Reviewed on 01-17-2017
Rating A-
Style American Wheat Ale
Produced In United States
ABV 5.5%
Availability Spring

Perfect For

All-Day Sipping, Boozy Beach Trips

The Full Review

Seasonal beers can get predictable. Belgians and white ales in the winter, IPAs and pale ales in the spring, farmhouse ales and anything light in the summer, and Oktoberfest beers in the fall (and pumpkin beers, if you’re into that). But predictability can get stale, and it’s something to get excited about when seasonal beers buck the trend. Enter Hopscape, a Sam Adams wheat ale brewed with classic West Coast hops. It’s straw colored and a little hazy in the glass, with very fine carbonation. It's filled with citrus notes and a lasting bitter finish from the hops. Hopscape is a winter beer designed to be drunk while escaping the blustery cold for lunch and a beer. Most of all, it’s for when you’re tired of traditional winter beers and not quite ready for a big IPA. In the compromise lies the balance. Hopscape sits as a sessionable 5.5 percent alcohol by volume. A heady hop mix of Chinook, Citra, Centennial, and Zeus smell stronger than they taste, but there’s a noticeable grapefruit citrus and a gentle bitterness on the finish. The citrus and bitter balances out the sweet wheat. The coriander you would expect in a white ale is replaced by hoppiness, although the hops are stronger on the nose than on the palate. Don’t write it off as a summer beer just because it’s the color of sunshine, and whatever you do, don’t put a lemon or orange on your glass. The citrus from the hops is enough. So what makes it seasonal? Well, for one, it has enough weight to keep from being flimsy and summery like a pilsner. It’s also only available from January through February, so it's a hoppy winter beer you'll have to try before spring.