Selling out happens when you forget why it is that you are in that position in the first place. It’s easy to believe your own press. In our case, we realize that, as ever, we still suck and have a lot of work to do to earn a place in the world. Like I said above, beer-lovers are driving our bus and we do respect the bus driver!
Lagunitas is probably the most amusing brewery there is. As seen above, Lagunitas CEO and founder, Tony Magee, tries to ensure that the brewery doesn’t take itself too seriously, ensures they have fun, and laughs at themselves whenever possible. Examples include the release of a butterfly knife-styled bottle opener, and releasing a beer called The Kronic. The name later got denied by the TTB, so it was renamed Censored.
Despite the jokes, and humor, Magee ensures that the company has a strong awareness of all types of global, economic, and environmental effects of the beer business. Opening a second brewery in Chicago is benefiting the company in that there is less beer traveling long distances, which in turn reduces fuel usage and shipping costs. In fact, the savings in reduced shipping costs is actually how the company is affording to open a second brewery. The above quote was a part of a much larger interview with Tony Magee and The New School Beer, which discusses a wide range of topics, most notably his ethics in opening another location and securing funding to do so. All that aside, I am personally excited to see the re-release of one of my favorite IPAs, Lagunitas Sucks.
Last year, the brewery was in the middle of a large expansion, which temporarily put a strain on their available fermentors. The decision was made to not brew their winter seasonal, Brown Shugga’ (also an amazing beer). Brown Shugga’ has a longer fermentation and conditioning stage than their year round beers, and to make this beer meant less of their core brands. Knowing their customers would be furious due to the lack of such a great winter beer, Lagunitas released a substitute beer, and appropriately named it: Lagunitas Sucks. Despite the name, and despite the anger of Brown Shugga missing, everyone agreed that Lagunitas Sucks was an incredible IPA. Thanks to the success, Lagunitas re-released the beer this year, with a plan for a year round availability.
The immediate standout feature of this beer is a huge fruity and citrusy aroma. Mango, and grapefruit dominate, with pineapple, orange peel, and pine contributing the enormous bouquet. Tastewise, this is an incredibly balanced IPA. There’s just the right amount of residual malt sugar to compliment the citrusy hops to give it a sweet, fruity finish. Once again, sharp grapefruit bitterness is there, along with a clean, piney finish that lingers long.
It’s shocking how good this beer is, and how few other beers come close to comparing to it. Please, do yourself a favor and pick this up. Hopefully it should start a year round production, but go buy it now just in case!