Being a new church in Davis means we are still developing traditions. One such tradition that got kicked off this week was the classic church picnic. Complete with a whiffle ball game, kids playing at the playground, and various conversations of all sorts, our church picnic was quite similar in many ways to church picnics I remember as a child. One difference however, was not only that beer was present, but the variety of beer at the first ever Christ Church picnic was indeed impressive.
To be honest, I was wondering if a beer at our church picnic was even allowed. My wife assured me it was because after all, the cat is out of the bag that I write for DLM on the subject, and it wasn’t as if we were promoting beer, I was just bringing some along for myself. She’s always logical, so I assumed she was right. And with being a new church, you get to set certain trends and specific traditions, so you always want to be careful which traditions you set. Beer at a church picnic – yes, that’s a tradition worth starting.
So I headed to Nugget looking for something cold and tasty to bring along. Scanning the sale stickers, I saw it, $7.99 for a 6-pack of Old Faithful, also known as Lagunitas IPA. I grabbed a six pack, threw it in the cooler, and walked to Slide Hill Park with the family for the first ever Christ Church picnic. (Side note: Slide Hill Park is famous for being outside of the Open Container Ordinance, and therefore infamous for Sloshball games. There was a sloshball game going on this particular day, but no, we did not join. The keg was probably Natural Ice or something.) By the time I got there, some of the other picnickers were already pulling out beverages they had brought along and before you knew it, a mini brew share had begun with some folks reading labels, taking sips, and discussing what they had brought.
I’ve mentioned Old Faithful before in this space – it is my go-to beer. The beer I drink when there is nothing new on tap or on the shelf that excites me. The beer that is easiest to keep in my fridge because it goes well with a lot of different foods and pretty much every weather. I admit, the Lagunitas IPA was, for me, a rebound beer in the first place. When we moved to California I moved from my beloved Founders Centennial IPA, brewed in Michigan and not currently distributed this far West. So I needed something to take its place, and for 3 years, that something has been Lagunitas. I will also admit, however, that other IPA’s have taken its place as my favorite, though Lagunitas can usually be gotten cheaper (or on sale) than other offerings. So, it remains Old Faithful.
Though I drink it often, I still always take a sniff of this IPA after it gets poured. The lovely floral and citrus notes are ever present, and the taste is consistent with the nose. This is a hoppy IPA that is fairly bitter, but not harsh. The malts are certainly muted so while you can’t exactly call it balanced, there are just enough present to keep it from being a double IPA or something that makes you fall off your chair with hop flavor. Still, if hops aren’t your thing, you probably don’t like IPA’s, and you won’t like this one either. I’ve found that some offerings from Lagunitas seem to have a bit of a metallic after-taste, but for me, the IPA isn’t one of them. It is, by no means, as powerful or potent as the Maximus (the double IPA from Lagunitas) but is quite smooth and ultimately, very drinkable. In other words, it is a great beer for a picnic.
Apparently, another picnic attender also wondered if bringing a beer to a church picnic was allowed, because he sent me a text before hand asking so. When I replied I was bringing a tasty beverage or two, he was relieved, and then promised me a “special treat” when I got there. Turns out he was feeling sassy, and handed me a can of Bud Light as my “special treat.” Hopefully, sassy beer jokes and Bud Light are not part of the traditions of Christ Church picnics in the future. But Old Faithful, the Lagunitas IPA, that’s a tradition I can live with.