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Beer of the Week: Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

Beer of the Week - Lagunitas Hop StoopidThis week’s featured beer is delicious IPA named Hop Stoopid, yet another beer from Lagunitas. I’ve featured their beers several times as of late – but hey – I can’t argue with a brewery that consistently brews great quality beers! And ’tis the summer season which means hoppy beers are in abundance. This beer is extra hopped, and dry hopped at the end, however it is also “extra malted” so the malt backbone does a dandy job of balancing things out so it isn’t too bitter, despite it’s larger IBU rating.

Tasty Mug Review

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy, deep gold with a nice foamy head, good retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Smells super hoppy to me, with hints of pine and citrus. Nicely aromatic. As the beer warms slightly the malty aroma emerges more.

Taste: I was very pleasantly surprised at how well the flavor of this beer rounds out when compared with the strong hop aroma and the high IBUs. Just as a side-note, I’m still working my taste buds up to super hoppy IPAs and on first pass this smelled as though it would be heavy duty. Has a really clean, hoppy and bitter finish to it with a slight sweetness that lingers in the mouth afterward.

Mouthfeel: Nice, creamy medium-bodied beer that goes down smooth has very well-balanced carbonation. Follows the typical mouthfeel that is characteristic with most Lagunitas brews.

Overall: Fits the bill for hop heads and non-hop heads alike – a very good middle-of-the-road and well-balanced IPA that should be a real crowd pleaser. Yet another good brew from Lagunitas.

Tasty Mug Rating: 4.34 / 5

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 8.0%
IBUs: 102
Original Gravity:
Malts: Not listed
Hops: This is a dry-hopped beer
Special Ingredients: Not listed
Availability: Year-round
Food Pairings: Cheese (peppery; Monterey / Pepper Jack, sharp; Blue, Cheddar, pungent; Gorgonzola, Limburger) Grilled meat, fish or barbeque. I personally think this would go well with any spicy dish.
Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Oversized Wine Glass
Aging: Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions

Where to get it:
This one should be available at most stores that carry a decent craft beer selection.

 

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Beer of the Week: Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale

Beer of the Week - Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down AleAs seems to be the case with most beers from Lagunitas, Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale has a story behind it – and what beer with that kind of name wouldn’t!?

What Lagunitas has to say about it:
“We brewed this especially bitter ale in remembrance of the 2005 St Patrick’s Day Massacre and in commemoration of our 20-day suspension that followed. The ABC conducted an undercover investigation of our brewery, finding us guilty of operating a “Disorderly House.” We did the crime. We did the time. We got the bragging rights.”

Let me translate the above into layman’s terms for you. To me, this sounds like another example of an unfair crackdown from “The Man.” In this instance, “The Man” is otherwise known as the ABC (California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control).

Back in 2005, Lagunitas was in the habit of having weekly tasting parties that involved food, music, and of course, beer. Well for some reason the ABC decided Lagunitas was having too much fun, and undercover law enforcement started to attend these weekly parties in an attempt to rack up charges and shut Lagunitas down. Well, after 8 weeks they finally had enough “evidence” to temporarily shut Lagunitas down for 20 days.

Beer of the Week - Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down - LimitedThis situation (not surprisingly) did not sit well with Lagunitas, so to get back at “The Man” they have since produced various releases of this brew, as a kind of a homage if you will, to this historical event. I’m personally more than happy to partake in this bottled portion of beer history, and I recommend you go out and get your own six-pack to do the same while this limited release version is still out on the shelves.

Tasty Mug Review

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, deep amber with a nice foamy head, lots of lacing and good glass retention.

Smell: Hops, caramel, very faint floral notes.

Taste: Very pleasant and balanced hoppy bitterness. Definite caramel malty tones to this as well. I found it to be quite delicious.

Mouthfeel: Well-balanced carbonation, crispness and smooth, medium body.

Overall: This is a very drinkable beer. In fact I’m mildly drooling just writing this review and have already hoarded a couple six-packs in my basement. The amount of booze in this beer is sneaky – you can’t even tell that it it’s a high ABV until you’ve had enough sips that the telltale boozy warmth sets in. The flavor is well-balanced between hops, bitterness and sweetness and my best guess is this will drink well on both warm or cold days; it’s versatile. I’d also recommend this brew to any craft beer newbies out there because it’s full-flavored with a lot of balance – it’s a great example of a well-done brew.

Tasty Mug Rating: 4.31 / 5

Style: American Strong Ale
ABV: 9.70%
IBUs: 34
Original Gravity:1.085
Malts: Not listed
Hops: Not listed
Special Ingredients: Not listed
Availability: Seasonal – April (packaging states it is a Limited Release)
Food Pairings: Cheese (nutty; Colby, Parmesan)
Glassware: Pint Glass, Snifter or Mug
Aging: Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions

Where to get it:
I’ve seen this in multiple beer stores locally and it’s not difficult to find at the moment. However, it’s listed as a Limited Release so I’d recommend scooping up your six-pack soon while the getting’s good!

 

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Beer of the Week: Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale

Beer of the Week - Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute

A great companion during March Madness

This beer originates from a popular brew usually available from Lagunitas called Brown Shugga. Brown Shugga itself was actually a happy mistake – it started as a failed attempt to brew a batch of beer that Lagunitas then attempted to save by adding large amounts of brown sugar. Low and behold it became a case of serendipity indeed!

There is a sad part to this story, however. Due to limited brewery resources and an unfinished brewery upgrade, Lagunitas was unable to brew their normal batch of Brown Shugga in 2011 for their 2012 release, which wasn’t news that settled well. To take responsibility for their actions, they took the self-depreciating approach by releasing “Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale” in the hopes of receiving forgiveness from the public. Regular Brown Shugga has a more involved brewing process while the “substitute” brews more like their regular beers, which is what allowed them to come up with the alternate.

I’ve personally not been able to try the original Brown Shugga, so I’m hoping Lagunitas will get back to their normal rhythm allowing me to sample the “non-substitute” version in the future. I personally found the Brown Shugga Substitute Ale that hit the shelves to be a fine alternate for the taste buds in the meantime!

Tasty Mug Review

Beer of the Week - Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute

A regular shot for the purists out there

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium orange/amber with a nice head and lots of  lacing.
Smell: First thought here is that it smells awesome! Hoppy, sweet and citrusy.
Taste: Very complex yet balanced taste that is full of flavor. Sweet, sharp and citrus upfront with some bitter following after. It finishes warm and fruity (like tropical fruits) and the flavor lingers on the tongue.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation.
Overall:
A super tasty beer that I would definitely indulge in again. It’s very well-rounded and drinkable. Lagunitas generally produces quality brews so no surprise here!

Tasty Mug Rating: 4.63 / 5

Additional Information

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
ABV: 7.85%
IBUs: 63
Original Gravity: 1.085
Malts:
Not listed
Hops: Not listed
Availability: Limited Release (released late Dec 2012/early Jan 2013) for this Winter release
Food Pairings: Cheese (peppery; Monterey/Pepper Jack, sharp; Blue, Cheddar, pungent; Gorgonzola); Grilled meat, barbeque, salmon
Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Oversized Wine Glass
Aging: Can be cellared for long periods, under the proper conditions