Lagunitas founder Tony Magee describes Brown Shugga as a "strange and irresponsible beer." This seasonal ale was born as a result of a series of mishaps on the night shift back in 1996. "I got a call at home from the brewer, telling me that the original gravity of Gnarleywine he was brewing was too low. I had miscalculated the recipe." This is a test of the skill and creativity of a brewmaster. "I told him to go to every grocery store in Petaluma and buy all the brown sugar that he could find and stick it into the kettle until he got the beer to the right strength. On Monday morning, I came into the brewhouse early and there were about 200 boxes of C and H Brown Sugar scattered on the floor." Progress was dicey in the fermenter, but after some weeks, a beautiful creature emerged from the aging tanks.An interesting story about this brew. I heard a few other interesting stories while at the brewery about other beers in their line up. But I suggest you go on the tour to figure those ones out. I had a great time there and I cannot wait to do it again. It is great having family in the city, wouldn't you agree?
This beer checked in at 9.9% and it is an interesting one for sure. The head on this one was essentially copper on top of a body of the same. A very malty brew, surprising given that usually added sugar to your beer thins things out. I guess the malt behind it was already up there... then again, apparently they were brewing Gnarlywine... A bit boozy and a very sweet initial bite. I feel you could pick out the molasses quite a bit. Tasty brew. Just wish I could pick out the Frank Zappa reference.
By the way, if you know your Frank Zappa, you may have figured out that the quick-thinking salvage job that created this beer holds a secret message: Necessity really is the Mother of Invention.941 Bottles Of Beer To Go!