Freak Out!


You never know what you’re going to find when you go through a move. I happened across this bottle that had gotten buried behind some shopping bags in the pantry. Thirsty from carrying boxes, we chilled it down and popped it.

The beer is, I think, a one-off, from one of my favorite California breweries, the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma. Known for their quirky senses of humor and risk-taking brews, Lagunitas manages to have a lot of fun and still make great beer.

Freak Out! Ale is no exception. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Frank Zappa’s seminal album—it was released last year with an image of the album’s cover on the label. The beer inside the psychedelic bottle plays to Lagunitas’ strengths. Gorgeously hopped, the beer doesn’t go down the road of typical bitter West Coast ales. Rather, it’s amber in color with the rounded sweetness of a sweeter style. I loved that beer.

This month, word is that they’re releasing another Zappa tribute, this one for the album Absolutely Free. It should be hitting stores next week. And, without having tasted it, I’ll go out on a limb to say: make sure you get some. Look for it at Whole Foods and other fine beer stores.

As I understand it, the plan is to release a Zappa beer for the 40th anniversary of every album he made. Since he made something like 80 albums, we have a lot to look forward to.

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