I’d Tap That: SBC’s Sunset at the Lake has improved since its debut last year
Editor’s Note: Susquehanna Brewing Company and Grotto Pizza are teaming up to premiere SBC’s latest batch of Sunset at the Lake with a May 11 VIP keg-tapping at the brewery in Pittston.
Following the private debut, Sunset at the Lake will be available to the general public at Grotto Pizza locations throughout NEPA.
Weekender columnist Derek Warren has sampled and reviewed Sunset at the Lake, so you, our readership, can get an exclusive insight into the brew before you buy.
Glassware: Hops are the dominant aroma in any good IPA, but the addition of grapefruit makes for an even more aromatic beer. Bright qualities require a glass that traps aromatics to fully appreciate the beer. Glassware that allows the beer to remain cool as long as possible is also a must. The Spiegelau IPA glass is a must have for any IPA lover and services this beer appropriately. A snifter, nonic pint, or willi becher pub glass are all great selections as well.
Description: Sunset at the Lake pours a slightly hazy, golden copper hue with a frothy white head that dissipates but leaves a thin layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma explodes with fresh grapefruit but still has a strong hop presence that is not overwhelmed by the fruit. Subtle hop notes of citrus, passion fruit, and flower fall in line behind fresh grapefruit and are backed by semi-sweet malts in both aroma and taste.
The hop and grapefruit bitterness find balance with malts and make for an undeniably crushable session IPA. Moderate carbonation and medium-light body are textbook for a session IPA and add to the high drinkability factor of Sunset at the Lake. The true highlight of this beer is the strong flavor profile packed into such a light beer. This is an ideal beer for the approaching warmer weather and is a definite go-to beer for hop lovers.
Food pairing: Sunset at the Lake is a wonderful session IPA that is full of flavor but will not overpower dishes. As with many IPAs, it is great with a spectrum of spicy foods; any Mexican or Indian delicacies will be a tasty match.
This is also a beer that has a depth of flavor that must be experienced. The strong citrus and grapefruit notes with backing semi-sweet malts make for a perfect pairing with more refined dishes such as goat cheese ravioli topped with fresh pecorino cheese and cranberry drizzle. The creaminess of the cheese will melt into the body while the subtle acidity of the cranberries will gravitate toward the hops, and the carbonation will cleanse and invigorate the palate.
The grapefruit character also makes this a fantastic beer with brunch dishes, specifically omelets. Try pairing this with a bacon and cheddar filled omelet that will get any day off to a good start!
Sunset at the Lake is also a phenomenal beer to pair with pizza, and despite the lower ABV it is a beer that can handle any number of toppings and still shine through.
The Final Word: Sunset at the Lake is a collaboration beer between Susquehanna Brewing Company and Grotto Pizza. While most collaborations in the beer world are between breweries it is always interesting when these collaborations reach outside that world and pairing with one of NEPA’s best pizza makers seems ingenious! This is also the second year of this collaboration. Sunset at the Lake was released last year, and this year’s batch has a few tweaks to make it even better. Whatever adjustments they made certainly worked, and this is easily one of the best session IPAs available with a strong flavor profile wrapped in a light ABV. While it has a limited availability in the market, it is a beer that is certainly worth any extra effort to get your hands on and its also a great beer to have with great pizza!
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Susquehanna Brewing Company
Beer: Sunset at the Lake
Style: American IPA