Friday Night Hangout – Celebrating Lagunitas Brewing

FNH - Celebrating Lagunitas

 

Friday Night Hangout – Celebrating Lagunitas Brewing

Episode 171 of the #FridayNightHangout is going to be a hopping time as we crack open a bunch of Lagunitas Brewing goodness.

Lagunitas

For the uninitiated Lagunitas is pronounced LAH GOO KNEE TUSS

Hops Take Center Stage

Known for their hoppy beers, Lagunitas first opened its doors back in 1993 and has since grown into one of the largest craft breweries in the US.

Lagunitas IPA

IPA-Tap-Sticker_smallTheir Lagunitas IPA is the quintessential west coast style IPA with its grapefruit hoppy signature. Add in beers like Hop Stoopid and the world class Lagunitas Sucks and it’s easy to see why Lagunitas has a reputation for hoppy beers.

Mistakes Lead To Greatness

Some of Lagunitas most beloved beers were born out of mistakes in either the brewing process or scheduling.

Brown-Shugga-Tap-Sticker-smallBrown Shugga’ Was a failed attempt at their Olde GrarlyWine. Brewed with loads of actual brown sugar this is a big sweet malty craft beer with a generous amount of hops to perfectly balance it our.  Our own Gil Melo’s favorite.

When last we celebrated Lagunitas on our Friday Night Hangout it took a whole 37 seconds into our show before some Brown Shugga’ was on display.

Sucks-Tap-Sticker_smallLagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute Ale came about after a scheduling mishap caused them to miss brewing that year’s batch of Brown Shugga’. This is a big tropical beast of a beer.  Loaded with barley, rye, wheat and malt, and dry hopped to perfection, Lagunitas Sucks is full of tropical fruits and resin on the nose and the taste buds. And we love those 32oz. bottles!

USA-Tap-Sticker_smallUndercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is craft beer commemorating that time back in 2005 when they were shut down for 20 days for some extracurricular activities.  This is a malty sweet beer with an earthy and citrusy hoppiness to balance it out.

For the story behind this:

Overall there’s a lot to explore when it comes to Lagunitas. They are one of the best and most consistent breweries out there. Whenever we see a new Lagunitas craft beer hit the market it is very quickly in our fridges soon to be opened and savored. Is it Friday Night yet?

Friday Night Hangout

Join us Friday, August 14, 2015 for #FridayNightHangout Episode 171.

Share Your Thoughts

Have you explored all the amazing Lagunitas beers yet? Have you been fortunate enough to find yourself in California and stopped in and had any at their source?

Share with us your Lagunitas experiences. Drop us a comment below or head on over to our Google Plus Event Page or our YouTube Page and comment there and look for us to share your comments on air.

We love sharing our new craft beer experiences and love to hear from others.

#FNHBeer Style: LAGUNITAS BREWING


What To Watch

Friday Night Hangout Posts:
http://craftbeernation.org/blog/category/friday-night-hangout/

Friday Night Hangout YouTube Playlist

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Friday Night Hangout – #IPAday

FNH - IPAday

Friday Night Hangout – #IPAday – We’re Still Celebrating

Thursday, August 6, 2015 is #IPAday and we are in celebration mode on our #FridayNightHangout episode 170.

Back in late March through early April we explored the Ale, from Pale Ale all the way up to the big Imperial IPAs.  And now it’s looking like that was just a homework assignment, a training session for #IPAday 2015.

IPA is always a great style of craft beer to dive into and we’re super happy #IPAday is here so we can dive right back into the style.

For a breakdown of the India Pale Ale you can click the links below to our previous shows.

Friday Night Hangout

Join us Friday, August 7, 2015 for #FridayNightHangout Episode 170.

Share Your Thoughts

Are you an IPA fan?  Are you newer to craft beer and haven’t yet made the leap into hoppy gloriousness?

Share with us your IPA experiences. Drop us a comment below or head on over to our Google Plus Event Page or our YouTube Page and comment there and look for us to share your comments on air.

We love sharing our new craft beer experiences and love to hear from others.

#FNHBeer Style: #IPAday

What To Watch

Friday Night Hangout Posts:
http://craftbeernation.org/blog/category/friday-night-hangout/

Friday Night Hangout YouTube Playlist

Craft Beer Nation Ale Series

 

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Friday Night Hangout – Lambic

FNH - LAMBIC - CBNFriday Night Hangout – LAMBIC

It’s time to take a virtual visit to the Pajottenland region of Belgium and explore the Lambic.

Brewing Process

Lambic is produced by spontaneous fermentation, by exposing the beer to wild yeast and bacteria.  This unpredictable process gives the Lambic its distinctive flavors.

Lambic runs the gambit from dry and cidery to funky and sour and might be a good and interesting way to introduce your red wine drinkers to beer.

Lambic is mostly wheat, a combination of malted barley and unmalted wheat (approx. 60-40 percent).  The wort is cooled overnight in a flat pan and left exposed to the elements so all of those wonderful microorganisms can perform their magic. Here you will find, amongst a horde of other microorganisms the wonderful Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces pastorianus and Brettanomyces bruxellensis.

You can find Lambic being brewed and fermented in the colder parts of the year.

Where are the Hops?

The Lambic is interesting is how hops play a role.  Unlike many other beer styles where the hop can be an aromatic or flavor star, here they are used mainly for their natural preservative qualities.  The bittering, aroma and flavors imparted are still there but in the background.

Blending

One key component of the Lambic that makes it into the bottle is it is a blend of multiple Lambic beers.

There are currently 9 breweries brewing the Lambic wort within the Senne Valley and four lambic blenders who buy the wort from breweries to age in their own barrels and then make their custom blends.

The brewers take their various Lambic batches and blend them to get just the flavor they want and that is what goes into the bottle.

Lambic comes in a few different variations these days.

Gueuze

Cantillon_Classic_Gueuze - photo by Doug Nolan

Cantillon_Classic_Gueuze – photo by Doug Nolan

A mixture of a young and an old Lambic.  The younger Lambic undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle.  A gueuze can ferment up to a year before being shipped out for sale.  This version of the Lambic can often have a shelf life of up to 20 years.  The gueuze is also carbinated and champagne like.  Expect something dry and musty and barnyard with some acidic sour thrown in for good meausure.

 

Popular versions of the style

Faro

Lindemans Faro - photo by Gil Melo

Lindemans Faro – photo by Gil Melo

A sweetened beer featuring a blend of Lambic and a young beer with brown sugar added in, this low-alcohol beer is meant as an easy day drinker.

Kriek

Lambicx_2011_2013

Lambicx_2011_2013 – photo by Charles Dunkley

This a Belgian beer was traditionally created by fermenting Lambic with sour Morello cherries. These days many breweries will use different cherries or even things like cherry juice and sugar.

Popular versions of the style:

There is a debate amongst some regarding the Kriek and the turning away of some brewers from cherries to fruit juice.  This is to be expected whenever time honored brewing traditions come face to face with market realities.  An interesting experiment might be to gather up a group of Kriek Lambic and divide them into the various categories of real fruit vs. juice and do a taste test to see if there is any discernable difference.

Even better, do a blind taste test and then see which ones came out on top.

Either way, finding interesting ways to go out and try more beers sounds like a science experiment just waiting.

Friday Night Hangout

Join us Friday, July 31, 2015 for #FridayNightHangout Episode 169.

 

Share Your Thoughts

Have you explored the Lambic yet? Have you been fortunate enough to find yourself in that region and stopped in and had any at their source?

Share with us your Lambic experiences. Drop us a comment below or head on over to our Google Plus Event Page or our YouTube Page and comment there and look for us to share your comments on air.

We love sharing our new craft beer experiences and love to hear from others.

#FNHBeer Style: LAMBIC


What To Watch

Friday Night Hangout Posts:
http://craftbeernation.org/blog/category/friday-night-hangout/

Friday Night Hangout YouTube Playlist

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Friday Night Hangout – Something New

FNH - SOMETHING NEW - YouTube - CBN

FNH – Something New

Friday Night Hangout Episode 167 – Something New – Beers You’ve Never Had Before

This week on Episode 167 of #FridayNightHangout we are doing a variation of Drinkers Choice with Something New – Beers You’ve Never Had Before

Besides bringing out our favorites, one of the fun parts of our Friday Night Hangouts is the chance to experiment and try something new.  So that’s what we’re doing this week. Whether it’s something we’ve been cellaring for a while and just haven’t gotten around to, or that beer we’ve been eyeing on the store shelves, it’s time to crack open a brand new craft beer experience.

What new craft beer have you had lately or have lined up to try this week?  Drop us a comment below or head on over to our Google Plus Event Page or our YouTube Page and comment there,

We love sharing our new craft beer experiences and love to hear from others.

#FNHBeer style: Something New

 


What to watch:

Friday Night Hangout Posts:
http://craftbeernation.org/blog/category/friday-night-hangout/

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Friday Night Hangout – Dogfish Head

FNH Dogfish Head

FNH Dogfish Head

This week on Ep. 166 of #FridayNightHangout we are celebrating Dogfish Head Beers.  In the 20 years since its founding Dogfish Head has become known for it willingness to experiment.   They produce one of the widest varieties of beer styles of any craft brewery. From their “minute” series to reviving ancient recipes to all sorts of things in between there is always something new to find and taste with this brewery.

So go to your local craft beer shop and pick a few Dogfish Head beers and join us this Friday night.

And while you wait for Friday to roll around you can check out our interview with Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione at Savor 2015:

If you have a favorite or an opinion on Dogfish Head beers drop us a comment below or join us Friday, July 10, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on DFH. Do you have a favorite? Or do you walk right past them on the shelves?  We will be keeping an eye over there to share comments live on air.

We want to hear from you.

#FNHBeer style: Dogfish Head

Here’s a few Dogfish Head beers I’ve enjoyed with Craft Beer Nation.

 

 

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Friday Night Hangout – Hybrid Beers

FNH - HYBRID - YouTube - CBN

For episode 165 of our Friday Night Hangout we are exploring the Hybrid Beer Category, which consists of the following:

  • Kolsch
  • Altbier
  • California Common

Hybrid beers are just that, a hybrid of Ale and Lager.  Sometimes these are Lagers with Ale yeast or Ales with Lager yeast.  Either way, they provide flavor profiles and brewing techniques from both sides of the fermentation spectrum.

If you have a favorite or an opinion on the style drop us a comment below or join us Friday, July 03, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the HYBRID. Do you have a favorite? Or do you walk right past them on the shelves?  We will be keeping an eye there to share comments live on air.

We want to hear from you.

#FNHBeer style: Hybrid

We’ll see which selections show up for tonight’s show.  And if you’re wondering what would be a prime example of a Hybrid Beer?

Perhaps one of the most famous Hyrbids falls under the California Common. style: Anchor Steam Beer:

http://www.anchorbrewing.com/beer/anchor_steam

Anchor Steam Beer (linked from Anchor’s website)

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Friday Night Hangout – Saison

FNH - Saison - YouTube - CBN

Friday, May 29, 2015 we are drinking and celebrating the Saison / Farmhouse Ale.

Saison or Farmhouse Ale gets its name from its origins in the French speaking southern Belgian region of Wallonia. Brewed in the colder months to be stored away till the Summer, the Saison was brewed for the seasonal farmhands who works the fields.

Saison is known for its bottle conditioning and for a nice dry tartness. Fruits and spices can also be found in some more modern Saisons. And while the traditional malt bill brings a hazy golden hue, experiments with various darker malts have expanded the style in recent years.

Saison Dupont is considered the standard bearer of the style and has helped to bring the Saison from nearly forgotten to its current renaissance as a style growing in popularity.

Many American Breweries have added their own great brews to this style.

Some examples:

Hennepin – Brewery Ommegang

Hennepin

Hennepin – Brewery Ommegang – photo by Charles Dunkley

Tank 7 – Boulevard Brewing

Boulevard_Tank_7

Tank 7 – Boulevard Brewing – photo by Charles Dunkley

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer

Crooked_Stave_Saisons

Crooked Stave Saison Ales – photo by Charles Dunkley

 

And for the Game Of Thrones Fans the newest beer from Brewery Ommegang is their Three Eyed Raven Dark Saison

Ommegang_Three_Eyed_Raven

Three Eyed Raven – Brewery Ommegang – photo by Charles Dunkley

 

If you haven’t explored this corner of the craft beer world now is a great time to head to your local craft beer shop and take a few home.

If you have a favorite or an opinion on the style drop us a comment below or join us Friday, May 29, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the SAISON. Do you have a favorite? Or do you walk right past them on the shelves?  We will be keeping an eye there to share comments live on air.

We want to hear from you.

#FNHBeer style: Saison / Farmhouse

 

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Craft Beer Nation Explores the Ale

FNH - FNH Ale Trilogy - YouTube - CBN

Every Friday evening Craft Beer Nation gathers together for a Hangout On Air on Google + that is also broadcast live on YouTube. Each Friday we explore a different style of Craft Beer.

We recently took a 3 week journey through the Craft Beer Ale, exploring, drinking, discussing, Pale Ales, India Pale Ales and Double/Imperial India Pale Ales.

We drank a lot of beers, and had some great roundtable discussions on the variations of these styles. Throughout the three weeks was a lot of discussion on Hops and all they bring to craft beer.

Here’s a breakdown of our Ale trip.

PALE ALE


Beers drank/reviewed:
Matthew Miller – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Charles Dunkley: – Bronx Brewery, Bronx Pale Ale
Lola Lariscy – Intuition Ale Works, Victory Pale Ale
Tom Snyder – Icelandic Pale Ale – Einstok Olger
Doug Nolan – 3 Floyds, Zombie Dust
Randy Gardner – DC Brau, The Public
Ricky Potts: Firestone Walker Pale 31
Jeffrey J. Davis – Alaskan Big Mountain Pale Ale

INDIA PALE ALE


Beers drank/reviewed:
Randy Gardner – DC Brau / Oskar Blues – Smells Like Freedom
Matthew Miller – Rhinegeist – Truth IPA
Lola Lariscy – Veterans United – Hop Banshee
Gil Melo – Santa Fe Brewing – Happy Camper
Charles Dunkley – Sixpoint Bengali
Patrick Webster of Erie Better Beer Bureau – Bell’s Hopslam

DOUBLE / IMPERIAL INDIA PALE ALE


Beers drank/reviewed:
Ricky Potts – Firestone Walker – Double Jack
Charles Dunkley – Rooster Fish – Hop Warrior
Jeffrey J. Davis – Odell Brewing – Myrcenary
Randy Gardner – Trillium – Upper Deck
Gil Melo – Founders Doom

Besides giving our impressions of the above craft ales we also dove into discussions about sub styles like the Black IPA. And what constitutes a Double or Imperial IPA. We also touched on Hype and its impact on pricing craft beers.

And of course we shared our love of the Hop itself and all of the wonders it can bring to a beer.  We had a great time and each learned something new, tried new beers and overall enjoyed our exploration of the Ale. Like most craft beer drinkers we also took quite a few beer pics during each episode.  You can find those on the Google+ Event pages (found in each episode article linked below.

Above are the full Friday Night Hangout Episodes for each style.  For snippets from each show you can click on the Sips and Clips Playlist link below.

Next we’re moving to the other side of the spectrum and will be spending a couple of shows exploring the Lager, beginning with the Pilsner.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Ale, and on our upcoming Lager shows. And if you have a style of craft beer you’d like to have us dive into drop us a comment here or hit us up on one of our Social Media sites.

Related Articles

Friday Night Hangout – Pale Ale
Friday Night Hangout – India Pale Ale
Friday Night Hangout – Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Craft Beer Nation YouTube Sips and Clips Playlist

 

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Friday Night Hangout – Double IPA

Craft Beer Nation - Friday Night Hangout - Ep. 153 -DIPA

Craft Beer Nation – Friday Night Hangout – Ep. 153 -DIPA

Friday, April 10, 2015 we wrap up our Pale Ale journey with Episode 153 and the Double India Pale Ale. This is also become known as the Imperial IPA as some breweries package theirs as Triple IPAs.

We were going to break Double and Triple out into their own Episodes but since Triple IPA isn’t really a recognized style (that and the availability of the few marketed that way isn’t widespread enough for our Panel to all get their hands on) we’re combining them for this episode.

While the IPA may be the rock star of the Craft Beer world, for hop heads it is the DIPA that really reigns supreme. The IPA today is more like the Pale Ale of yesteryear. If we are in the mood for Hops. We are in the mood for HOPS!

Pack them in there. We want the nose to send us off to some tropical paradise. We want the citrus and mango and pineapples to rampage across our palate.

But that doesn’t mean we want only hops. A big Imperial IPA needs to have a robust Malt backbone to balance it out. A DIPA that’s only Hops quickly fades into an unbalanced mess. A proper Malt presence really is key to a great beer.

THE BIG THREE

In the world of the DIPA or Imperial IPA there is The Big Three:

Russian River – Pliny the Elder
Alchemist – Heady Topper
Bell’s – Hopslam

Whenever talk makes it way around to the DIPA these are the three beers most often spoken of. Personally I’ve only ever had Hopslam out of the three so I can’t speak for whether or not they are all deserving of this accolade.

Note: Anyone interested in sending me some Pliney or Heady to see if they are worth the hype, feel free to let me know.

I’ve had Hopslam twice. The 2014 Hopslam was my first taste. I could see why this beer had the hype surrounding it but was underwhelmed. And then I had the 2015 Hopslam and it blew me away. I’m guessing last year must have been an off year because the 2015 is phenomenal.

Now, that said, I have a DIPA and an Imperial IPA marketed as a Triple that I would both rank above Hopslam, but this is personal preference on my part.

Sixpoint Resin – IIPA

Sixpoint - Resin - DIPA

Sixpoint – Resin – DIPA

 

Sixpoint Hi-Res – IIIPA

Sixpoint - Hi-Res - IIIPA

Sixpoint – Hi-Res – IIIPA

 

I will drink these two beers over Hopslam any day. Where Hopslam gets its unique spin on the Imperial IPA with its addition of honey, Resin and Hi-Res are all about that big piney, resin. That bitter citrus. But both have a strong malt backbone that keeps either from going over the cliff.

Side By Side

Sixpoint Hi-Res and Bells Hopslam

Sixpoint Hi-Res and Bells Hopslam

I recently did a side by side comparison with Hi-Res and Hopslam and they were strikingly similar.  Hi-Res wins out for me with its far more enjoyable finish.  Hopslam leaves my palate with an odd aftertaste whereas Hi-Res leaves it clean and wanting more.

Noteable Double / Imperal IPAs

Lagunitas – Lagunitas Sucks
Dogfish Head – 90 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head – 120 Minute IPA
Surly – Abrasive
Firestone Walker – Double Jack IPA

There are way too many great DIPAs to list here. Your mission: go and seek them out. If you like Hops but haven’t made the deep dive into these waters yet now is the time to go for it.

Join us Friday, April 10, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our Ep. 153 YouTube Page. Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the DIPA.

We want to hear from you.

You can watch the replay here:

#FNHBeer style: DIPA

Related Articles:

Friday Night Hangout – Pale Ale
Friday Night Hangout – India Pale Ale

 

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Friday Night Hangout – India Pale Ale

FNH - IPA - YouTube - CBN

 

Friday, April 3, 2015 will be Craft Beer Nation Friday Night Hangout Episode 152 – IPA.

INDIA PALE ALE is perhaps the most well known style of craft beer.  Or at least it is the one with the most name recognition.  From the dedicated craft beer drinker to the macro beer drinker wondering what this “craft” beer thing is all about, to the hipsters who don’t really know a lot about craft beer but order it because that’s what they feel they should be doing, the IPA is probably the most selected style.

Especially here in America.  The American Pale Ale dominates the craft beer market.  If you brew beer you had better brew an IPA because that is going to be a big seller, if, of course, you brew a good one.

There’s many a history lesson out there about the India Pale Ale.   Born out of the old colonial British Empire this style has morphed into what it is today.  The IPA is another great example of American ingenuity and desire to put our stamp on something that’s been around as long as we have as a nation.

Today, the IPA falls into two main camps:  English IPA and American IPA

English IPA

The English IPA is characterized by a more balanced presence between Hop and Malt and is often little lower in ABV% than the American IPA.  While the hoppy bitterness is there, the caramel malts are right there with it.

English IPA examples:
Commodore Perry IPAGreat Lakes Brewing Co.
Brooklyn East IPABrooklyn Brewery
Harpoon IPAHarpoon Brewery

American IPA

In contrast the American IPA is a big bold beast of a beer.  These are bitter beers with a strong floral or citrus hop character.  The west coast IPA in particular is known for it’s grapefruit and other citrus elements.

American IPA examples:
Lagunitas IPALagunitas Brewing
Sculpin IPABallast Point Brewing
Jai Alai IPACigar City Brewing
Stone IPAStone Brewing
60 Minute IPADogfish Head Brewing

 

Join us Friday, April 3, 2015 at 10:00PM Eastern for our live Hangout On Air, hosted on our Google+ Event Page and on our YouTube Page.  Drop us a note here or G+ or YouTube letting us know your thoughts on the IPA.  Do you have a favorite?  Do you hate the style and think it is way over blown?  Has the market just become way over-saturated with IPAs?

We want to hear from you.

You can watch the replay here:

#FNHBeer style: IPA

Editors note: This is for the Single IPA.  Upcoming Episodes 153 and 154 will feature the Double IPA and the Triple IPA

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