Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale (Lagunitas Brewing Company)

"Petaluma" is right up there with "Sheboygan" and "Schenectady" in my list of towns that sound like they should be the setting of a 1930's comic strip. Happily, in the here-and-now it is also home to the estimable Lagunitas Brewing Company, whose beers are now distributed in more than 30 states -- one of them not even contiguous!

A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale comes in a squat brown bottle with a cute girl on the label. Jeffrey Gentry contributed this to the week nine round of Beer Club. I drank it a little warmer than I ordinarily prefer, because we were in the midst of a 30-hour power outage and everything in the refrigerator was warming up fast...

Best I could tell by the flashlight's illumination, the beer poured a pale amber and retained two inches of white foam. It left patchy lacing in the glass. The aroma was of fresh ruby grapefruit, peach, and pine resin.

My main impression was of pungent hops flavors splashing against the roof of my mouth along with the carbonation’s crest. Grapefruit and apricot nectar are also there in mellow accord, and give the beer a fairly weighty mouthfeel. A tiny backbone of light grain taste pokes through as the flavor recedes. Surprisingly, the beer is not at all bitter in the aftertaste.

This is certainly very drinkable, and I wouldn't refuse it if offered again. But for some reason I was expecting to be knocked out by it, and I wasn't. Reminds me somewhat of the Breckenridge brews, in that I don’t get a real clear statement of what structure they were going for. There are plenty of agreeable flavors there, but they are not put together in a way that makes me shout “Hallelujah!”

Kind of like the girl on the bottle, actually. Despite the fact that she’s wearing a snug-fitting button-up halter and cowboy boots, it’s not entirely clear if she’s supposed to be a farmer's daughter or a temptress. She's nice enough to look at, though, and the beer's nice enough to drink.

From the bottle's label:

So, we're all on collective disability. That's cool. Let's put some ice on it and keep ourselves elevated for a while. So, what's on the tube..? Honey..? Get me a beer from the frige [sic]... Will ya..? Sweetie..? Please..?

Featured beer:
A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale

(Didn't get a picture of this beer poured because of -- you guessed it -- the power outage.)

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