year, you can count on two things: juicy haze bombs and Boston championships. If tradition holds true, the Bruins will be drinking this one out of the Stanley Cup come June.