Beer of the Weekend #683: Lagunitas Equinox

Once again, the plan was to visit Big Grove or Kalona and fill my growler with the beer of the weekend. But I got sidetracked and ended up buying a bottle of Equinox, brewed by the Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California.

Equinox pours a lightly hazy, medium amber into a pint glass. A little more than a finger of dense, bubbly, buttery, eggshell-colored head dissipates slowly. The aroma is an enticing blend of citrus, tropical fruit, and oat malt. It is a touch arboreal and catty, too, though more arboreal. The flavor is spot on! It is not overly aggressive or astringent as one might expect from a beer this big in terms of gravity. Instead, it is very well balanced and the hops provide a lot more flavor than bitterness. It is thick and bready, and there are flavors of grapefruit, orange, kiwi, pine, oat malt, and lemon zest.

Fun facts about Equinox:

•Style: American Pale Ale.

•Price: $4.49/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

•Alcohol content: 8 percent ABV.

•Why are there so many high-gravity beers now? First it was uber bitterness, now it is high-gravity and uber bitterness. I am not a big fan of high-ABV brews because I do not like getting drunk or having hangovers, so it is always a disappointment when I check a newcomer to the beer shelf and find that the ABV is above eight.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A.

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