Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I've always been kinda so-so on the offerings from the LAGUNITAS BREWING CO., based out of Petaluma, CA. They've done a great job getting their wares on taps across the San Francisco Bay area, and I know I've seen their basic IPA on taps in other states. It's everywhere here, almost as popular as Anchor and Sierra Nevada. I just think it's average at best. Others beg to differ - a beer-obsessed co-worker of mine professes deep love & admiration for their products & relays that Lagunitas is all she and her husband drink at home (that and water). With that in mind I decided to try out their Double IPA LAGUNITAS MAXIMUS when it popped up on the shelves of the City Beer Store, and I wasn't in the least bit sorry I did.

The "Maximus" advertises its ingredients as something along the lines of "Hops, Water, Hops, Hops, Yeast, Hops, Barley, Hops and Hops". Yes, the breweries are very clever that way these days. Loading lots of hops into your IPAs seems ripe for cheap comedy in their eyes, but I reckon it gets the point across. I thought this beer was fantastic & balanced exceptionally well. It was a cloudy golden in color, and was a smooth drink through and through, but with that bitter, biting hop taste that you Double IPA fans know and love. It really went down easy & didn't have that overwhelming aftertaste of, say, the Smuttynose IPA or even the Racer 5 from Bear Republic. Both fine beers. This one's better. Say hello to Lagunitas Maximus - a super-impressive 9/10!

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