Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale 9.75% ABV
American Strong Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company
The nose is that of a hoppy brew, more of an IPA than a run of the mill ale. They claim that this is an “especially bitter ale.” I find that just the smallest front of the beer is bitter and then it flows in to a surprising sweet flavor that only gets sweeter in the finish. It is a complex brew in this respect, which makes every sip a journey from taste bud agony into a sweet dance of varying tastes. The bitter front does make it self know again in the lingering after taste. I must say that I thoroughly enjoy this beer. Another hit from Lagunitas in my opinion.
This brew comes in 6 packs at a high retail price of $12.99. With the starkly high alcohol content in each bottle, it’s actually quite the deal though. This is a beer you simply need one of in an evening. I found myself looking forward to one of these after a long day. I would sit back on the couch, put on a good TV show and pour myself a glass. I was able to savor this 6 pack over the course of a couple of weeks. I was shocked at how much the sweetness of the brew affected my palate. To the point where I’m almost wondering if my taste buds are off. Should I be experiencing more of the bitterness that was intended in this brew? Instead of getting caught up in this worry, I’ll just enjoy the brew in what is perhaps my own unique way.
This beer was made to dedicate the “2005 St. Patrick’s Day Massacre,” what Lagunitas calls the time that the government shut them down, giving them a 20 day suspension for a “Disorderly House.” I called the brewery to get some further details on exactly why they were suspended and what the “Disorderly House” meant. According to the dude who answered my call, the team members used to take a regular break between the time of 4:19PM and 4:21PM. Some government officials found out about these breaks and also had suspicion of why this particular brewery was having such incredible growth. They assumed that the brewery was merely a front for an illegal distribution racket. They decided to send some undercover agents to the brewery during these breaks to try and buy some “break enhancer,” a term I just now coined. The team members at Lagunitas, being generous folks, would freely give these undercover agents said “break enhancer.” This meant that the government couldn’t ever charge the brewery or team members with selling anything illegal. They were still upset with the brewery and used an old law still on the books from Prohibition days, used back then to target brothels and establishments of that sort, to suspend the brewery. The nice thing is that Lagunitas got to choose when the suspension would take place, and used the 20 days to install a new bottling line.
So not only did Lagunitas gain an awesome story and a new bottling line, we all now get to enjoy this amazing beer that came out of the ordeal. This is a limited release brew, and I have already grabbed another 6 pack to enjoy at my leisure.
Lagunitas definitely sways towards the Libertarian side of the political spectrum, at least from what I can gather. Here is some evidence from the webpage of this beer:
“From the first day of the first congress at the moment of the passage of the first law, we became weaker. The extra-large B. Franklin said it well that you can tell the strength of a society by the paucity of the pages in its’ book of laws. Today we are all surrounded by laws- Tax law, civil law, criminal law, Stautes and Bills. Laws that make large and small criminals of us all. And sometimes just doin’ something that you like to do that hurts no one is also criminal, or at least strongly discouraged. Seems we can’t be trusted to live well and safely on our own. On our own we would all probably descend quickly into mayhem, cannibalism and ultimately shoplifting and jaywalking. If only we all could be trusted. It is good to have such wise fathers looking out for us…isn’t it…? Whatever 707.769.4495 Cheers!”
That particular label was used on the 22oz bottles of the first or second release of the beer (The guy at Lagunitas wasn’t sure if it was the first or second release, but said it was one of those two for sure.). Here is some further evidence, which is typed on the bottom of the current 6 pack holder:
“There is a symmetry to everything. Hot will always cool. Up always comes to down. Markets rise and crash. $2 per gallon then $4 per gallon then $2. First the right begets the left; then the left becomes the right; and then the right becomes the wrong all over again. Hop prices do soar and then just as surely crash and everyone cries except the brewer. Some drugs are legal (like alcohol) while others are forbidden. Some pleasures are embraced and are also forbidden. Ask the former NY Governor or PeeWee Herman. Saddam and Noriega once got paychecks from the CIA? The King of Beers becomes another’s brood mare. GM becomes Gee…Um… How many times have you heard an unusual word several times in one day. What is one day undercover- is the next day revealed- and then slunks back down where it came from again. The sun went down today and returns tomorrow as if for the first time. When governments are simple, people are simple. When governments are clever, people are clever. Earth mirrors heaven. There is a symmetry to everything. Cheers!”
I really enjoy Lagunitas for their cryptic poetic labels, and thankfully I enjoy their beer even more. It makes buying their product a double bonus, you get to enjoy reading nice poetry while enjoying even better beer.