Sumpin’ great

Yeah, the name’s a bit silly, but that’s part of this great beer’s appeal.

I like humor from my beer brewers. If they're not having any fun, how am I supposed to have fun drinking their product?

In that vein, I decided to try Lagunitas' summer wheat beer, Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale this week. The name alone makes you smile, if only because you find yourself saying it in your head. (I should note I would not have the nerve to say that phrase out loud in public. It's a cool phrase, yes, but trust me, it doesn't sound cool when I say it.)

The packaging gets better as you begin reading the fine print around the label: "So, we're all on collective disability. That's cool. Let's put some ice on it and keep ourselves elevated for a while. So, what's on the tube? Honey? Get me a beer from the frige (sic) ... Will ya ...? Sweetie ...? Pleeeease...?" It's hard to describe the de-stressing effect these words had on me at the end of a long day, when the garbage hadn't yet been taken out, laundry was piling up, and the dogs were barking for some unknown reason. I was in a great mood before I even opened the bottle.

What was inside was the perfect complement to the laid-back attitude in the packaging. I love this beer. The aroma is delectable, with hints of apricot. Taste-wise, it has the immediate crispness of an IPA (it's an incredibly hoppy beer), but the flavor quickly mellows, with apricot again making an appearance. It finishes with a nice warm feeling, which you can chalk up to its 7.5 ABV. It may be a summer beer, but it works just fine in the latter part of the year as well.

Oh, one last thing. The label also says, "Life is uncertain. Don't sip." How can anyone with a soul not admire the hell out of Lagunitas, especially when they come up with something wonderful like this?

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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