I’ll be honest. I’m not sold on the whole Bye-Bye-Miss-American-Pie-Summer-of-Love-Hendrix-Experience bottle art. But then I considered Cody Brewing. Every time I’ve met them, either at festivals or tastings, they have been so enthusiastic/passionate about the beer their company is putting out, it’s inspiring. They have a solid year-round selection, plus eclectic seasonal/limited offerings; a carrot cake porter, for crying out loud. Thus, I gave the Hypnotic Tonic a chance.
Brewed with lemons, limes and an obscene one pound of honey PER GALLON, this beer is definitely pushing some limits. It looks like orange soda, with a thin layer of small bubbles, but no definitive head. And holy honey, the aroma is packed full of honey sweetness; like a cup of mead with an added citrus character (lemons, limes, clementines) and a floral hop aroma.
The honey and citrus blend nicely in the flavor, with the honey coating your palate and the citrus adding a not-too-tart depth of flavor. The hop bitterness lingers in the sweet finish. I was expecting a crazy alcohol presence, being 8.8% and medium-bodied, but it is surprisingly subdued.
It’s like an artisan kids beverage. “Dude, I just steeped this Capri-Sun in ginger, lemons, and orange peels for a month. Let’s get wild.” It is very sweet, but the distinct citrus qualities and fresh yeastiness make up for it. The carbonation is on the lower side, and makes for a very smooth mouthfeel.
Definitely pick this up if you are A) a college freshman who thinks the bottle will look killer in your shrine of picks from Dave Matthews Band concerts, Woodstock-era garbage and toadstool mushroom hemp jewelry or B) you’re looking for a unique and drinkable brew from one of Massachusetts’s best new breweries.