Tag Archives: barleywine

European Street taps new Lagunitas brew

Beer drinking and storytelling are two activities that go hand-in-hand. Barstools are full of storytellers that spin fantastic yarns over cold brews on a daily basis. But, a beer new to the Jacksonville area and now tapped at the Park St., San Marco, and Jacksonville Beach locations of European Street has the story to tell this time. And Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Co. has quite a story to tell.

The label on the bottle of the beer hints that the story is not one that sits well with Tony Magee, the owner and brewmaster at Lagunitas. In tiny type on the edge of the label his diatribe says, “From the first day of the first congress at the moment of the passage of the first law, we became weaker.

The extra-large B. Franklin said it well that you can tell the strength of a society by the paucity of the pages in its book of laws – Tax laws, civil law, criminal law, Statutes and Bills. Laws that make large and small criminals of us all.”

The label refers to the 2005 investigation and subsequent shut-down of the brewery for 20 days the next January that resulted from complaints of parties on breweries premises. The parties were said to include food, beer, loud music, and – perhaps most damning – marijuana usage.  The investigation took place over two-months with investigators going to the weekly parties undercover to see for themselves what was going on.

According to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control public information officer John Carr, officers attended parties over an eight-week period to determine whether partygoers were dealing in drugs. During a St. Patrick’s Day party at the brewery the officers revealed their investigation by showing their badges and arresting one employee and patron.

Punishment came to the brewery in the form of a 20-day shut-down in January of 2006, which Magee used to install a planned new bottling line.

Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is called “especially bitter ale” to commemorate the bust and shut-down of the brewery. Later Magee, not none for his quiet demeanor, said, “This beer, I wanted it to be a knuckle sandwich. It’s big, it’s bitter and it’s angry. It’s unrepentant, and it’s unforgiving.”

And Magee, is right in those characterizations. The brew weighs in with 10.1% ABV and 74 IBUs. Popular beer rating website Beer Advocate gives the brew an 89 out of 100 points. One reviewer on the site left comments referring to the beer as, “Barleywine-like strength with well-kilned grains and citrus hops.” Another said, “Interesting. Both the hops and toasted malt appear upfront, then the bitterness hits on the finish.”

But, drinker beware, a few pints of this brew could lead to a few of your own stories. Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is available until supplies are exhausted at European Street.


Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Beer, Pubs, Restaurant


Tags: , , , , ,

For the Tebow Fans, Say Amen to Tebrew

Like a lot of folks I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars tripped up when they did not use their NFL Draft pick to take Tim Tebow. Granted, I am not a big follower of the strategies of football, either college of professional, but I just thought it would have been a natural fit: the local high school football hero cum Florida Gator phenom staying close to his roots in north Florida. Think of the fanatic Florida fans that would show up at Jags games just to see their golden boy!

But, as everyone knows, Tebow did not get chosen by the Jaguars. Instead he was drafted by the Denver Broncos and has become an iconic figure in the Mile High City. After five stunning and miraculous wins in a row, Tebow can write his own ticket. His likeness is spread far and wide for all his rabid followers with man-crushes to see.

And now, cashing in on the craze that is Tebow, Bonfire Brewery of Eagle Colorado has brewed a batch of beer named, Tebrew Sunday Sipper. The brew is a barleywine-style Now, lest you think that this is a regular production brew, the brewers insist that only 150 gallons were brewed and those specifically for the Vail Big Beers Festival. So, if you were thinking you would like to get your hands on this elixir, you are out of luck. But, if demand is high, I am sure the brewers will think again about that limited run.

To top it all off, in true Tebow style, the brew is waiting to the last minute to be served since the 10oz glasses have not arrived yet. But, when the glasses do arrive, expect to hear nothing but heavenly praise for the product.

Alas, I just do not get it. The guy is undoubtedly a talented player with a long and glorious career ahead of him. But the adoration is a bit much. Still, I suppose if you are going to jump on the bandwagon and try to make a buck, the Tebow Express is a pretty lucrative way to go.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Beer


Tags: , , , ,