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Lagunitas Sucks at Making Mistakes

December 8, 2011

This year, the phrase “happy accident” takes on a whole new meaning. The Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, CA) has become so popular in recent years that they’ve decided to expand, with plans for a new brewhouse to be set up this coming January. But because of the increase in demand and the time constraints involved with switching gears to brew seasonal releases, they found that they lacked the brewing capacity needed to brew their beloved Brown Shugga (a strong, sweet, and hoppy brew made with lots of brown sugar, obviously). For dashing the hopes and expectations of Brown Shugga fans (myself included), the people at Lagunitas issued the following statement:

“There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our own sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us.”

To make it up to the beer-loving public, they managed to put together a replacement brew this season, called “Lagunitas Sucks” Holiday Ale. Being the forgiving type, I decided to give it a try. At 7.85% abv, it’s extravagantly hoppy, but it steers clear of any bitterness with clean flavors of grapefruit, pineapple, and tropical fruit notes. It’s made with a complex medley of barley, rye, wheat, and oats, all generously dry-hopped for the big aroma and resinous hop flavors. It’s not what you would expect for a holiday beer (which usually lean towards spicy and dark), but as an apology it works wonders. I love Brown Shugga, but this holiday ale more than makes up for not releasing it this year, and the fact that they basically threw it together at the last minute is impressive in itself.

So rather than being disappointed this holiday season, I’m instead reminded why I like Lagunitas in the first place. Their IPA is always a welcome sight on tap, and their limited release offerings like Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ and Lucky 13 are consistently excellent. This new holiday ale is a testament to the success of the Lagunitas Brewing Company in brewing top-notch beers, and it makes me hope that they screw up more often in the future. I mean that in the nicest possible way.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew Mitchell permalink
    December 8, 2011 3:35 pm

    I love it. Def going to check it out.

    • December 9, 2011 11:25 am

      It is surprisingly good. Probably one of my new favorite beers from them.

  2. Paul Bolster permalink
    December 21, 2011 4:39 pm

    Just picked up a Lucky13. Will have to try the Holiday! I’ve yet to meet a Langunitas I didn’t like.

    • December 21, 2011 7:36 pm

      They’re actually re-releasing it in January. It’s the same beer, but they’re changing the name to “Holiday Leftovers”.

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