Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California is just about as far away from my home in the northeast as possible. That doesn’t stop it from being one of my all-time favorite craft breweries. The moment my older brother Matt gave me a bottle of Brown Shugga’, I knew that I had found a worthy appointed to the delicious wackiness of Delaware’s famous Dogfish Head Brewery.
The brewery was founded in Lagunitas, California (hence the name) in 1993 by Tony Magee. They brew seven beers that are available all year long. They are the IPA, Pils (Czech style pilsner), Pale, Censored Ale (Rich Copper Ale), Maximus (extreme IPA), Imperial Stout and my favorite, Hop Stoopid.
Hop Stoopid is my newest beer obsession. It has replaced Sierra Nevada Torpedo which I spent the whole summer and fall touting. What Hop Stoopid (Yes, that’s how it is spelled) lacks in alcohol by Volume (8%), it makes up for in IBU (International Bittering Units). Hop Stoopid is 102 IBU. Compare that to Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. It’s one of the hoppiest beers ever and is only 18 IBU more at 120.
Lagunitas also has specialty beers that are available at different times during the year.
In January (New Years day actually), you can pick up Hairy Eyeball. This 8.7% ABV American strong ale is the epitome of the hair of the dog after that New Years hangover. In April, the folks at Lagunitas throw out their Undercover Investigation Shut-down ale. This American strong ale has almost as much alcohol content (9.7% ABV) as unnecessary words in its name. Check out their A Little Sumpin’ Ale, an American pale wheat ale, in July. That is the perfect time of year to imbibe this 7.5% ABV cloudy, citrusy, refreshing brew. In October (the greatest month of the year because of Halloween and my birthday), you can pick up one of my favorite Lagunitas beers. Brown Sugga is also an American strong ale (apparently they enjoy brewing those), but it has subtle hints of brown sugar and should be enjoyed with the utmost respect and care since it’s 9.9% ABV.
You want more beer? Well, I’m here to tell you….there’s more!
Throughout the year, they also have specialty beers that are only available in 22 ouncers. Everybody likes a good deuce-deuce now and then, right? In January, you can pick up Gnarly Wine. It’s a 12% ABV barley wine so be extra careful with this one and possibly share it with your friends. In March, grab a Wilco Tango Foxtrot. I love this one because Wilco’s album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” is one of my favorite albums of all time and this 7.8% ABV brown ale is a real spring time treat. In June, you can snag a Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red Ale. This is an 8.56% ABV American red ale made to honor the 13th anniversary of Lagunitas, but people enjoyed it so much that they decided to keep making it year after year. In September, you can pick up A Little Sumpin’ Wild. In December, be sure to stuff your stocking with Cappuccino Stout.