Everyone needs a sidekick. Mickey Mouse has Minnie. Bert has Ernie. Our donkeys (Rocky and Earl) have each other. And, Don Quixote had Sancho Panza. This got us thinking that our Donkey (-Hoté) needed a sidekick. While Donkey-Hoté has a ton of fans (it is, after all, our most popular beer), that hasn’t stopped folks from asking us for a true New England Style IPA – one that was hazy (but not yeasty), lower alcohol than Donkey-Hoté’s 8.2% ABV, soft on the palate, and intensely, aromatically hoppy – without being too bitter. You asked, and we are delivering.

For our birthday party this coming Sunday, July 1st, we are releasing the first beer in our Hoppin’ Summer Series 2018. It’s called Sancho (Panza) – a New England-Style IPA that is the perfect the sidekick to our Donkey-Hoté Double IPA. This beautifully hazy, golden-colored 6.1% ABV beer is brewed with the same malts as Donkey-Hoté , the same yeast, and equivalent hops in terms of flavor, but the new hops in Sancho (Eureka, Amarillo, & Galaxy) are much more aromatic. To tie the two beers together, we also use a generous amount of Citra hops as we do in Donkey-Hoté .

The result? Read on for our tasting notes, but I will tell you that Sancho is getting high early praise from those that have tried it. Sadie Dahlgren is flipping over it, as is most of our team:

Smart girl has good taste in beer!

Sadie Dahlgren flips for Sancho Panza!

We are anxious to hear what you guys think!

– Appearance: This is a hazy, tangerine-colored beer with an off-white head.

– Aroma: The aroma on this one packs a punch – it’s dank, resiny, and citrusy, balanced by the tremendous smell of a perfectly ripe bowl of fruit – pineapple, fresh melon, and peach

– Taste & Mouthfeel: When you take a sip, you’ll first get a wallop of fruity and hoppy spice – citrus, ripe pineapple, pine, and mild stone fruit – ending with a dry and piney hoppiness. The mouthfeel on Sancho is very soft and pillowy, yet the body is still lush & full. In true New England IPA-style, the bitterness is somewhat subdued, but the peppery notes of the hop still shine through and will linger on your palate.

– Pairing: We like pairing this with good friends, including our dogs! :). In terms of food, this is a relatively bold beer given its hop characteristics, so you can pair it with bigger foods like aged cheddars, fried clams, and truffle mac & cheese. We are looking forward to enjoy this beer with some New England classics – lobster rolls, mussels, and littleneck clams.

– Serving glass: At the brewery, we’ll be serving this in a 16-oz tulip glass.

– Stats: 5.7% ABV and 54 IBU

If you plan to stop by for our 7th birthday, we’ll also have the following brand new beers:

  • Lucky Sevens IPA – featuring seven types of grains, seven varieties of hops, and weighing in at 7.77% ABV!
  • Cuvée de la Hobbs Farm – This special mixed fermentation golden ale blends brett-fermented beer from two barrels- a white wine barrel and a gin barrel. The result is a clear, straw-colored beauty with a funky, fruity, and pineapple aroma, with white wine, tropical fruit, pineapple flavor with a funky and bitter finish.
  • Peach & Apricot Pinot Noir Barrel-Fermented Sour – This hazy, golden-colored, barrel-fermented sour is finished with peaches and apricots. It’s packed with layers of flavor – stone fruit (peach, apricot, nectarine) up front, with a well-balanced tartness, and a slight oakiness from the pinot noir barrel.

Plus, if the beer gods are smiling on us, our Watta Melon Blonde Ale should be finished and released on July 1st! As always, this will be light and refreshing, and will make you feel like you are at a perfect summer picnic.

We hope to see you on Sunday!

Local Love

Malt by Valley Malt in Hadley, MA.