I was thinking for a bit that the name of the beer would be longer than the review. But, being a smart-ass, I couldn't let that happen. Anyway.....I get it. The folks at Lagunitas like to be edgy. And weird. And funky. They want the world to know they are Frank Zappa fans. Their labels are written much like the credits to Chuck Lorre TV shows (you know, that stream of consciousness text at the end of episodes of Two and a Half Men, Dharma & Greg, etc). Most of which sounds like the writer is high. This beer was brewed to celebrate the suspension of the breweries' license after marijuana was seen being consumed at a brewery party. You know, things like that wouldn't happen if you didn't allow dope-smokers at company parties. Shut-Down Ale is a strong pale ale, extremely hoppy, pretty high IBU rating. The kind of hoppy giant you'd see from Dogfish Head and Stone. Not exactly original. A California beer with a high IBU. Very revolutionary. Overall, this was a good beer, I enjoyed it, but it's been done before. This is a good brewery with a well made product, but not groundbreaking. Cue the flame wars in 3, 2, 1......
Reviewed: January 19, 2009
Expanding (and to some degree correcting) Steve's story above, the story behind this beer is as interesting as the brew itself. The DEA for some reason were convinced that the brewery was selling pot at it's Thursday night happy hour, probably due to the advertised start time of 4:20. After a months long undercover investigation, nothing was found so they moved in on a few of the regulars smoking jays. Nevertheless the brewery was shut down for 3 weeks. This beer is a bit of an f-you to the authorities, “We're still here and still brewing good shit.” Anyway the beer itself has got good hop spiciness and bitterness for what I believe they're billing as an ESB, not to mention the 9.2% abv. Deserves a place in yours and I'll put it in my regular spring rotation.
Reviewed: January 30, 2010