I was very happy to see some Lagunitas beers starting to be distributed here in Ireland. Up until this point I’ve only had some when in America or when some has been brought home. Now I can get the IPA on draught in Maguire’s in Athlone! I can remember my first taste of Lagunitas IPA, Sean Lightholder shared a bottle with me about ten years ago. I found it quite bitter at the time. And it was, by comparison to the pints of Black Stuff that I was more accustomed to. Now, though, I am struck by the fresh floral aroma of the hops. And then the lovely mellow caramel malt taste. It’s a pity that at 6.2% it’s not exactly a session beer! I gave this one 5 stars on Untappd and it deserves every one of them.
Luckily I had a few Lagunitas beers waiting at home for me. The first bottle I opened was the New Dogtown Pale Ale with a Thai curry from Kin Khao. It’s a bit like the IPA if you nudged the hops button down a fraction. Like when your wife asks you to turn down that song and you really don’t want to. It’s a very good Pale Ale but when it’s also 6.2% I think I’d be more inclined to reach for the IPA myself.
Which is what I did next. It’s still really good from the bottle but fresh draught is hard beat! For the day that’s in it there’s my wife and I in a gondola in Venice on our first honeymoon. ( we had two weddings a few months apart! And two honeymoons, heck, it was Celtic Tiger Ireland )
I finished up the evening with a Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale which I had enjoyed during the Summer. It was too cold from the fridge but got markedly better as it warmed up. It’s a hoppy class of a wheat beer. Worth a try even if you recoil at the thoughts of a wheat beer. It was chewy and malty while maintaining 64 IBUs of hoppy bitterness. Look up balance in the illustrated dictionary and you’ll see a picture of this beer. These beers are available now from McHugh’s and other fine off licences. Sláinte!