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Belt’s Beer Garden: Ahoy There!

HonkyTonk’s Ahoy Paloy - a sour IPA with ginger, lime, and lactose

HonkyTonk Brewing has been operating in Nashville, Tennessee since 2014. And, while they haven’t had the same exposure other breweries in Music City have had, they are still a staple in Davidson County.

Back in March they released a new beer for St. Patrick’s Day - Ahoy Paloy - which is a sour IPA brewed with oats, lactose, ginger root, key lime juice, and Lemondrop and Meridian hops. It has a surprising 7.9% ABV and four 16-ounce cans costs $14.

It became one of their most requested brews over the spring/summer and, while I wasn’t able to try it during its first or second release, on my most recent trip to Nashville in mid-December, I was able to snag a can of Ahoy Paloy and have been waiting to try it. Finally the time has come.

The beer poured a hazy muddled straw color with a massive amount of head building up initially. Over two fingers of fluffy eggshell white foam appeared before fizzling down into a small dusting within a minute or two.

On the nose, the key lime juice led the way providing a super sweet and rather tart aroma. Behind the lime, some spicy ginger was noticeable but not overpowering. There was also a nice funky characteristic to the smell as well that was reminiscent of a Brett beer, even though it wasn’t made with a Brett yeast.

Ahoy Paloy started with a softer fizzle of carbonation that continued to hum underneath and, almost instantaneously, a tart sting hit as well.

It was the key lime juice that really popped at the beginning of the sip before the other flavors even had a chance. But, after that initial shock, the ginger began to appear with some spice and earthy notes.

As the sip progressed, the tart citrus flavor began to fade and allowed for more of the ginger to expand and take control. And, while the beer wasn’t all that sweet, the lactose was a nice addition that softened the limes and, later, the ginger, smoothing the beer out.

There is a bit of hoppy bitterness towards the backend and a pithy citrus peel flavor that sits on the back of the tongue after everything else fades away. That lingering aftertaste was a little stale and slightly dry but, all-in-all, this was a very easy to drink sour IPA. Especially as the nearly 8% ABV was hidden entirely.

Ahoy Paloy might be one of the better sour IPAs I’ve had. The limes and ginger are well balanced and it was a perfect combination of sour ale and IPA. Not overly tart or acidic, not too hoppy or bitter. Great for the summer months chilling outside in the heat or even now in the winter, as a tasty reminder of nicer weather. And it’s got a higher ABV while remaining crushable.

Well done!

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