Sale of Lagunitas Brewing

Evidently, Lagunitas Brewing finally gave in and sold the rest of themselves to Heineken.  I will not discuss the merits or demerits of said sale, that is for you, the drinkers to decide.  I occasionally enjoyed Lagunitas beers, but they were never in the upper echelons of my “To Drink” list.  But the brewery has been around for a long time.  It’s name is, if not venerated, prestigious

Now we can continue the debate regarding the compromising of craft beer.  Are the big, older breweries simply following the American vision of growth and expansion?  Is this the “manifest destiny” of brewing?  Or are they following the money?  Is the sale to a global mega-corporation bad if the beers don’t change in character?  I have no idea what the answers truly are to those questions.  (But writing “global mega-corporation” gave me dystopian sci-fi conspiratorial goosebumps).

I did find a comment from Lagunitas owner, Tony Magee, unsettling.  He’s writing here regarding Lagunita’s sale of half the company in 2015 and the remainder of it this year.

“Some who don’t fully understand it all may say it is selling out.  Truth is that we did then, and are now ‘buying in.’

 


Lagunitas Cappucino Stout by Lagunitas Brewing Company and Ovila by Sierra Nevada

These were sampled on Beer Sunday.

Both are from reputable breweries.  My friend and I were looking forward to the cappuccino stout.  We both like coffee and stout is my friend’s favorite style.  Unfortunately, Lagunitas is always hit and miss for us.  But, at 9.2% it was a nice after dinner drink.  I’m not sure what they were trying to accomplish with this beer, however.

Ovila came in a four pack with a strange ninja/monk printed on the packaging.  It’s a Belgian style farmhouse ale and was the highlight of Beer Sunday.  Rock on, Sierra Nevada!

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout
Stupid label.  It was a “ditty” about coffee that was lacking rhythm and cadence. A rough draft that needed lots of editing

Heavy, slick and satin gent.

Like a stout but a terrible aftertaste

Ovila Abbey Saison w/Mandarin Orange and Peppercorns
Beautiful color
Pairs well with Nacho Doritos (read, I am white trash)

I highly recommend the Ovila.  It’s not the usual hop concoction from Sierra Nevada.  It made me think of a Dogfish brew.  You don’t have to drink it with Doritos.  Obviously. You can, if you really want.  I’m sure there would be other foods that work with it.   In fact, there is a list of possible food pairings on the website.  No Doritos, however.  I feel chagrined.

Just For The Name Of It

I don’t remember the last time I bought a beer just because of its name.  And I don’t mean the name of the brewery.  Granted, this one came from a reputable brewery, Lagunitas.  However, by name I’m referring to the moniker of the beer itself.  This one just caught me right away.  It’s Wilco Tango Foxtrot.  I saw the “tango” first, found that interesting.  It has a nifty “subtitle”, too.  “A malty, robust, jobless recovery ale.”  Pithy and a tad sarcastic.  I couldn’t say no.  And it was only $4.89 for twenty-two ounces.

  Great, things are a tad blurred and I hadn’t even taken a drinky yet!  I get to practice my beer photography skills.

Wilco Tango Foxtrot looks like tea when poured.

Held up to a light it is red, like a cherry flavored hard candy.

Hops arise from the frothy head immediately.    There’s some sweetness in the aroma, too, but mostly a grassy hops.  And, goodness, those hops cut into the throat with the first gulp.  Great.  Hops.  I realize they are somewhat necessary for beer, but, really, American brewers have gone overboard with that particular product of the vine.  This beer is an example of that.  It looks beautiful, but it’s dominated by that blasted green pellet.  Well, perhaps they don’t use pellets, but I hope you get my point.  I am no hops fan.  It doesn’t make beer art as so many brewers seem to think.  These seem to be the Cascade-ish kind.  It’s a little oily.  On the plus side, it’s 7.8% abv.  I can’t really complain about that.  But, I can complain that I just burped hops.  Maybe it just needs to warm up so that some other flavors can assert themselves.

Very well, I have waited for a time.  The hops have faded for a bit.  It tastes a little bready and a little tangy all at once.  It’s supposed to be a brown ale, I think.  According to (note:  controversial subject about to be raised) the Brewer’s Association,  “American brown ales have evident low to medium hop flavor and aroma, medium to high hop bitterness, and a medium body.”   Right, well, I agree with the high hop bitterness.  But the aroma and flavor were too much, at least for me.  I got a little roasted malt out of it.

Oh, it’s a good beer, very well done.  There’s just too much hops for the likes of me, which makes it a little disappointing.

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