The Southern Tier Swipe Light presents itself in a 12oz skinny can with a clear golden hue. The fizzy white foam head quickly collapses, leaving the beer visually crisp.


Upon opening, the aroma introduces a pleasant honeydew melon scent. However, it’s not all sunshine, as conflicting notes of butter (diacetyl) and plastic (phenols) emerge, albeit dissipating after a few minutes.


The flavor profile of Swipe Light mirrors its aroma. Citra and Mosaic hops contribute a delightful tropical melon taste, but the experience is marred by persistent buttery and plasticy notes. While the beer cleans up after a few minutes, it lacks a crucial element โ€“ bitterness. The hop additions bring fruitiness but fall short on the bitterness scale, challenging its categorization.


The mouthfeel features a slight slickness attributed to the perceived diacetyl. The beer predominantly showcases sweet honeydew melon flavors within a highly carbonated and aerated structure. The initial impression leans towards a cream ale, but the absence of creamed corn/DMS character suggests a better fit as a blonde ale.


Swipe Light turns out to be a peculiar creation โ€“ a dry-hopped blonde ale masquerading as a light lager. Misleading packaging, coupled with the absence of clarity on beer style, leaves consumers perplexed. While the beer isn’t inherently bad, its critical flaw lies in the disconnection between expectations and reality. The fantastic hop aroma contrasts sharply with the light body and low bitterness, accentuating minor flaws like diacetyl and phenols.

The suggested transformation to a session IPA or a cleaner pale lager could potentially refine Swipe Light into a more coherent product.

Similar Beers

For those inclined towards hoppier blonde ales without reaching APA or IPA bitterness levels, a noteworthy alternative is Victory Summer Love from Southern Tier’s sister brewery.

General Thoughts on Beer Reviews

Reflecting on the broader landscape of beer reviews, it’s essential to strike a balance between providing valuable information to consumers and constructive feedback to breweries. Critical reviews, when well-articulated, offer a form of quality control rather than mere criticism. Producers should view them as opportunities for improvement rather than obstacles to sales. The delicate task is to communicate shortcomings honestly while respecting the intelligence of the reader and the efforts of the business. Embracing feedback, whether positive or negative, contributes to the continuous improvement of craft beer in an era where instant feedback can be both a blessing and a challenge.