Lumpy Gravy | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Lumpy GravyLumpy Gravy
274 Ratings
Lumpy GravyLumpy Gravy

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-15-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 274 |  Reviews: 244
Photo of chapeti
1.75/5  rDev -52.8%

Photo of goldenpeanut
1.92/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle, poured into pint glasses.

Pours brilliant garnet with a tan head that stacks up quickly but dissipates quickly too. Leaves a layer that seems to last, some lacing later on.

Aroma consists mostly of bready notes and fruity notes. The fruit is oddly expressed as grape. I don't know what fermentation esters produce grape and I would not be surprised to find that the beer had been adulterated with "grape essence". At least this is the best way to describe it.

The flavor is really unusual, odd, in fact. This beer is very difficult to describe even though its not shy. The grape notes in the aroma appear in the flavor in a distorted way. There is a sharp sweetness up front that is neither sugar nor malt. The best description is saccharine. I've heard of putting saccharine in beer before but never tasted one till now. At least that is the best way to describe it. The malt flavor background is realy sort of ordinary, kind of Two Row Breiss with some caramel and chocolate malts for character. Its the Saccharine sweetness that is odd. Hop flavor is low to nothing. The breadiness from the aroma presents in the flavor if you chew the beer or explode the carbonation in your mouth by agitating it before you swallow.

Finish is odd too. The attack of the bitter hops comes on too early and is distorted with some other kind of bitter...could it be the bitter finish of saccharine and grape flavor beginning the attack to be finished by the hops? At least that's the best way to describe it.

On warming to 62F the aroma improves and is still grapey but not as bready. More malt also presents. Better, but still funky. this beer's aroma should not be distorted at 54F. The flavor becomes more malty and the saccharine less pronounced. Better, but still funky and oddly balanced.

Drinkability is in the pits. The beer is cloying sweet. The finish is long and oddly, sharply, bitter - but does not balance. The Aroma is not seducing and flavor is sweetly disturbing.

The base beer may be a brown ale but the body is more of an IPA and the sweetness is more IPA also. Its not an IPA though as the color is too dark and there is no flavor or aroma hops...I like an IPA and after finishing this I'll need an IPA, at least thats the best way to describe it.

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Photo of pwoods
1.93/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22oz. brown bomber, purchased at From the Vine in Columbus, poured into a pint.

A: Dark brown pour, good visibility. Short head forms but holds decently. A bit of lacing here and there.

S: Very spicy smelling. Reminds me of a winter warmer. On the sweet side and without much hop presence at all.

T/M: Has a rather strong medicinal taste to it, along with a bunch of raw alcohol. Actually tastes a little like the yellow cough syrup they used to make back in the day.. just much more alcoholic. More of a super winter warmer spices and loads of sweetness. The taste lingers and intensifies after the swallow.

D: Drain pour, no thanks. Sorry.

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Photo of warmstorage
2.2/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

$3.99 for 22 ounce bomber at Brown Jug Warehouse, Anchorage, AK.

Appearance: Deep red to very, very light brown. Crystal clear. Light head, very light tan, with moderate to significant lacing. Very light color for style.

Aroma: Sweet malty and grainy, almost like an American light lager style.

Taste: Swet malty grainy, with profound brown sugar and roasted sugar. Zero hops noticeable, though this isn't a problem for style. The problem for style, and taste generally is that it has all sugar, all the time. Hot and thin and sugary sums it up.

Mouth: Thin, bright, crisp, highly carbonated, with warm to almost hot alcohol, and a lingering, unpleasant mouth of hot, alcoholic sugar.

Overall: Borders on a drainpour. It's not horrible, it's just hot, boring, highly carbonated weirdness. It reminds of Brown Shugga with a slightly lower OG, slightly higher FG, and even more alcohol heat. I had been surprised and pleased with a lot of Lagunitas' seasonal/specialty offerings, especially in the apparent Zappa series. But this beer, like some of their seasonals, and many of their specialties, is confused, not interesting, and not very pleasant.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.42/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. Zappa embossed bottle,

A: Pours brown, real shocker there, with a medium white head, no real lacing.

S: Smell is quite good, brown malt, caramel, molasses, and grape juice.

T: Taste leaves something to be desired. The malt backbone of the beer is good IMO, caramel and a bit of roast, but hindered with a raisin and fig character that just seemed out of place in this style of beer and didn't meld well with the malt.

M: Very soft, light carbonation was shocking on the first sip, but it normalized to a crisp carbonation on later sips, pretty average overall though.

D: A fair beer from Lagunitas, I could drink it again, but won't buy it again. Kill Ugly Radio is vastly superior in the realm of Zappa insipired beer for me, the beer just got to be a chore to drink at the end, a bad fate for any beer.

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Photo of Gtreid
2.62/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured the 22 oz. bomber into a standard pint glass.

A: Rich, reddish, brown color with one finger of khaki head, that receeded fairly quick, and left some spotty lacing.

A: Very nutty, some chocolate, and maybe even just a touch of smoke, but the roasted nuts really overpower this. Some subtle earthy hop aroma, but the malts take the cake.

T: Again not what I was expecting from a brown. Chocolate, some coffee, and nuts. The beer does finish smooth.

M&D: Creamy mouthfeel for this medium to full body beer. 7.2% ABV is just about right, but this one fails to produce the quality of other American browns IMO. Skal.

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Photo of sloejams
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I've been fond of the other 2 Frank Zappa beers that Lagunitas has put out, so I quickly snatched this one up when I saw it hit the shelves.

It pours a murky brown with a booming head. The smell is quite malty with some molasses and brown sugar. The taste was subdued the molasses flavor distant. There was a slight astringent to the finish but I was surprised to see the ABV so high.

In all, I wasn't terribly fond of this one.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured smoothly. A medium brown with a deep red tinit to it. Sweet and malty nose to it. Taste was malty, sticky but nothing to complex. The ABV had some kick about halfway through and towards the end. The mouthfeel was very malty and the ABV really peeks about room temp. I've had better browns and not sure I would want to drink any more of these at 7.2ABV. Just to much ABV for a brown if you ask me.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.92/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a light brown/amber with a creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is pretty subdued - sweet sugar with some alcohol and maybe some fruit and nuts.

The flavor is sweet toasted malts and nuts with a decent bitter finish. Harsh alcohol comes out as it warms. The mouthfeel is medium to full with good carbonation.

Overall, a different and interesting beer, but it just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of chefboy812
2.94/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. poured in american pint glass

Beautiful color; ruddy brown like a coka-cola. nice white head that falls to a thin lace that does not leave sip marks.

pronouned alcohol taints the brown sugar, burnt sugar, and slight maple aroma. there is also a hint of good'n'plenty licorice.

first sip hits the palette with a flood of different sugar flavors the most intesting of which is the molassas and candi sugar flavors. the flavors are clean and deffinate and come with a nice cadance, but the alcohol streaks through like a racecar with a crappy sterio and just screws it up. further sipping reveals more bready and malty waffle batter flavors.the finish is a gentle hop chewiness, that I can't quite identify. maybe citrus. with a cloying heat that just makes the burps hurt.

The mouthfeel is thinner than the name lumpy gravy would make you hope for, too thin for an American brown with this ABV. The carbonation is crisp and gassey which brings on the acohol heat.

I am glad I tried it, but there are better American Browns that will give you a malt coaster ride without the bad breaks.


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Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber with a decent off-white head. Caramel, soap, brown sugar, figs, and dough. Some nuttiness and toasty malt that you would expect for a brown ale, but with ore spice and hops, with figs, dark fruit, and the Laginitas fruity/sweet taste that seems to be in all their beers. The beer was all over the place.

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Photo of bonbini26
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of smi
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of THECPJ
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of IdleAaron
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep red/amber color - amazing color. Very week head, I had to work to get the half inch of head that there was. Some lacing but really not worth mentioning.

S: Malt, chocolate and caramel.

Taste: Lots of chocolate malt followed by an afterburn of alcohol. I don't detect the hops until the very final and very bitter finish (just after the burn). The hops don't seem to contribute any taste, just bitterness at the finish.

MF: Alcohol becomes more aggressive with each sip, mildly carbonated. Wet - or not much weight or heft.

Drinkability: I'll finish the bottle but probably won't order another...

I was really excited when I saw the amazing deep amber/red color but I feel a little let down by the rest of it. I'd describe it as a high alcohol bitter chocolate ale with an amazing color. Maybe I'd get more out of it if I were a Zappa fan? Not bad but not for me.

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3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is a wonderfully clear amber color. I would say brown but it does have a red tint. Hardly any head even with an aggressive pour. What little head there is, is as white as my Hogs Breath shirt I have on and formed a slim lace.

Smell has a great sweetness to it. I can pick out a little hops, fresh baked bread, brown shugga ... oops I mean brown sugar, and something a little tart. Not very aromatic overall.

Taste is a little unorganized. Sweetness battling the bitter. Hops float around the back of the tongue wile the sweet nuttiness dances on the front. This battle mellows as it warms. Good nut and sweetness and good slight hopness.

Mouthfeel is heavy and wet. It is full of body and even a little sticky, clinging to the tongue with force.

(listening to Descendents - Everything Sucks Today)

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Photo of corby112
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tp at Monks Cafe, Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark amber brown color with thin white head. Similar to the Brow Sugga just with more of the same ingredients. Lots of brown sugar, cinamon, chocolate malts and dark fruit. A little to sweet for my liking.

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Photo of watchnerd
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Normally I like most Lagunitas products, but this one just doesn't seem all that well-balanced. Not much of a head, nor much of an aroma, although the color is a nice medium dark caramel brown. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and there isn't enough complexity to hide the >7% ABV, especially on the finish. I applaud the attempt, but Lost Coast's Downtown Brown is a better balanced brown ale, IMHO.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear mahogany brown color with a foamy light tan head that fades to surface. The smell of this one seems a little oxidized; a timid light caramel molasses. The mouth is full. Adequately carbonated, the flavor is malty but it's not matching up to the nose well. Drinks OK. Not going to reach for another one of these soon.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This a review from notes taken earlier this year.

Appearance - The brew pours a transparent brown and it produced a one finger cream colored head with light lacing. The head retention was pretty low.

Smell - The smell leaves a lot to be desired. There is caramel malt, grainy with a hint of toffee - not much else at all .

Taste - There are notes of molasses and a slightly nutty twinge. There is a faint bitter finish. It is pretty one dimensional.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is just eh okay. It is slightly sticky without enough carbonation to back it up

Drinkability - Despite its one dimensionality, it was pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of kkipple
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."

-- Frank Zappa.

I figure any review of this beer should at least quote ole FZ a minimum of one time.

Grabbed a bottle of this when it showed up on our shelves in SC. Figured four bucks was cheap enough for a bomber with Zappa's dog-ugly mug on it...

A. Pours a crystal-clear polished furniture brown, and sports a small dense head and a good bit of happy bubbles that race to the surface. A pretty beer.

S. Signature Lagunitas malt bill, smells a lot like their <Censored> ale but with a different hop profile. In this case, that means a little pungent and citrusy with a hint of... soap? Hmm. The sweet malt is nice, though. Pretty basic otherwise.

T. Much like Zappa himself, I really don't know what to make of this. It's sort of an American brown ale, but is hopped way too much and with the 7% booze is getting into weird territory. Sorta barleywine-ish but not really... the flavor is all over the map, with a decent heavy caramel singed husky grain flavor getting slapped around and abused mightily by a bunch of bitter, pucking lemon hops. The alcohol is fairly prominent and the hops win out in the end to the tune of a bitter, not entirely pleasant aftertaste.

M. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated to boot, rendering an otherwise thin beer a tingly, creamy, head-scratcher. The finish is bitter and very unharmonious.

I'm not sure what Lagunitas was shooting for with this here Lumpy Gravy. Heck, I'm not sure they knew. But in my mind it doesn't really work together real well. I'm a fan of odd beers (See: Dogfish Head and Avery 14) but Zappa's wild-eyed influence is all over this one. It's loud and aggressive and genre-busting, but leaves kind of a bad taste in your mouth and is hardly the kind of beer you'd take home to mom.

Not entirely recommended, but at $4 it doesn't cost much to say you've tried it.

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Photo of brantadid
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured an amber/brown color into my pint glass. A two finger, white head formed. Really nice head retention and lacing.

Smelled like a nut brown ale. Rich maltiness with some nutty/hazelnut notes. Somewhat hoppy.

Flavor was simple yet expressive. Sweet, malty notes on the front palate. Some nuttiness on the mid palate that is followed by a hoppy/ale-like quality. Very long finish.

Light, yet creamy with a very full mouthfeel. I expected more carbonation.

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Photo of briman
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a medium reddish-brown color. Clear, with about a one inch off-white head. Good retention, settling into average lace.

Aroma is light roasted malt, with a slight brown sugar quality. No noticeable hop contribution.

Flavor is light roasted malt, which is non-existent until the beer warms. Finish is by a moderately high bitter grapefruit hop bite that lingers well into the aftertaste.

Medium body, moderate-high carbonation. Balance seems ok, but the malt seems to get lost a little while trying to compete with the hops in the finish. Alcohol is hidden well, but does induce some subtle warming. Overall, it's pretty average. I expect more malt presence in a brown ale.

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Photo of d0ggnate
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber of Lagunitas Lumpy Gravy

A: Poured a dark amber/brown, clear to all light in the room. Thick head that laced large and dissipated quickly.

S: Malty with hints of alcohol.

T: Semi-bitter with smooth, but warm on the gulp down.

M: Very smooth throughout.

D: A decent beer, but not my favorite. I expected more from Lagunitas. This beer didn't leave me with much to even say about it. I won't put too much time in to savoring the flavor. I'll just finish it and move on to the next.

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Photo of ibrewaletx
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light brown coppery color. Poured with little head that quickly went away.
A good malty toasty smell. Slight hint of chocolate.
The taste was very surprising, as it actually had a hop flavor to it, not expected at all. The hop taste would kind of show up at the end of the drink, making a nice effect, distinguishing it as a definite AMERICAN brown.
Overall a very drinkable good brown. At 7.2% abv, not my every day every drink kind of beer, but a good change of pace from all the hops I drink all the time...

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Lumpy Gravy from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 274 ratings