Review: Handsome Lad Pig in the Hat English-style Ale with Tropical Teas

There used to be a time when I felt that I was well informed of new breweries opening up, mostly back when I was writing a weekly beer column in the Brandon Sun. Now days, I hear about new breweries opening up but only find out about it when Instagram tells me "x of your followers follow this brewery".

Today I'm checking out Pig in the Hat English-style Ale with Tropical Teas by Handsome Lad Brewing. I'm pretty sure this is brewed over at Torque but that's all I know about the brewery. Well, on to the review! 7.0% ABV

Appearance: I had certain expectations before I opened this beer, mainly that this was going to be an amberish English Ale with a herbal and sweet tea presence. Well, this looks more like a fruit beer, reminiscent of a raspberry Sour I sampled a few months back. It's got a bright reddish body to it, a slight mahogany vibe to it and a faint white-beige head.

Aroma: Decently tart with fermented tea and lots of fruit to it. This beer reminded me vividly of a beer I haven't had in a couple years - Dieu du Ciel's Solstice d'été, a beer I've sampled ON the day of Summer Solstice a couple times over the years. It's got a surprising raspberry presence to it and a bit of an herbal Earl Grey tea vibe to it.

Taste: Pretty much what I got in the aroma. It's decently tart but not puckering tart, it's sweet and has a good amount of fruity notes to it, predominantly raspberry but I'm sure others would pick out other fruity notes in there that I didn't. Mild amount of tea, some Green, some Earl Grey but herbal nonetheless. 

Overall Thoughts: Completely different than I expected but it brought back some serious memories of an amazing beer back to life - Dieu du Ciel's Solstice d'été! It's sweet, mildly tart, good amount of fermented tea and lots of raspberry presence to it. I don't know what's English about it, aside from the notes of tea but all in all, tasty!

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