Boffo Beer Blog, Week 14: Ain’t This One Sumpin’

Well, isn’t this “sumpin”. This time out I tried Lagunitas Breweries feisty little offering they call Little Sumpin. And she is that.

The brewery is based in Petaluma, a city of around 60 000 located just north of San Francisco, but they also have a brewery in Chicago to deliver fresher beer to eastern locales, as well as a third taproom in Seattle. The company which boasts the slogan “life is uncertain, don’t sip” was started, more or less, in 1993 in Tony Magee’s kitchen. After an incident involving a burnt turkey dinner, “Tony’s wife Carissa kindly asked him to move his new hobby elsewhere.” After a stop at a garden shed, he eventually set up shop in town and has grown from there to a pretty big little sumpin’ of a brewery, selling in over 20 countries apparently.

Tony’s apparently nearly as big a fan of music as he is of beer, and the brewery offers live music at all three taprooms (which are currently closed due to the corona virus) and frequent stage shows in their hometown at the Petaluma Ampitheatre. While you’re in the taprooms, you can enjoy a menu ranging from Cobb salads and pretzels to mussels and burgers. They’ve even curated Spotify playlists on their website, tailored to each of their beers. Speaking of which, they have a fairly decent range of them, perhaps ten or so regular offerings plus sporadic seasonals like a red ale.

I did find the website was a bit lagging in the beer page – maybe the webmaster had enjoyed one too many – but among the regulars from Lagunitas are an IPA, a Czech-style pilsener and a lite beer plus more off-the-wall like a cannabis-infused one and “Hoppy Refresher”, a zero calorie, no-alcohol, clear sparkling hop drink. And of course, Little Sumpin.

They call Little Sumpin’ (the most readily available of theirs in Texas at least) a “truly unique style featuring a strong hop finish and a silky body. Filtered wheat ale that is good for both IPA and wheat beer fans.”

That’s a pretty good sounding choice, and well, Lagunitas didn’t lie. I cracked open a 12-ounce, rather stubby bottle with the “little sumpin’ “ lady they call Millie on the label, with her raven hair, bustiere, shorts and bobby sox. Pouring it, I found a nice amber-colored beer with decent effervescence and a thick, foamy head. My first impression was a strong, but pleasing taste. Definitely hoppy but not overly bitter and with just a hint of fruitiness that sometime does come along with wheat beers (usually because they have orange or at times grapefruit added in.) The aftertaste was a tiny bit tangy in the mouth.

I had it with a spicy beef taco and some cut up bell peppers and tomatoes, and found it a nice companion. The drink held its own and cut the spiciness of the beef pretty well. It had a good “mouth feel” as some brewers like to call it.

Overall, I liked it. A bit of the best of both worlds, the worlds being IPAs and wheat beers. At 7% alcohol she’s no dainty lass; I rate it 8 out of 10 for strength, 8 out of 10 for flavor and overall

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Four Betty Boops out of five.

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