7/21/21: Jackie O's Pub & Brewery's Sing to the Sun

4:23 PM

I tweeted something nearly two weeks ago that hasn't aged very well. See, when the Brood X cicadas woke up in my area in mid-May, I was sure that breweries would flood the market with beers celebrating their emergence. I mean, this was a once in seventeen years experience. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for my favorite local spots to capitalize on a unique, summery phenomenon. In fact, I had planned on commemorating Brood X with a blog series featuring cicada beers.

But, to my dismay, those cicada beers never materialized. Not one. From any Greater Cincinnati brewery. So, on July 8th, I tweeted that I was ending my cicada series before I even really got to start it.

Against the remnants of Brood X, still clinging to a locust.

Wouldn't you know that less than a week after that Jackie O's announced their own cicada-themed beer: Sing to the Sun? I was elated. Now, a week after that announcement, I have a can in hand and ready to review. While Brood X has lived their lives and their offspring are burrowing into the earth, the annual cicadas are out and singing proudly. This beer's for them.

Jackie O's is based out of Athens, OH. Once the town's only brewery (now there are three!), Jackie O's puts out the town's the most renowned beers. The brewery's "Our Story" page (which has been seriously revamped and expanded since the last time I checked it out) has the full story. To sum it up here: Art Oestrike bought O'Hooley's, a long-time Athens bar, in 2007. He decided to turn it into a brewpub that focused on brewering beer with locally-sourced ingredients. Two years later the brewery expanded by opening a restaurant in the storefront beside them, naming it Jackie O's Public House Restaurant. Then, in February 2013--during my senior year at Ohio University--the Jackie O's Taproom & Production Brewery opened in the backyard of the house I was renting. I was a cheap college kid at the time, so I never took advantage of it and kick myself for that decision whenever I think about it.

Oh, and the brewery's name? Art chose the moniker in tribute to his mom, Jackie, who passed away from lung cancer in 2006. 

This brings us, at last, to this evening's beer. Sing to the Sun is a 6.5% ABV hazy IPA that Jackie O's has seemingly added to their annual (seasonal) lineup. The beer is supposed to sing with fruity notes while boasting a soft mouthfeel. And let's not forget that cicada motif on the beer's label. It's great.

The nose on this IPA is all mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and pine. It's deliciously inviting, enticing me into that first swig that soon to come. For her part, Purrl gave my can three paltry whiffs. To repeat what I've said in previous posts, she's not an IPA kind of cat.

Alright now, back to that first swig. The mango, the pineapple, and the grapefruit all come out swinging. There's also a light lemony quality to the flavor profile, permeating it all the way through the long finish. This isn't just an aromatic IPA, though--there's a subtle malty sweetness lurking under the big tropical flavors. Really, Jackie O's has outdone themselves.

And Sing to the Sun's mouthfeel? Soft. Full, fluffy. An amazing addition to an already stunning beer.

Now's the part where I wax sentimentally about Brood X for a bit. If you're not into that (I definitely wouldn't blame you), just skip to the bottom of this post for my closing thoughts on this evening's beer.

We weren't hit super hard by the periodical cicadas in my neck of the woods. Sure, there were a lot flying about and two final hearty days when they covered some of our younger trees but for the most part? The never approached anything anyone could refer to as an annoyance.

This is our little willow, crawling with cicadas last month.

I enjoyed hosting the few of the brood that we did. At one point I was in the backyard and looked up to see hundreds of shells clinging to the branches of a locust tree (the same tree at the beginning of this post, now adorned with only the few remaining dozen that haven't fallen and decomposed). Sure, we could hear the songs of Brood X during the evening when our windows were open, but they were the same volume as the annual cicadas and regularly quieted as the sun set.

Overall, Brood X was a pleasant experience and I'm eagerly anticipating Brood XIV's emergence in a few years. I guess that really wasn't waxing sentimentally, wasn't? Those people who ignored these paragraphs will never know.

Jackie O's' Sing to the Sun is, without hyperbole, the best hazy IPA I've had. It's an easy 10/10 and a beer you, dear reader, needs to try.

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