Review: Lagunitas IPA

Author: Jason Harris
November 20, 2010

With this review, we begin a new series of reviews, this time of Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, California.  Lagunitas is sort of a cult favorite up here in the Pacific Northwest.  We are a pretty territorial bunch up here, typically preferring beers that are made locally (like within 20 miles); but the Petaluma brewery has some fans up this way.

So, with that, lets take a look at Lagunitas IPA.  Their take on the India Pale Ale is an interesting one.  Here’s how the brewery’s website describes their IPA:

India Pale Ale
Thanks for choosing to spend the next few minutes with this special homicidally hoppy ale. Savor the moment as the raging hop character engages the imperial qualities of the Malt foundation in mortal combat on the battlefield of your palate!

So, they describe it as super hoppy.  To me, this would imply bitter and therefore uber yummy.

However, I had a 22-ounce bomber of this IPA and I was thoroughly disappointed.  This beer is not very hoppy at all – in fact, it tastes like a weak pale ale.  A barkeep could have served me this beer and told me it was a pilsner and I wouldn’t have flinched.

Lagunitas IPA is very pale in color.  It is almost tan, again, like a pilsner.

I guess up here in the Pacific Northwest, where we grow hops and wear flannel and like our coffee strong, this IPA doesn’t cut it.

Also, I’m being brutally honest here and perhaps I’m missing something.  Are you a Lagunitas fan – can you shed some light and perhaps show me the way?  Or am I justified in my dislike for this IPA?

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