Friday, April 8, 2011

Lagunitas Brewing Co: Wilco Tango Foxtrot

I like drinking beer. It tastes good. In addition to the fine flavors produced from this sweet nectar, one of my favorite aspects of this beer drinking 'hobby' is learning about new and interesting facts of the brewing process. Sometimes this knowledge supplements my tasting and I'm better able to drink and enjoy a fine brew.

Recently, I learned some interesting facts about beer coloring. Something that never really crossed my mind before. Specifically, I read that beer color is usually measured via SRM (Standard Reference Method) or the EBC (European Brewing Convention). Both of these color rating techniques take into account that each grain type used in a recipe has a lovibond color rating ultimately contributing to a particular weight to a beer's hue. When I read this, I found it interesting but thought really nothing of it. However, just the other day I snagged a handful of beer from the liquor store and noticed Lagunitas' seasonal release.

In Lagunitas fashion it had a fun name, a crazy description, and an interesting label. "Wilco, Tango, Foxtrot" is described by the brewers as "not quite in the red or in the black...does that mean we're in the brown?" This and other financial references seem to encourage the purchaser to drink away their financial problems associated with the down economy by sucking on a fine Lagunitas brew. However, this label reminded me not of sagging funds but of the lovibond color ratings assigned to each grain used in a beer recipe. Somewhere in the brown. The label describes this as in between red and black and somewhere brown. Hmmm. What does that mean color-wise? Funny how the brain works. All I could think about after reading the beer lit is how the liquid would look liked when poured. As you can see in the photo, it is packaged in a brown glass bomber. Thus I had to purchase and see for myself. Well, when poured, this beer does have a cool hue. At first glance it has a maroonish brown color but changes to an organy-red when held to the light.

I think the beer is described as an imperial brown ale and tops out at 7.8% abv. Spending so much time looking at the beer color and label I just assumed this would be a heavy and boozy brown ale. But 'WTF' is anything but that. It's super light, well carbonated, and has little hint of alcohol. Despite the 'double' rating of over 7% ,it's a very drinkable beer and I easily went through the first 16 oz of the beer. As you sip this otherwise thin beer you get hints of sweet fruit and brown sugar and definitely hits with more malt flavors than hops. Overall very drinkable and pretty tasty.

So WTF for the win. Color me pleased. Cheers.