Friday, July 3, 2009

Lagunitas Brewing Co: a Little Sumpin' Sumpin' ale

It seems these days like people's tastes shift as often as do the winds...

If you've been reading my posts for awhile you may have guessed that I didn't create that last sentence. Laguintas Brewing Company spawned that proverb. While, I didn't write it, I generally agree with the sentiment. People's preferences these days seem to change on a whim. Beer preferences included. And I'm not immune to this global phenomem. I find myself obsessed with pale ales and then a week later won't drink anything but an amber lager.
And then shortly after, I'll drive 'cross town just to get my hands on a good American blond ale. Why? I'm not really sure. But breweries understand the concept.

Lagunitas Brewing Co, is one of the best California breweries at producing a wide variety of 'seasonal' and 'limited relase' beers. To match the tastes of the season and simply to mix up the traditional tastes they provide for the consumers, Laguintas always, and I mean always, has a seasonal beer on the shelves. On my latest beer run I noticed, "a Little Sumpin' Sumpin' ale", "Hop Stoopid", and "Undercover Investigation Shutdown ale" all in the beer aisle complimenting the traditional Laguinitas offerings. And I gotta say, I'm a fan of this trend. While it can be annoying to grow attached to a seasonal beer that is only available for 4 months outta the year, the anticipation of waiting for that brew and the ability to sample new creations far outweighs the cons.

As for "a Little Sumpin' Sumpin' ale", I picked up this brew because I had simply never tried it before. Not surprising, I enjoy sampling and reviewing new beers. I'll pretty much try any offering from Lagunitas as I love most of their beer. Sumpin' Sumpin' is a pale wheat with a ton of bite. While the wheat flavors are present, Lagunitas manages to work in incredible amounts of pine flavors and alcohol tastes. To be quite honest, it wasn't what I was expecting from this wheat based brew. Most American wheats are thin, mellow, and weak and this is anything but. On a blind taste test you could easily convince the drinker that it was a double IPA. Even with all the pine resin and booze bite there are some candied sugar flavors and a prominent wheat aroma to cut the strong kick.

While I'm not sure I agree with Lagunitas' decision to make this 7.3% ale a summer seasonal, it's a nice change of pace. And seeing how my beer tastes change frequently I might grab another sometime in future. Cheers.

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