The Lagunitas Story
Lagunitas Brewing Company’s founder Tony Magee explains that he began the brewery inside of his kitchen in Lagunitas California. Although he picked up and moved a few times including to Forest Knolls, Petaluma and very recently, Chicago, the beer still proudly keeps its Lagunitas name for many reasons – one of which is how lovely it appears when written in type.
Lagunitas’ New Dogtown Pale Ale is my first venture into the brand and its infamously wonderful batch of suds. The Lagunitas company has somewhat of a cult following in the craft beer world and is appreciated for its unique style and flavors. This aforementioned style is difficult to pinpoint as admitted by Tony Magee himself who is still very hands on with label design and branding.
New Dogtown Pale Ale, while on the tamer side of their styles is still a great, tasty take on the American Pale Ale. The beer comes in at 6.2 ABV and sits inside of a brown bottle featuring the Lagunitas dog on the bottom left who assures you that this beer is “Doggone Good!” Once uncapped the beer smells quite pleasant and fruity with apricot notes taking lead. A few closer sniffs reveal some peach, floral and very minor bready characteristics.
The beer pours a lovely golden orange color with a 2-3 finger tightly bubbled, off white head. The first sip is creamy; almost velvety. This is certainly a fruity beer with immediate upfront flavors of apricot, peach and mango enveloping the mouth. I am reminded of Stone’s GoTo IPA in terms of flavors, although this beer is definitely more balanced and not so boldly fruity. I’d say in terms of drinkability, Lagunitas’ Pale Ale trumps the GoTo IPA, despite Stone’s attempts to create a sessionable beer.
This is very enjoyable beer resembling an IPA but offering amazing drinkability for a 6.2 ABV sud. This is on the fruiter side of pale ales and I would encourage you to grab a six pack of these before your next BBQ and enjoy them in the great outdoors. New Dogtown Pale Ale is a great choice for hop heads and non hop heads alike, and I feel it has mass appeal for folks just looking for a great tasting ale! The tropical fruit flavors are well balanced and are not over the top bitter. This is a must try, must buy.