Pouring from a 12oz bottle into wine stemware, Allagash Hoppy Table Beer presents itself as a glowing, neon yellow elixir with a subtle turbidity that hints at its unfiltered nature. The high carbonation produces a visually captivating, large, and enduring white head, leaving behind perfect layers of lacing after each sip – a true work of art in the glass.


The aroma of this beer is nothing short of exceptional for its style. Fresh and invigorating, it boasts fleeting notes of lemongrass, cracked grain, and sourdough bread, creating an olfactory experience reminiscent of lemon meringue pie. As it warms, the aroma evolves to sweet eggy custard and angel food cake, reaching a level of richness that is truly phenomenal. Lurking in the background is a delicate floral presence, reminiscent of cherry blossoms. Notably absent are any hints of Brett or funkiness; this brew opts for cleanliness, enhancing the overall purity of the experience.


With a super-light body and a refreshing profile akin to white grapefruit seltzer, Allagash Hoppy Table Beer defies the notion of watery session ales. The addition of oats, along with the exquisite Maris Otter and 2-row house malt blend, imparts a fresh graininess and white bread density/chewiness to the flavor. Remarkably absent is any discernible coriander, a deliberate choice that preserves the beer’s delicate nature and prevents it from leaning towards a Witbier. This interpretation aligns more with a session saison, offering a nuanced and enjoyable taste experience.


The finish is where this beer truly shines, exhibiting an exceptionally dry and crisp quality. Despite the presence of four different hop varietals, including high alpha-acid and potentially aggressive ones like Chinook, Azacca, and Comet, the bitterness remains in check. Rather than creating an astringent mouthfeel, the bitterness contributes a delicate grassy sharpness that adds depth without overpowering. At 4.8% ABV, the beer maintains a refreshing quality, with the low alcohol content seamlessly integrated into the overall profile.


In all honesty, Allagash Hoppy Table Beer stands out as one of the most flawless beers I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Its ultra-dry, crisp, and delicate nature, coupled with endless refreshment, places it in the realm of brewing masterpieces like De Ranke XX Bitter, Thiriez Extra, and De la Senne Taras Boulba. This offering authentically captures the essence of a true saison, harkening back to its original purpose as a summer quencher for farmers. While it leans towards a more grassy bitterness than a typical saison or grisette, it remains a quintessential example of a sessionable Belgian pale ale. If there ever was a reason to invest in a kegerator, having Allagash Hoppy Table Beer on static tap at home would be it.