David Sapsis's picture

Judge's Review: 86 Rating - Hazealicious P.O.G. by Reuben's Brews

July, 2020
Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
5 / 6
35 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Hazealicious P.O.G. by Reuben's Brews is being judged as BJCP category 29A, Fruit Beer, with the base as a hazy/New England variant of IPA.

The beer is served in a goblet showing a hazy/milky medium amber color, and while a nice off-white head cap is present, it dissipates very quickly.

The aroma is somewhat soft with fruit notes of guava and orange, but I don't pick up the more saccharine nectar-ish notes common to passion fruit. Malt character is either low or washed out by the hop/fruit juiciness. There is another aroma character that is difficult to describe but comes off almost like sumac: richly tart, herbal, fruity and almost lemony. The nose comes off as quite dry, despite the assertive fruitiness evident.

The flavor starts off quite tart with a very prominent guava character rounded with bright lemon tartness, and again I strain to find passion fruit; the bitterness is there but modest. The mid-palate sees an emergence of orange and passion fruit (finally!) that lingers into the dry and bitter-burnished finish. Body is lush and full but countered by a pretty evident tartness and a hint of astringency.

Overall. the beer is fruity, bitter, tart and quite dry, but still has some juicy character, but not high or even typical for a NEIPA. Those that are fond of POG juice, so prevalent in the Hawaiian Islands, who are also IPA fans, would likely appreciate this beer. For me, a tad more rounded sweetness and less tartness would improve the effort. The POG character is very much there but has a fair degree of competition from tropical hop notes so prevalent in new-breed, new-world hop strains. Given the tartness and dryness, I might pair this with a nice dessert, like a peach fruit tart or key lime pie.