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Belt’s Beer Garden: A Knockout

Featherweight from HopFly Brewing is an easy drinking, heavy hitter that’ll knock you out!

HopFly Brewing began in a small 750 square foot space in Rocky Mount, North Carolina (about 60 miles east of Raleigh) back in 2017. Three and half years later they have expanded exponentially, more than doubling their brewing capacity and adding a 1700 square-foot taproom next to their brewing facility.

They feature a multitude of styles from sours to stouts but, as with many breweries, it seems like IPAs/Pale Ales are the most common beer to come out of the brewery...and their Untappd profile quote seems to match that sentiment - “IPAs. Some lagers. Some other stuff.”

It’s rare to see them outside of the Tar Heel State so, when I was able to snag a can of their Featherweight, I jumped at the chance.

Featherweight, despite its name, is a very heavy hitter. It’s a Triple IPA brewed with Citra and Rakau hops and packs a punch with its 9.5% ABV. I paid just over $5 for the single 16-ounce can but most of their four-packs seem to cost between $16-18, according to their website. This beer was canned on March 9th and was reviewed on May 3rd.

The beer poured a murky, bright orangish straw color, almost like that of orange juice. A finger of brilliant white foam topped the beer before quickly fizzling down into a thin ring around the edge of the glass, leaving the middle with nothing but a few sporadic clouds.

I couldn’t believe how sessionable this Triple IPA smelled. It was very light with big notes of citrus and tropical fruits and no discernible alcohol aroma. Leading the way was a sugary peach scent with notes of orange/tangerine, grapefruit, and pineapple sitting behind. This did NOT smell like a 9.5% beer...and I couldn’t wait to try it.

After taking my first sip, I literally - and quite loudly - said “holy balls!” This might be a Triple IPA but it drinks sooooo much lighter and is so dang good.

Sugary sweet notes of peach led the way, making it start off almost like a liquid version of a candy peach ring.

Featherweight has a very pillowy and fluffy mouthfeel and is on the heavier side but it’s so tasty that I still was downing this beer faster than I (probably) should have.

Towards the midway point, the peach fades some and that lets the pineapple and orange characteristics to finally be noticable. There is a slightly acidic, but mostly juicy, pop from those tropical fruits before they begin to fade after a second or so.

On the backend, there is a slightly pithy grapefruit peel flavor that closes out the sip in combination with the peaches. This TIPA then finishes a bit dry with a sticky resinous feeling coating the tongue.

However, that massive ABV remains hidden and there is absolutely no bitterness to this beer. I even had a friend that hates IPAs try this one and she LOVED it too! It’s possibly the most crushable Triple IPA I’ve ever encountered. So easy to drink, so delicious, so dangerously good.

This is a freaking amazing brew and I wish I had more than just the one can! HopFly crushed it with this beer.

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