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Beer Reviews Lagunitas new Dogtown Pale Ale

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My first introduction to American craft brewed ales was on a family trip to Portland, Oregon. As I travelled from one brewery to the next, I found a lot of great local beer. Some of the beers I enjoyed while in Portland were the first to lure me away from the UK beers I had always been a fan of. Since then I’ve begun noticing a similar scene developing in California. From Stone Brewing in southern California to Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, more and more great craft brews are coming the Golden State.

Here in Alberta I’ve been seeing a lot of Lagunitas Brewing on the shelves. They, along with Anchor Brewing seem to be California’s biggest contribution to the shelves of my favorite beer stores. As I review their line-up, I notice how Lagunitas’ beers are named with a certain irreverence. It’s an irreverence that seems to be shared with breweries across the state. With names like Gnarlywine and Lagunitas Maximus, the brewers seem to like having a bit of fun with their beer.

So, when I went to the liquor store to pick up a six pack of Lagunitas Pale Ale I found myself looking forward to seeing how that irreverence translated into the beer itself. Slightly hazy golden colored ale with copper highlights. Light carbonation supports a fluffy white head with decent retention. Hops are up front in the aroma, showing fragrances of citrus and grapefruit with hints of grassiness. Hops are supported by what smells like hard candy. There’s also the scent of fruit esters giving the beer a nice juiciness.

Lagunitas Pale Ale starts off with spritzy carbonation. This moves into a citric juiciness in the center. Finish is dry, assertively bitter, and lingering. The ale is also light on flavors of malt with pronounced bitterness being the only offering on the palate. All in all Lagunitas Pale Ale is a fine offering but it doesn’t offer much more than Big Hops. If this beer had some malt or other flavors to support the hops and give the beer backbone, I might enjoy it more.

A little depth of flavor might elevate Lagunitas Pale Ale closer to an 8 out of 10 instead of the 7.31 out of 10 I’m willing to give it. That being said, I would recommend Lagunitas Pale Ale for hopheads who prefer the citrussy hop profile of American pale ales over the earthy profile of the British models. The beer’s assertive hop profile would make it a good match for cream soups, pasta, fish and chips, or any dish where you want an ale’s bitterness to cut through a meal’s fattiness or creaminess.

Reference:
1. New Dogtown Pale Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company | BeerAdvocate
2. Lagunitas New DogTown Pale Ale – RateBeer

Category: Health