[image-1]City Paper recently spent a wonderful evening with marketing director Ron Lindenbusch and a few other cool folks from the West Coast-based Lagunitas Brewing Company as they conducted a casual beer tasting at the Red Drum Gastropub in Mt. Pleasant. They were celebrating the addition of their I.P.A. (India Pale Ale) to the draught beer selection at the venue. Ted’s Butcherblock expects to stock some of the selections. Other local bars and restaurants will soon secure beers from the brewery as well.

The sizeable microbrewery is brewery located about 40 miles north of San Francisco in Petaluma, California.

[image-2]Lagunitas (pronounced “Lah-Goo-Nee-Tuss”) invited City Paper ad dude Blair Barna and me to sample several solid beers from their menu. Boy, are we glad we did. We sipped a very crisp, clean, and delicately-hopped Pils (a respectful rendition of the classic Czech style lager). We gulped several pints of the copper-colored, aggressively hopped I.P.A. (tons of Cascades in the aroma and flavor — very much in that Northern California style). We supped up plenty of the maltier, full-bodied Censored Amber Ale (a bit hefty at 5.9% alcohol by volume). We nearly fell out of our seats after trying the mighty I.P.A. Maximus, a genuine India Pale Ale at the high-end of the spectrum (at 7.5% alcohol by volume).

[image-3]The brewery boasts an unusually copious list of specialties and seasonals — the recently distributed We’re Only in it for the Money Ale, featuring the artwork from Northern California musical icon Frank Zappa’s fourth album on the label.

Keep an eye an a few taste buds out for these new Cali specialties — and encourage the bar managers to order a few cases!