Thursday, July 30, 2015

GREAT UNDERRATED BEERS OF OUR TIME: LAGUNITAS' "A LITTLE SUMPIN' SUMPIN' ALE"

Choosy beer lovers know that LAGUNITAS' flagship "IPA" is no big deal. Never has been, never will be. I'm actively bummed when I go to, I don't know, a ballgame or a non-beer bar or a restaurant and it's the only IPA available. (The only thing worse is "Longhammer" or whatever the Widmer equivalent might be). Yet they're such a fantastic brewer outside of that one that they sometime get their masterpieces slotted into places that might not otherwise serve them, simply by virtue of having rights to two tap handles, one of which is always occupied by the unremarkable but fast-selling IPA. 

At AT&T Park Mays Field in San Francisco this past Tuesday night - you know, where the World Champion San Francisco Giants play - there's a Lagunitas beer stand on the upper-deck level that's got the IPA and our star tonight, "LITTLE SUMPIN' SUMPIN' ALE". It's one of the great underrated beers of our time. I loved it so much again this time that I went right back and grabbed a second one, despite treats from Russian River, Almanac and others at the bar downstairs. If it was Belgian and didn't have such a lame label, we'd be singing its praises like an Orval or a Rochefort. I'm sure of it.

Despite a fairly high alcohol quotient (7.5% - I guess “high” depends on who you’re askin’), "Little Sumpin' Sumpin'" is immensely drinkable, despite a little funk (!) detected in every swallow. Maltiness totally coats the tongue here – it’s a real enveloping sort of taste, and the hop level’s far higher than you might expect in an “imperial wheat” beer – which this may or may not be. They say it is, but you be the judge. Said hops are citrusy and there’s a little bit of honey taste too. If you've ever had the Southern Tier "Heavy Weizen" before, this is right in that league. I can't believe it's on draft at a baseball stadium. We truly do live in miraculous times. 9/10.

1 comment:

Ryan Mould said...

I sadly had to check my Untappd records to see if I've had this beer. I haven't logged it yet (unless I had it pre-Untappd days, of course), but you make it sound desirable. Next time at the shop I will have to pick some up!