For this installment of Tasting Notes, we neglect some much needed yard work to instead focus our attention on Passion Grass, the new collaboration brew from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) and Short’s Brewing Company (Bellaire, Michigan).
Released back at the start of August as a Joint Session brew that Lagunitas Brewing Company developed with their friends at Short’s Brewing Company, Passion Grass is a “smooth and slammable” West-by-Midwest Ale “with some passion fruit added for that pleasant summery tropical-ness, rounded off with a special zing of lemongrass.” Clocking in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV and 54 IBUs, Passion Grass is “best imbibed with your ‘buds … it’s good to have friends.”
Passion Grass is out now and available for a limited time in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft. You can expect to find this “HIIIIGHLY limited brew” at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution area.
Now that we know who did what and why, let’s pop these bottles, hit the lounge chairs and watch the grass continue to grow while we get into these Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Passion Grass from Lagunitas Brewing Company & Short’s Brewing Company
Appearance: Passion Grass pours a pale yellow in color and builds right at a finger of fluffy white foam. When held to direct light, the color remains pale but does take on a more lemony yellow hue. The beer has a nice clarity that displays an ample carbonation presence streaming up to feed the top cap. Head retention is pretty fantastic, but it does eventually tighten up and condense down to a lasting, creamy half finger that casts a wide web of lace across the glass.
Aroma: Passion fruit is all over this aroma, bringing a big tropical presence that works beautifully with the juicier hop notes of citrus, pineapple and papaya. The lemongrass then surfaces to create a tea-like character when combined with the more earthy/herbal/piney hop qualities. Wonderfully complex here but in a way that is still incredibly inviting and alluring.
Taste: Not much unlike the nose, the flavor profile kicks off with a big, juicy burst of passion fruit and orange (both juice and zest). A bevy of tropical hop notes then turn up in the form of guava, pineapple, papaya and grapefruit. Pine, lemongrass and a slight herbal character combine with a coy malt presence to close out the profile by quietly tempering and taming all of that pronounced juicy sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Skirting on the lighter side of medium in body with a bright carbonation level, this beer is super refreshing and dries out lightning-quick. Despite the fact that the malts do get a bit lost in the mix, the beer still finds a nice balance between its bitter, lightly tart, and fruity/sweet qualities. At a wonderfully low 4.6%, the ABV’s only role here is to keep its head down and do whatever it can to ensure that the drinker enjoys a refreshing, easy-drinking experience. Aftertaste is minimal, but pleasant notes of passion fruit and citrus do linger at times.
Final Thoughts: To put it simply, Passion Grass is a supremely easy-drinking beer that is everything you could possibly want in a summer-themed release. Big tropical fruit notes supply a quenching and satisfying sweetness while the lemongrass and hops support with both complementary and contrasting notes that run the spectrum from added fruitiness to balancing earthiness and herbaceousness. Throw in that low ABV and this all results in a dynamic yet approachable experience completely focused on refreshment. If you are in search of the perfect brew to enjoy at the beach, on the boat or after a hike, you really need to give the compact flavor bomb that is Passion Grass a shot. Just make sure you snag a sixer before this beer’s limited-time run comes to an end. Prost!