Beer #5 - Lagunitas PILS - Czech Style Pilsner - ABV: 6%
Served up in a trumpet-shaped pilsner glass, it looks a bit more golden than say, your average American lager - and the taste is not much more than a "lager plus" - kind of better than those faux-premium releases from Budweiser (Platinum) and Beck's (Sapphire). In all fairness, if I'm on a warm beach, I might actually grab the Sapphire over a PILS - but only because the PILS seems to have a slight taste of hops that appears here and again. PILS' hop notes are like a classroom where the one student keeps trying to get attention at the back of the class, but is mostly unnoticed.
All in all, it's not a bad beer - not really a signature pilsner or solid representative of a lager. While it's not 100% by the books, PILS is a decent-enough summer beer.
|Lagunitas PILS (top) and Little|
Sumpin' Sumpin Ale
Beer #6 - Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale - India Pale Ale - ABV: 7.5%
Out and about in Beer Week, had to get myself a little sumpin' - and yes, my fiance was sitting just a stool over, sipping on Highwater's Campfire Stout (which I didn't get to review this round per her iron grip on the pub glass and stares that in no way compromised my masculinity - there are plenty of large, fearsome jungle cats that are justifiably terrified by their mate.)
LSS has got hops, it's got wheat, it's basically the perfect balance between the two -giving you the light hops of an ale and the solid farm-based feel of a lager. It's the beer you convince your friends to try when they refuse to have an IPA - it looks like a strong IPA, smells like a strong IPA, and tastes like an odd mix - but very satisfying. It sneaks the hops past you, along with the 7.5% ABV, and you'd hardly notice you were drinking an IPA.
This isn't a beer that heady beer snobs like yours truly would sip in a smoking jacket in a room filled with taxidermy and dark mahogany - but it's a beer that is the right decision when you can't decide what beer you'd like.
Beer #7 - Lagunitas SUCKS - Strong Ale - ABV: 7.85%
A brilliant turn on some of their more negative Google searches, Sucks was made to fill a void left by their Brown Shugga' Ale and stuck around in their regular lineup. Called a "cereal beer", much like its Brown Shugga counterpart, there's no doubting the level of grain that goes into Sucks. It's a hefty slice of pie kind of beer - bit of sweetness and hops, but easy to drink for a beer with a little bitterness at the beginning and end.
I was told that Sucks is often served in a flute, similar to the PILS, which might do well to balance the carbonation a bit, while another bartender stated it goes in a tulip glass, due to the fruit/citrus aroma off the top.
I stuck with my jug. (read earlier sentence: Extra. Classy.)
Sucks, in all fairness, was much better than I expected - a beer meant to simply help meet demand for another supposedly superior brew with a gimmicky name. Next time, I will shoot for a wider glass so I can get a better experience of the aroma, though if I continue enjoying these 7-8%'ers sneaking past as lighter fare, I may end up passed out on top of my paper bag.
Lagunitas PILS - 6.5 out of 10
Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale - 9 out of 10
Lagunitas SUCKS - 7.5 out of 10
Next up on Friday - On to conquer the ales of Alpine Brewing, along with a special release beer and some incredibly "gravy" fries.