Craft Beer Preview: Lagunitas Eroica

Craft Beer Preview: Lagunitas Eroica
Lagunitas Saison aged with Brett in wine barrels. Photo by Mark McDermott

I’m writing this in the last lull before the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I’ve been constantly updating the Black Wednesday and Black Friday calendar, and tomorrow will pack for the trip to Grandma’s. When we get back, we’ll be right into Christmas decorating mode.

Just enough time to slip into one more beer that’s been sent to me for comment.

Lagunitas Brewing Co. Eroica is part of the 2017 “One-Hitter” Series of one-off releases that may or may not return in the future. This is described as “a Lagunitas-ified version of a traditional Flemish Farmhouse ale, aged in red wine oak barrels and funkied up with Brettanomyces yeast.” A saison, which usually has a bit of funk from a warm “farmhouse” ferment, with its tartness emphasized by the Brett finish.

This starts with a very clear, light amber color with a fizzy head. The smell during the pour has some red wine and some grassy funk as you’d want in a farmhouse style.

Once again, we have a sour or tart beer before us, which is a bigger trend, I think, than those “milkshake” IPAs. Eroica is right up front with its tart, but it’s softened by an edge of that red wine and oak. After a while, the general feeling is of a tart strawberry juice, with some whipped cream on the side. It has a bit of a strong 7.4% abv, so its sourness encourages just the right rate of sipping. I go with the general pairing recommendation for sour beers: soft cheese like a Brie; to match the e French/Flemish character of this style’s origin. Or other dessert items with a soft dairy component, like a cheesecake, cannoli or a flan.

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