Beer of the Moment: Lagunitas 12th of NeverJuly 12, 2016
Our latest Beer of the Moment marks a turning point in the ascendance of cans.
Lagunitas is one of the largest brewing companies in the U.S. (the Brewers Association puts it at 10th overall based on 2015 sales volumes), and it has been a major, vocal holdout when it comes to canning. That said … Lagunitas’ first beer to appear in 12-ounce cans drops nationally this week: a new pale ale called 12th of Never—a nod to that earlier stance. For a deeper rundown of the landscape of canned beer and can-versus-bottle considerations, including some of the environmental concerns that figured into Lagunitas’ previous take on the topic, check out Tom Acitelli’s story “Canned Mythology” from the All About Beer archives.
An early taste of 12th of Never showed a relatively tempered voice from Lagunitas, one that lands in sufficiently bitter territory without emphasizing the aggressive, dank-and-cheesy hop selection that defines a number of the brewery’s long-standing strong ales. Orange-focused hoppiness leads instead: sticky, pulpy, smooth, with a hint of caramelization and rock candy. Later sips reveal pine and grapefruit zest, while a touch of warmth makes this feel burlier than that modest ABV. It’s a streamlined pale ale that fits its portable packaging well. Drink fresh.
Lagunitas plans for 12th of Never to be a year-round release, with availability in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans and on draft. The brewery, which entered into a 50/50 agreement with Heineken last fall, also recently announced a number of strategic plans around the country: to establish ‘Community Rooms’ supporting non-profit fundraisers in Portland, Oregon, and San Diego; to convert Southend Brewery & Smokehouse in South Carolina into a Lagunitas TapRoom & Beer Sanctuary; and to partner with Moonlight Brewing Co. in nearby Santa Rosa, California, and Independence Brewing Co. in Texas to expand both those breweries.
About Beer of the Moment:
All About Beer Magazine’s Beer of the Moment series aims to find that compass heading in the endless sea of new beers. Whether classic or the current cutting edge, these are fresh releases that inspire, that challenge, that stand for something. They’re why we’re All About Beer.
Think you’ve got something good that might fit the bill for Beer of the Moment? Get in touch via @allaboutbeer on Twitter or Instagram, or email us at [email protected]
Ken Weaver is the beer editor of All About Beer Magazine