Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lagunitas Brewing Company Brown Shugga' Ale - A Microbrew Review

Lagunitas Brewing Company Brown Shugga' Ale

by Microbrew Review

This economy's been tough on all of us. Everyone's looking to save money and for the best deal possible. That holds true in today's world of the beer and microbrew enthusiast as well. Well imagine my surprise when I discovered a $1.00 a bottle selection in one of the beer coolers at my local Six 'n Save. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Given, the selection was fairly slim but I did spy a few good microbreweries to try and I picked up a bottle of Lagunitas Brewing Company's Brown Shugga' Ale in my mix a six tonight.

Freshly and nicely preserved from its cross-country track all the way from the brewery in Petaluma, California, this ale poured a cloudy fiery red almost soda pop orange into my glass with a creamy one finger head. Carbonation was good but the ale never completely cleared and remained somewhat foggy and hazy throughout the sampling.

Aroma was extremely malty with deadly strength levels of burning alcohol wafting up into my nostrils. This smelled like one potent microbrew and in drinking it, I would not be proven wrong.

This craft beer is sugary sweet alright, almost to a fault, but not quite. I like bitter IPA's and this is certainly not one but Brown Shugga' held my interest in that is was heavy and chewy enough to taste like a man's beer. Alot of malt and a bit of toffee and yes, just a touch of brown cane sugar in the flavor. Far off in the background was just a bit of that Christmas sugar cookie kind of flavor.

The beer was a real sticky mouthful but finished strong on the palate with a mild but unobtrusive sweet aftertaste. No hops at all here so if that's what you are looking for, you're not going to find it in Lagunitas Brewing Brown Shugga'.

One item I will also point out is the beer bottle label. It looks like it's printed on aged parchment. Plain and to the point. It's got an entertaining little quip in real small print that reads: "We believe this Special Ale is something unique. Feeding brown cane sugar to otherwise cultured brewery yeast is a'kin to feeding raw shark to your gerbil. It is unlikely to ever occur in nature without human intervention. And it looks weird besides. But is has happened, and now it's too late". Entertaining and a little quirky. I love reading the small print on these Lagunitas Brewing beer labels. These guys make great microbrews and craft beers and know how to have fun with it as well.

If you see any Lagunitas beer in your local ale shop or tavern, take a chance and try it out. I've yet to have any bad experience with Lagunitas Brewing Company offerings and their Brown Shugga' Sweet Release Ale is just another notch on my microbrew drinking gun. I loved this ale and I think there's a good chance you probably will too. Try it if you get a shot but be cautious as the alcohol by volume rating for Brown Shugga' is about 9.5% and is not for the meek beer drinker. Cheers!

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Enjoy, and always remember to drink responsibly!

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