Friday, December 9, 2011

Lagunitas Brewing Company

 I grew up in the town of Petaluma , California. I’ll wait a moment so you can go to Google Maps because it is no surprise if you haven’t heard of it. As a kid all we had to be proud of was once being known as the Egg Basket of the world, and that the all-time classic Howard the Duck was filmed there.....not much to get excited over. That all changed for the Sonoma county town of 50,000 in 1994 when the Lagunitas Brewing Company moved from West Marin and opened their headquarters in “P-Town.”

To celebrate WinterBeer Month here at the blog I decided to go back to my old stomping grounds and check out what Lagunitas had to offer. A caution before you proceed...I primarily write about wine. I do not know nearly as much about craft beer as I do about wine. Thankfully this is WestToast where we just have fun and like to drink so technical writers need not apply.

About Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Founded in 1993, Lagunitas is really known for new twists on classic styles. You may have seen their IPA in stores and it is still the #1 selling IPA in the state of California. Since moving to Petaluma they have been growing ever since and are now producing over 100,000 barrels a year, with plans in the works to expand their capacity to 600,000 barrels. There were two different brews that I was deciding between for this post and because it was taking too long, I decided to write about both of them.

Lagunitas {sucks} Holiday Ale

Normally during this time of year, Lagunitas produces their “BrownShugga Ale” a strong ale that has an ABV of 9.99%. Unfortunately due to lack of capacity they were unable to produce this Christmas miracle and instead put out the Holiday Ale (BrownShugga substitute). I found it to be smooth and almost fruity, although I could not identify a specific fruit profile. Although in color it looks like I just took a trip to the doctor’s office, it reminded me more of a brown ale. On this finish the hops really came through and left me with a tanginess that I really enjoyed in the beer. Although a substitute for something else, I might recommend this become a year round ale for Lagunitas. Plus it had a Santa on the bottle and who doesn’t love that?

Cappucccino Stout

The Cappuccino Stout is more what I would consider a Winter Beer, although it has no reference to Ol’ Saint Nick. As the name implies, it is beer brewed with coffee. But not just any coffee...this is coffee from Hardcore Espresso in Sebastopol, CA. This isn’t a fancy place with matching furniture, “Fratalian” drink names, and corporate drones. This is down and dirty coffee that when brewed with Lagunitas beer makes a meal in a cup. The Cappucino Stout had a great nose of chocolate covered coffee beans and warmed me from the inside out. If you enjoy Guinness than be sure to pick up some Cappuccino Stout and I guarantee you will fall in love. Heavy and meaty like a Guinness, the this ale doesn’t leave you with the bitterness Guinness can. At 9.2% abv this beer definitely packed a punch so please drink responsibly. Personally I plan on making an “adult” version of a root beer float the next time.
If you’ve made it this far it means you actually read through my post. Reviewing beer is a new thing for me but I can tell you that discovering Lagunitas makes me want to learn more. Both these great beverages are seasonal so you better get yours before their gone.

The whole month of December is WinterBeer Month here at WestToast so check back in a few days for our latest recommendation.



Post a Comment