Sep 102011

WTF FTW, LOL. While in Spokane this weekend to watch 3 of my kids run the Tracy Walters Cross Country Meet I stopped into the local Albertson’s to see if they had any interesting craft beers to try out. I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of beers I could bring home to sample. Tonight’s beer is Wilco Tango Foxtrot (WTF) by Lagunitas. One of Lagunitas Brewing’s five seasonal releases scheduled to be released this year, WTF described itself as a “A Malty, Robust, Jobless Recovery Ale.” Last year Lagunitas had released the 2009 Correction Ale and were planning to label this years version the ‘2010 Recovery Ale’ but since there was no recovery they decided, WFT, and named it the Wilco Tango Foxtrot.

This is one of the new style ‘Black’ IPAs. As soon as the cap comes off you can smell the hops and know that this is not your dad’s nut brown ale. It pours a translucent brown that shows hints of red when held up to the light with a nice tan head that holds well. With eyes closed you would definitely put this in the IPA camp, but open your eyes and the dark color makes you second guess.

It has a great ‘mouth feel’ while drinking. So many beers have about as much ‘body’ as a Coke or Pepsi, but beer is supposed to be liquid nutrition, and should have some body to it. This beer does. I may not be much of an IPA fan, and there are many dark beers that I would prefer, but this is one beer I would buy and enjoy again.

Jan 172011


When travelling it is always fun to visit the local grocery store to see what kind of micro brews they carry. After checking into the hotel in Twin Falls, I headed over to Fred Meyers. Freddy’s always seems to have a better selection than any other grocery store. Sure enough, Looking through the selection I found one I had not noticed before, Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. The 22 oz. bomber bottle was priced at $4.19 so into the cart it went (along with a Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale, Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and a case of Session Black).

The Cappuccino Stout is Lagunitas’ December 2010 seasonal. Their list of Seasonal Ales describes it as:

Big, Dark and Scary Imperial-esque Stout Brewed With Plenty of Dark Malts and Roast Barley And Loads of Sebastopol’s Hardcore Coffee for Even Bigger Roasty Flavors and that Extra Krunk.
ABV: 9.2%

That list of Lagunitas seasonals has a couple of others I hope to check out sometime just because of their name, Hairy Eyeball Ale and Brown Shugga.

I looked forward to opening the bottle in the hotel room after a long day in the car but I was going to have to work for this. The hotel room did not have a bottle opener, a call to the desk was unfruitful and, since we were driving my wife’s car, my trusty opener was on the key ring I had left at home. Time to improvise. I worked the bottle cap open using a pair of tweezers, lol.

Pouring the dark beverage into the hotel glass, the coffee aroma was evident but not overpowering. The light tan head dissolved into nice lacing as I drank the first glass. The drink had a great taste, the beer and coffee working together yet the mouth feel was more of an ale than what I expect in a stout. Disappointed? How could I be disappointed with such a great tasting beer.  Will definitely keep an eye out for this to try again, with a bottle opener and a proper beer glass.

Lagunitas is located about 40 miles north of San Francisco in Petaluma, California and they seem to have a great sense of humor:

From our earliest days of striving to make consistently good beer, and instead making beer that ranged from vile, to barely drinkable, to wonderful, to elegant, to questionable-at-best. From being castigated by our West Marin neighbors to finally suffering an ‘eviction’ by our West Marin septic system. From landing in the welcoming arms of Petaluma, and actually getting our beer into bottles, onto the streets, and into the hands of sympathetic beer geeks, to steadily losing less money each month. From all this and more, Lagunitas Brewing Company is emerging as a battle-tested brewery capable of making great beer out of goat’s milk, brambles, and asphalt on the surface of the Moon, if need be.

As the poet once said, ‘Where, but for the grace of God and the kindness of strangers, go I’. Where go we indeed, whatever that means.