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Lagunitas IPA

February 4, 2017

Lagunitas IPA

Lagunitas

India Pale Ale - 6.2% ABV

 

Certainly a popular IPA, but is Lagunitas IPA actually a craft beer?...

Controversy shines bright on our Craft Beer Review today.

 

As part of our Beginners Week where we are reviewing 'Supermarket' Craft Beers and this evening we have a very popular one. Whilst Lagunitas IPA has a loyal following and is available easily throughout the UK and Ireland, the question is...

 

Can it actually be classified as a Craft Beer anymore?

 

It really depends on how you define Craft Beer?

In the US they have the Brewers Association Definition which is seen as being the authority for the industry. This states that to be a Craft Brewer you must adhere to the 3 Set Guidelines Below:

 

Small

Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.

 

Independent

Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.

 

Traditional

A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavour derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavoured malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

 

Unfortunately, in September last year, Tony Magee (the Founder of Lagunitas) announced that they had sold 50% of the brewery to Heineken and with it, the hearts of many Craft Beer Enthusiasts throughout the world broke cleanly into two pieces.

 

But, my personal views on 'Buy Outs' or 'Sell Outs' in the Craft Beer market are not the main topic for this blog post. Instead, we have a review to do.

 

Today is about the beer and it's time to pour it into the glass and see what we think...

 

 

 

In The Glass:

A golden orange colour with a white foamy head that holds onto the top of the glass very well. It's well carbonated and laces nicely.

 

On The Nose:

Citrus and piney aromas float from the glass. It smells strong, dank and grassy. There is no doubt that this brew has been pumped full of hops and the oder showcases this brilliantly.

 

To Taste:

Bitter and hoppy.

 

There are fruity tasting citrus and piney flavours that explode out of this brew. It's certainly very dank and even a bit skunky, the hops rule supreme here, there is no argument about that.


The beer is fairly thick and the mouthfeel itself is sticky and resinous. It tends to cling to your tongue long after it's been swallowed back.

 

There is a faint taste of caramel but there would need to be plenty more malty presence in this IPA to have any chance of balancing it out. As it stands this just isn't the case.

 

It is fairly hard hitting as well at 6.2%, which means that you probably couldn't have too many over an evening before you start walking funny and lose the ability to talk.

 

People like this brew because of the hard hitting hoppy character and big bitterness, which is so common in American IPA's. For me though, I would just prefer more balance to a beer.

 

Overall it is a tasty, hop forward and bitter brew.

 

 

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