Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout 9.2% ABV
Lagunitas Brewing Company
I poured my beer into a glass and took a picture of it and the bottle. Then moving to my desk I sat down to drink and type out the first draft of my review, as per usual. I had the Lagunitas website open and was reading their description of the Cappuccino Stout and then noticed that they had a picture of the fine print on the side of the label, which reads as follows:
“Up until the summer of 2010, we’d always had a little ditty on the side here that was a peon to a good old hot Cup O’ Joe. It was built on the bones of the 23rd Psalm and went sumpin’ like “Coffee is my shepherd, I shall not…” but that was where the trouble started. Turns out talking about Coffee’s happy side on a ale lable is verboten now in Amerika. So, the things that I am allowed to say about it are that the coffee is delicious; that the ale is delicious; and that together they are not worse than the sum of their individual deliciousness’, most all of which are delicious. The label is glued on real well too, we make darn sure there are no holes in the glass, and that the cap stays put. We are proud of this and wish to brag about it all on this label, which is allowed by law. Thanks: Call us! 707-769-4495 Cheers!”
I was a bit confused and figured I’d give them a call, since they were kind enough to put their phone number on the label. After two rings a nice gentleman, who I’ll call Dave, answered. I told him I was reading the label, at which point he interjected and said in a pleasant voice “and you saw the number and gave us a call.” I asked him what the original ditty was. He ruffled through some papers and then read it off to me, much too quickly for me to type out. My next question was why Lagunitas wasn’t permitted to use the ditty any longer. He responded that those in charge of regulating beer labels (I’m paraphrasing here) were concerned that people would think that this beer would keep them awake and that they could drink one before getting behind the wheel. I thought to myself, this is obviously stupid, but I guess people and regulators can be stupid. I then asked if he could email me the ditty so I could quote it on my beer blog. He became a bit weary and said that he wouldn’t be able to, so as not to give the impression that Lagunitas was still promoting that label, but that I could find it in the book that the founder of the brewery wrote “Lagunitas Breweing Company The Story. So, You want to Start a Brewery…?”
As I wanted to get this review out quicker than it would take for a book to be shipped to me, I began a google hunt to find the original ditty. I am no journalist, and even worse I’m horrible at finding information via the internet. But I persisted past the point of my normal, “screw it, I give up” stage of tracking down pseudo hard to find info. After fifteen minutes I had concluded that this label had been purged from existence like former members of Stalin’s regime had been purged from soviet history. Just as I was about to give up hope of my feeble efforts producing results, I stumbled upon an image of an old label. After zooming in and rotating the label I was able to read the following:
“Coffee is my shepherd; I shall not doze, it maketh me to wake in green pastures, It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses. It resoreth my brain, it leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for it’s name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of sleep, I will fear no artificial sweetener for thou art with me; Thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me. Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of my zzz’s, Thou anonitest my day with sunlight; My cup runneth over. Surely richness and flavor shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of Cappuccino forever… Let us sip… or whatever… 1.707.769.4495 Cheers!”
What a witty little ditty. It’s a shame they can no longer use it. Between the fun ditty and playing the part of a journalist to track it down, I have quickly become a fan of Lagunitas. This is the first beer from their brewery I’ve tried and I’ll be trying more for sure. While I definitely prefer the Schlafly coffee stout, this coffee stout is still quite good. It has a nice sweet coffee aroma and a pleasant sweet coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate. I’m not sure what kind of idiot would assume that this beverage would make them alert to drive home after a night of drinking even at the lower 7.99% ABV of the pre 2010 version of the brew. But I suppose I can thank government regulators for providing me with an interesting internet hunt. I would recommend consuming this beer while at home with no plans of driving, as I did. While I’m not a gamer, I’d imagine this would be an ideal beer to have when you are planning on a late night of gaming as it will keep you up while still giving you a very pleasant beer buzz.