Beer by the Grill: Lagunitas Phase Change

Beer by the Grill: Lagunitas Phase Change
Lagunitas Phase Change by the grill. Photo ©Mark McDermott

No special occasion this weekend. Just a few short hours without rain, and in which I was finally able to mow the lawn with my new cordless electric mower. It runs off of 40v batteries: when one is depleted, you switch it out with the other in the two battery compartments. Even so, it took two and a half charges to get through my lawn. Better than the first time, though, when the overgrown grass needed three full charges to get through.

Right now, my goal is to cook up a bunch of stuff so I have lunch ready for me the rest of the week. And to pop open a beer that has been sent to me by the brewer for comment.

Lagunitas Phase Change is the latest in their “One-Hitter” series, a beer made once, maybe to be brought back again the following year. This one is a hazy IPA, an experiment in “hops liquification” that tries to maintain the qualities of just-harvested wet hops for up to 6 months after harvest, to get a beer similar to their Born Yesterday. A previous experiment with hop preservation produced Born Again Yesterday. Too bad I don’t have a fresh wet-hop beer to compare it to.

This has 7.4% abv, and a relatively mild 60 IBU from Simcoe, Citra & Mosaic hops.

The look of the pour is hazy, more translucent. There is a slightly puffy head to it, but it diminished very quickly compared to other beers of this type. I smell a bit of pineapple and a little other tropical fruit, not much of the usual pine that comes from fresh hops.

The taste is pretty juicy, there is not as much grassy quality as I have come to find in fresh hopped beers. It’s not too bitter upfront, but there is a slight bitter, hoppy burn in the back of my palate after I’ve had the first sips.

Having gotten my “reviewing calibration” taste out of the way, I still have some beer left that I can sit back and dawdle on, while I’m deciding whether those turkey burgers are finished yet. Even half finished, it still has some punchy alcohol to it that is gone just slightly to my head.

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