Lagunitas Undercover Investigation
Shut-Down Ale ( Petaluma, CA )

This big beer from the brewery famous for its Censored Copper Ale was created as a protest by Lagunitas founder Tony Magee after California sate alcohol regulators who conducted a bust at a brewery party and a subsequent 20-day suspension of its state brewing license. "It's big, it's bitter and it's angry. It's unrepentant, and it's unforgiven," Magee told the press. Undercover is dark amber in color, has a nose of hops and caramel malt and is clean and nicely carbonated on the palate.

Lagunitas Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Company is located in Petaluma, California, a town which has been described as one which "reached prominence as a chicken-farming mecca with socialist-utopian leanings." Lagunitas was started in late 1993 when founder Tony Magee purportedly got kicked out of his kitchen by his wife, Carissa Brader, after ruining the stove with his homebrewing. How accurate this is remains open to question. Lagunitas features wild and generally hilarious label copy on it brews and it's pretty clear that facts aren't going to be allowed to get in the way of a good story. Here's part of their website version of things: "From being castigated by our West Marin neighbors to finally suffering an 'eviction' by our West Marin septic system. From landing in the welcoming arms of Petaluma, and actually getting our beer into bottles, onto the streets, and into the hands of sympathatic beer geeks, to steadily losing less money each month. From all this and more, Lagunitas Brewing Company is emerging..." Brewer Jason Brentwood, a local Petaluman, reportedly skateboarded up to the brewery one day, asked to help out, and worked his way up from the bottling line to become head brewer. Or maybe not.

Back to list