Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lagunitas Brewery

1280 N. McDowell Blvd.
Petaluma, CA 94954
(basically, located in a nondescript commercial lot)

We didn't do the brewery tour, but we did hang in the "beer sanctuary." This is a cool little area that's half indoor, half outdoor with long tables (family style) and plenty of outdoor heaters. Dog and family friendly, and completely non-pretentious.

We had a few flights, and as the picture suggests, a lot of their beers look exactly alike. The surprising thing is they taste nothing alike. Flight #1 was:

1) pale ale: My standard tester beer. It lets me see what I'm in for. Pretty hoppy, but so very good at this level of freshness.
2) IPA: Very nicely hopped and balanced.
3) Farmhouse (belgian style ale): Great flavors, and tastes nothing like 1 or 2. I doubt it would beat Allagash in a boxing match though.
4) Hop Stoopid: Hoppy as shit. Too bitter for the types of flavors going on here.
I would say excluding the Farmhouse, the IPA (#2) was the winner of the hopped-up flight.

Flight #2:
5) bourbon cappuccino stout: I'm over bourbon-barrel aged shit. They end up having the flavor profile of maple syrup mixed with ethanol.
6) spicy IPA: Yikes, that's some spicy snizz! My guess is they used haba├▒eros, but this is delicious. I think I can only handle 4oz of this.
7) Lil Sumpin' Sumpin' (with wild yeast): Wonderful! This is the first wild yeast beer I've really enjoyed. It was like #3 but better, for whatever reason. Somebody call the OBGYN, Petaluma air has a yeast infection! That was stupid, sorry.
8) imperial stout: At ambient temp (~55 F), this is strong, flavorful, and delicious; definitely the winner here.

The overall winner? Imperial stout. Whew doggies! I was loving life with that one.

Note: Definitely check the placement of the tasters on the placemat. I only found out they were disordered because the "spicy" taster wasn't spicy, and then I realized they messed up on my previous flight, too.

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