Nelson Sun Club Fresh Hopped IPA (6.6%) is No.14 in Garage Project’s Hāpi Sessions series of collab brews with industry luminaries from across the globe.

This West Coast-style IPA is inspired by Monterey (California) brewers Alvarado Street. It’s also a new Nelson Sauvin fresh hop beer, which was a surprise, as even I had joked about this year’s season going on unendingly.

When describing West Coast style IPA, I’ll often use descriptors like ‘forceful’‘brutal’ or even in one case ‘abusive’ (in a good way…), but rarely will I use the word ‘beautiful’.  But that is the only way I can describe this one.  It’s beautiful. The lemon/lime-driven aroma strikes with an almost unbelievable clarity, chiming over the softer tropicals that follow.  The palate lands a fine balance between a weighty and satisfying but otherwise unobtrusive malt base, more sharp citrus-driven hop notes, and a finely tuned bitterness that frames the finish without building up between sips.

The sheer elegance and purity distilled into this IPA is genuinely something special, and another indicator that this year’s crop of Sauvin is of absolutely supreme quality.

Without any hyperbole, Nelson Sun Club has jumped into my current slot for best fresh hop, best IPA, and contender for best beer of 2024.  Unmissable.