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!

Are you a beer lover? Did you enjoy reading this microbrew beer review? If you love beer and craft beers & microbrews in particular, you'll find many more craft beer reviews of both new and old microbrews and also fun microbrew and craft beer-related meanderings at the
===>Beer Blog Reviews
or =====>Microbrew and Craft Ales.

Enjoy, and always remember to drink responsibly!

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Blogger K.J. said...

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1:33 PM  
Anonymous Alexi said...

Great post; Love the budget-friendly beer and the basic label - simple, straightforward. What beer should be, in my opinion. I was just curious if you stick to California microbreweries (because there are plenty to see, what with Anchor Steam, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, etc) or if you cover international microbrews as well? You should check out our post over at the NileGuide blog and weigh in.

8:17 PM  
Blogger ReviewScale said...

I just blogged about how microbrewers take on the big brewers here

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Travis said...

I love Lagunitas. You can't really go wrong whenever you see them around. I live a few miles from their brewery. If you're ever in the area and want to check them out, be sure to call them in advance. I tried to stop by one time and they booted me out. They are very paranoid after getting shut down a few years back.

2:18 AM  
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2:39 PM  
Blogger jch said...

I was curious about who noticed the "shark and gerbil" fine text on the label and came across your review. I think you described this beer perfectly when you called it "sweet, sticky and chewy". I feel like you could use this beer as a substitute for molasses!

Thanks for the review, I really enjoyed it!

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Ales to Lagers said...

I need to get my hands on some of this...I only see Laguntas show up in bombers around here for way more than a dollar a bottle.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Howard said...

I'm from NY and very rarely get to see Lagunitas. I remember getting it once in a beer of the month club present and really enjoyed it. It wasn't this exact brew though.

Make your brew stand out with custom beer coasters.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Best Beer said...

you could really crave to taste this things probably.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Beer Club said...

David, I really enjoy your writing style - it is highly descriptive and gives a good account of the Lagunitas Brown Shugga' Ale. I look forward to your next post.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are in the planning stages of a Craft Brewery in the Northeast and articles like this certainly help our diligence. Thank you.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That beer glasses looks amazing. looks very cold beer.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous wine said...

Thank you for the good idea for my next article

4:36 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I've been watching the evolution of growlers and have been underwhelmed by their uniqueness, at least until recently when I became aware of this one that I see on Kickstarter. It actually has it's own carbonation source for what's supposed to be the perfect preservation. I'd be interested in hearing what ya'll think of it. The manufacturer is actually one of my company's vendors, and has a reputation for making amazing metallic products. You can find it as "CO2 Mini Beer Tap Regulator. in the Design section of Kickstarter. if you care to take a look at it. I really think Steven is really on his way to revolutionizing the standard for growlers and beer on the go. I'd be interested in hearing what ya'll think. Maybe this comparison would drive a spirited conversation in the blog?

Take care !


5:46 PM  

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