Lagunitas Brewing 'A Little Sumpin' Sumpin'' Ale
This is a delightful little sumpin' sumpin'. The nose is almost as piney as a West Coast India Pale Ale, but the palate is so malty-sweet you scarcely notice any bitterness until the finish, which is clean and short — the opposite of clingy, as it were. It gets its smooth character from malted wheat, though wheat flavor doesn't exactly leap out at you.
Lagunitas introduced it last year as a summer seasonal and has clearly repeated it because of popular demand. It's seasonal, so it will eventually run out. But here's good news: This month the brewery is bringing out an amped-up version, Little Sumpin' Wild, made with Belgian yeast. The "big sister" will also be a little more heady, 7.8% alcohol by volume as against 7.3%. I'd watch out for it (maybe in both senses).
A malty brew like this would go with pork chops, beef stew, macaroni and cheese, maybe even peach cobbler.
— Charles Perry
Style: A cheerful, easygoing ale with a big, luscious dose of malt and hops.
Price: $9.95 to $10.99 per six-pack.
Where to find it: Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822, http://www.beveragewarehouse.com; Wades Wines in Westlake Village (805) 522-4445, http://www.wadeswines.com; and Beverages and More stores (for locations, http://www.bevmo.com).