Over the past 8 months or more, I've tried many new beers from many breweries, and I've told you honestly what I've thought of each one. Along the way, I have discovered some pretty awesome gems. I've been thinking lately that I really need to go back and have these standout beers more regularly, rather than just putting a new beer name on the posting shelf. There's plenty of time for that.
In my mind right now, I have about 15 or 20 beers that have proven themselves All-Stars. So what I'm planning to do is go back to this mental list a few times per month, of course drinking and reviewing them again, but also adding a little more information about each, the brewery, whatever I can find. You'll also get a dose of whatever is on my mind, as usual, but also more of a highlight for these kings of the beer world.
I was going to use a cute little theme like "Fabulous Favorites" but I didn't want my manhood questioned. So I guess we'll go with something like "Good Stuff" until I think of something more creative and clever, yet less sissy. Feel free to make recommendations for this series.
So Good Stuff Beer #1: Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California. I originally reviewed and fell in love with this beer back on June 7th of this year, during a rant about the fear of heights (also known as acrophobia for you vocabulary builders out there).
Today's review: hoppy grapefruit and citrus aroma--very nice but not as powerful as I had remembered. Big grapefruit and big bite right away in the mouth, with lots of citrus and lemony flavors as well. The bitterness is perfect, balanced just right with enough sweetness to balance it into a super-enjoyable experience. Piney, great hops. Medium carbonation works well here, too. The 8% alcohol is slightly noticeable and not too much of a factor, and the grapefruit flavors carry through all the way to the end leaving a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. One of the best Double IPA's I've had!
Here's what the brewery itself has to say about this beer: "So Hoppy that it threatens to remove the enamel from one's teeth." Such a good description and then I love that they also go on to say "Unlimited Release," which is such an awesome undercut to every fake limited release beer.
One tab on the Lagunitas website is called Stories, which has some funny stuff. My favorite is the story where a bunch of people called them out on some misspelled words on their beer labels. Rather than get all defensive, these guys made a story poking fun at themselves. Basically, who gives a shit, we make great beer!
They are on Twitter. They have a Tap Room.
Here are other beers from Lagunitas that I have reviewed. BTW, Total Wine in Pembroke Pines has also published as available (yet it's not) The Hairy Eyeball. This beer was released in January, 2009, so I guess Lewis and Clark are delivering it. Anyway, TW, it wasn't on your prior catalogs and if it doesn't belong on this one either, you'd save Grace (not her real name) a ton of time every week searching the computer for the inventory.
After describing some early setbacks, here is how the company describes itself... "Lagunitas Brewing Company is emerging as a battle-tested brewery capable of making great beer out of goat's milk, brambles, and asphalt on the surface of the Moon, if need be.
As the poet once said, 'Where, but for the grace of God and the kindness of strangers, go I'. Where go we indeed, whatever that means."
Good stuff. I'm not sure who "the poet" they are referring to is, but whatever. I hope it's at least not "Poet" from the HBO Prison Rape Show Oz.
Finally, I love that every page I visited on their website says Copyright 2001. These guys need to hire a webmaster, at least part time. And finally, finally... their slogan "Beer Speaks, People Mumble."
Go get yourself some Hop Stoopid, Stupid!
Oz - The Complete Fourth Season
Fear of Heights Cure Subliminal CD - Acrophobia Cure
JVC HANC250 High-Grade Noise Cancelling Headphones