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Belt’s Beer Garden: Fade Away

Sun Lab’s Faded Nights hazy IPA

Sun Lab Brewing is currently a gypsy brewery from Miami, Florida. They haven’t been around long, just about a year, and have yet to find a brick and mortar place of their own. The beer I have from them today was actually brewed in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina by the great people at Westbrook Brewing.

They have a focus on hazy IPAs and sours (which make up the vast majority of their brews) and distribute to some states across the south and east - at least Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Tennessee get their stuff but I’m sure there are others I just couldn’t find.

Tonight I have a single hopped hazy IPA from them - Faded Nights.

This beer was brewed exclusively with Mosaic hops but also features 2-row, wheat, and malted oats and just a touch of lactose. It comes complete with a 7.5% ABV with a four-pack costing around $18. This batch was canned on August 10th and reviewed on October 3rd.

Faded Nights poured a cloudy, muted straw color with just about a finger and a half of slightly dense foam. The head fizzles down at a moderate rate and leaves very little lacing as it does so.

On the nose, this beer is bursting with tropical fruit flavors. Mango, papaya, stone fruits, and grapefruit are all noticeable. The lactose adds some sugary sweetness that blends with the hops and gives off the aroma of sugared candy. Even with all those flavors, the aroma is still light and inviting.

I was met with a very effervescent start to the beer as the carbonation danced across my taste buds. The hops quickly joined in the fun and gave off a slew of those bright, tropical flavors I encountered in the smell.

It was a mixture of mango, grapefruit rind, and peaches initially but, as it progressed, the flavors began to change some. Soon the tropical fruits had subsided and were replaced with berries, sugary candy (mostly lemon flavored), and a light touch of bubblegum.

There was a low level bitterness that hummed underneath the flavors but never really hit too hard or settled was just a reminder that the hops controlled the taste, no matter how hazy the beer gets.

As Faded Nights begins to disappear, it ends on the drier side of things with a slightly sticky resinous feeling clinging to my tongue. That resin builds over the course of a few sips but it’s nothing a sip of water doesn’t instantly clear away.

The lactose was a nice addition that never really took over or added too much sweetness. They used just enough to cut into the bitterness without the beer becoming overly sugary or sweet. It acted as a nice sidekick to the star of the show - the Mosaic hops.

This was a great introduction to this brewery. I know next time I’m down south, I’ll be looking for more from these guys.

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