For me, days on the mountain become frequent this time of year, and aside from the snow, there is only one other thing that I expect to be present… Lagunitas Brown Shugga’!!!
Lagunitas brewery is located in Peteluma, CA and has a good variety of micro-brews to choose from. If you live on the west coast, and like beer, you have probably had some. I was lucky enough to catch the brewer visiting Toronado last year where he opened up a few special release kegs. Everything I had was delicious.
Brown Shugga is a very strong, and sweet American Brown Ale (9.8% ABV). The tastes and scent of molasses, caramelized brown sugar, and hops dangerously disguises the high alcohol content. Its story is as interesting as it’s flavor. Back in ’97 Lagunitas was working on a batch of their Barley Wine which had gone all wrong. They attempted to save the batch by adding lots of brown sugar. A few months later they tasted it and decided it was good enough to sell. These days it is produced seasonally in the late fall and this “mistake” flies off the shelves before the snow season peaks.
I have often searched high and low for the stuff knowing it is a critical addition to any cabin. A few of these in front of the fire with your favorite cheese is certain to relax your tired legs after a long day on the mountain. I have heard some rumors that Lagunitas will be releasing some special batches of the stuff aged in old oak whiskey barrels. You have to love a mistake gone right.