Lagunitas Brewing Company – Lagunitas India Pale Ale (2015)


The great secret of hipsters is that they are K-mart shoppers like everyone else. That is: their lives lack meaning, and they fill them with objects, but they demand artisanal™ exotic and ethical lifestyle objects instead of the accessories the rest of the herd demands. The guy buying an 18-pack of Miller Lite wants only to be accepted by his social group, but the hipster is a social climber, and wants to appear unique, thoughtful, wise, “in the know,” different and unusual to his social group. That is because unlike in a healthy blue collar social group, where people want to demonstrate competence, hipsters need to show they are socially important which they do through flattering the predominant individualist opinion (SJW) and then doing something unpredictable. It is the conformity of non-conformity.

Next time you see a (giggin’, which I’m told is slang to mean without a plan) hipster cruising down the street in his Victorian moustache with 1970s porno beard on a penny-farthing cycle while texting on his iPhone 6HIV+, realize you are just seeing another shopper. He is in fact the most mainstream of shoppers, hoping that he can borrow the hipness and authenticity™ factor from a niche and extend it to the same rules of acceptance that apply to every other social group. As a result, hipsters represent a lucrative market because in their desire to be clued in, they are clueless. Everything for them is a signal, a show of appearance and lifestyle accessories for others, so they do not care about the underlying quality. They are not shopping for a Mercedes-Benz. They want a Hyundai with superheroes painted on it and a smartphone jack, which are actually easy and cheap to achieve. Hyundai puts out the same butt-stupid product as for anyone else but tricks it out, and the hipsters buy it for 30% over list. Flawless victory for commerce! This is no different than how they sell absurdly burly trucks to rednecks, or chromed-out cars to “the urban market,” or even how they make girly cars out of last year’s model for the clueless 20-something bar concubine market segment. In the case of beers, the IPA demographic has exploded as hipsters have realized they can socialize for hours just talking about their favorite IPAs, and marketers have realized that if you take average beer and dump grapefruit into it, you can sell it to hipsters for 30% over list.

That being said, the review of Lagunitas India Pale Ale is this: slightly better-than-average beer entirely concealed behind grapefruit juice flavor, this IPA has above-average alcohol and zero taste since you literally have no idea what the underlying beer tastes like. It seems like a thicker, meatier version of Budweiser with higher ABV (6.2%). It would not matter if it was horse urine because the grapefruit juice obliterates that. Luckily it is not absurdly sweet to counter the bitter citrus, but more likely, a yeasty middle of the road beer given a jolt of some of Everclear to bump it up to hipster levels. That way, they can drink alongside their wine-swiggin’ friends and still be about as drunk when it comes time to share a Lyft (via micropayments) for the trip back to their managed housing. There is simply no reason to pick up this beer unless you are buying it for the price, which at $5/22oz is acceptable in most areas. Unfortunately, it just does not deliver a pleasurable drinking experience, so unless you are picking this up for hipster cred factor, it is unnecessary like so many other things.

Quality rating: 2/5
Purchase rating: 1/5

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23 thoughts on “Lagunitas Brewing Company – Lagunitas India Pale Ale (2015)”

  1. Scott says:

    I can’t fucking stand IPA. German beer or die.

    1. German beer or die.

      Like Pabst or Shaeffer? ;)

    2. LordKrumb says:

      Many IPAs are crap. Some are good. Maybe you don’t like the taste of hops at all, or you haven’t had a good IPA yet.

      Also, many German beers are crap.

      A beer’s country of origin is no more a guarantee of its quality than its style.

  2. MightyK says:

    I hate people more and more everyday.

    1. All people, or just the useless ones?

      1. Meek Metalhead says:

        Arent most people useless?

        1. By their own choice, yes. Solipsism is the human condition if the humans do not elect to improve themselves. As a good nihilist, I am also a Calvinist, and realize that most people lack the circuits and gumption to take those steps.

          1. OliveFox says:

            I am drawn and fascinated by Calvinism, but doesn’t depravity and election theology bother you, or least confound many of the harder to grasp concepts of pre-destination?

            In other news, could there be a more ridiculous question in the comments section of a beer review?

            1. No, because I think Calvinism refers to the outlook and abilities of the individual. Some are born to sweet delight, and some to the endless night, mostly by their inclination toward certain relationships with the transcendentals. Some will turn from them, some turn on them, and some turn to them.

  3. Nick says:

    This site is drifting into unintentional comedy/satire with beer reviews and other completely non-related content. Also, the mention that everything seems to be hipster that’s not mainstream is getting so broad as to have lost all of its original meanings. I live in Southern California and just about every demographic drinks at least some craft beer. You, author of this article, need to stop having such awful tunnel vision. If you don’t like the beer, that’s great. I don’t think it’s very good as far as IPAs go, but to attribute it all to just wanting to seem unique and hip is so uninformed that you really need to go back to a focus on heavy metal. If I want beer reviews, I’ll go somewhere where people know what the fuck they are talking about.

    1. Feel free to submit articles on metal.

    2. Flying Kites says:

      I realize now that I have unintentionally avoided most IPAs as beers. Lagunitas has solid bombers for about five bucks, especially that 9.9% roasty toasty Imperial Stout. That and the quart bottle of Sucks is all I would recommend.

      Oskar Blues from Longmont, Colorado has a great Scotch Ale, in terms of the commerce market, one of my favorites. I love to introduce people to Old Rasputin, the greatest Imperial Stout I have found. ~$2.30 a bottle. I fucking love Imperial Stout. Occasionally I will put down twenty for those wine-style stouts. Last December I had Temecula’s Embargo Imperial Stout at 15%, was amazingly thick and resiny with nutty boldness and tart plums.

      If I am drinking something with “hops” I do love Saphir Bock. Find a Schönramer.

      1. Flying Kites says:

        It is good to be near the Four Corners of America. The densest gathering of luxuries than anywhere else.

        Colorado and Utah command some of the best breweries, and a thirty year-old Army vet on probation from Colorado told me that Colorado in fact does not extradite. If you are not self-sufficient out here in the Southwest, than something or someone will break away from their sufficiency and visit you. The winters especially are free and vibrant that all the stinging ones stay under the ground at night.

  4. Throat says:

    Once again I feel irrationally compelled to defend IPAs on a comment thread on a metal site – what is wrong with me? But anyway. There are other reasons for liking IPAs besides social signalling. If one enjoys the taste of hops, then it’s natural to seek out beers that put that characteristic forward, and once habituated to a given level of bitterness it will become a personal baseline. From there, you can stop, or you can seek out more and more intense versions of the same thing, not unlike developing a taste for louder and faster music by going from Saxon to Maiden to Motorhead to Slayer.

    Personally I don’t like Lagunitas IPA all that much, but perhaps for the opposite reason – I find it kind of half-assed. It’s commonly available where I live and is a step up in intensity from the other “default” beers one usually finds like Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but the flavor is duller and more muddled than other examples of the West Coast IPA style like Racer 5 or Sculpin.

    Recently, I’ve enjoyed the trend of breweries putting out Session IPAs which in which hops are the primary flavor, but dial back the overall levels and land somewhere in the 4% ABV range, which is great if you crave bitterness but not drunkenness. Firestone Walker Easy Jack, Stone Go-To, Ballast Point Even Keel and Lagunitas Daytime are all good examples and are worth checking out for anyone who hasn’t categorically ruled out IPAs.

    1. I find it kind of half-assed.

      By my reading, as the guy who edited the article, that was the point. Didn’t he call it Budweiser with orange juice added?

      1. Throat says:

        I suppose the article did say that, but I read the author’s review as “Lagunitas IPA is a mediocre beer that is masked by overhopping” whereas my own read is “a mediocre beer that could be improved with a more assertive hop flavor.” So maybe it’s a case of a lukewarm compromise pleasing no one.

        It’s also possible I elided over the author’s point in the last ‘graph, as I was reacting less to the assessment of the specific beer than the broader characterization of IPAs as exclusively a social accessory, with no additional worthwhile qualities.

    2. OliveFox says:

      American IPA’s typically are style over substance…you can even tell from the terrible bottle art and terrible pun names (Smooth Hoperator, etc.) that they are covering up inadequacies with hipness.

      That said, I don’t find Lagunitas to be a great offender nor some benchmark for social climbing and perception OCD. Similar to Sierra Nevada, I see Lagunitas more at sports bars where good intentioned folk are trying to expand their horizons with the only crappy choices available to them. All the Hipsters around me drink Craft Gin (DC area has a lot actually…it sucks.), wine, and some combo of Old Crow and Natty Boh.

  5. Ara says:

    This is the kind of logic that occurs when personal taste is completely abandoned in favor of thinking that all things that can be appreciated by humans are broken down into purely objective goods. If someone likes this beer, there must be something inherently wrong with them because they can’t appreciate what should make a beer good. If someone hasn’t arrived at black metal, there is something wrong with them that makes them unable to appreciate good music in general. This isn’t exactly fair. While there are surely successful ways to craft a song as well as a beer, ignoring the grey area of taste to prove your point makes you sound more jaded than intellectual. There is much more going on in regards to any kind of consumption than metal/nonhipster/correct than poser/hipster/incorrect, and if that’s the focus of each article when discussing anything you are allowing the outside perspective to control your thought process before you can accurately judge a product.

    1. OliveFox says:

      That is the underlying theme of a good deal of this website. They want to make a point across all sections of life. So, even though it skirts close to parody at times, I think conceding a certain bias isn’t too difficult. And considering most other sites are filled with articles about who said the word “faggot” and making fun of Varg, I’ll take some over-indulgent hipster hate in a beer review.

      New Sadist album DMU…review? sadistic review?! I think its pretty good after 2 spins under the influence of demon rum…but no conclusive evidence to its lasting power has yet to be determined.

      1. Ara says:

        The reviews are definitely amusing and I get where they are coming from, but I think we all get the joke by now. However sometimes people just prefer shitty beer, and most likely it’s not because their fedoras are on too tight, but because they can’t handle strong flavors. I appreciate a testament to masculinity in an effeminized world and that is more what I’m getting out of the site, but we’re kind of all nerds here, and a lot of the perspectives kind of come off as a “I want to give you wimps a swirly” vibe which skirts the line of Panteratheism. We should be careful to uphold quality while not pointing the finger too harshly in a jocky manner, although I will admit, a lot of what is wrong with the world today makes a strong case for the necessity of bullying, which is now an incredibly dirty word.

        1. We should be careful to uphold quality while not pointing the finger too harshly in a jocky manner, although I will admit, a lot of what is wrong with the world today makes a strong case for the necessity of bullying, which is now an incredibly dirty word.

          I draw a distinction between “Hipsters are shit” and “Let’s go kick that hipster Dave’s ass.”

          Same way if a band or genre is public, it’s fair game, but no point singling out the fans (unless it is for deportation of Pantera, Opeth and nu-metal fans).

          1. OliveFox says:

            Whatever, man. Fuck Hipster Dave. He took my sister to a Kiki Smith exhibit and told her that anal sex is only for feminists while they drank bubble tea in the Portrait Gallery. Ass kicking Dave is the only solution.

            … but my back has been hurting, so if you could some way get that accomplished I would be much obliged.

      2. They want to make a point across all sections of life.

        Gabe, they’ve seen through us. Pack up the white panel van and let’s head to New Mexico.

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