The liquid poetry that is the Burgeon Universal Secret IPA pours out of its 16oz can, presenting a visually enticing experience. The beer radiates a glowing, translucent straw-colored hue, crowned with a thick, persistent white foam that lingers, setting the stage for what promises to be an aesthetically pleasing encounter.


As the olfactory journey unfolds, the nose is greeted by a melange of tropical notes. The collaboration with Stone Brewing manifests in the form of Galaxy, Nelson, and Vic Secret hops, unleashing a symphony of ripe, tropical melon fragrances. Delving deeper, the bouquet reveals juicy papaya and sweet jackfruit at its core. With a temperature shift, subtle hints of birthday cake, vanilla frosting, and shortbread make their presence felt, creating an aromatic tapestry that intrigues the senses.


The flavor profile of the Universal Secret IPA echoes the tropical theme, maintaining a well-calibrated balance with medium sugar levels and a restrained bitterness. Characteristic of the New England or hazy IPA trend, the late addition hops take the forefront, contributing to the beer’s expressive taste. However, a note of caution surfaces in the mid-palate, where a slightly chalky undertone emerges—a not uncommon side effect of the hazy IPA recipe. The finish, dry and mineral-heavy, complements the overall flavor journey.


In the realm of texture, the wheat and oatmeal in the grain bill add a subtle touch without overwhelming the palate. The mouthfeel leans towards the lighter side of medium-bodied, steering clear of excessive chewiness. The hazy IPA’s penchant for a chalky mid-palate might not be everyone’s cup of beer, but it aligns with the established conventions of the style.


For a brewery barely seven months old, Burgeon Beer Co. manages to impress with their Universal Secret IPA. This collaborative creation with Stone Brewing embodies the best of the hazy IPA phenomenon. It encapsulates the allure of specialty hop varietals, presenting a delightful medley of flavors within a drinkable, lightly bitter framework. Despite a minor detour into chalkiness, this beer stands out as a testament to Burgeon Beer’s ability to craft a phenomenal brew, marking them as a noteworthy player in the San Diego County beer scene.