Strange Brew: Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot

Welcome to back to Strange Brew our monthly column dedicated to – as you probably have already guessed – beer. Each month, we’ll take a close look at a new or notable brew, or just one we think you should be drinking, all without too much beer geekiness.

I’ve been on a bit of a West Coast beer kick of late, and more specifically anything coming out of the great state of California. So when I heard about Wilco Tango Foxtrot (oddly enough via Wilco’s Facebook page) the latest seasonal offering from Lagunitas, I knew we had our next beer to feature. Pronounced “Lah-Goo-Knee-Tuss” – as dutifully pointed out on the bottle, the Petaluma, CA-based brewery has been around since 1993 with a reputation built around their signature hoppy IPA and their witty stories that adorn their bottles. We advise pouring the beer into a glass before reading.

While WTF isn’t exactly a direct tribute to Jeff Tweedy & Co. – both the band and the beer though did get their names from shortwave radio lingo – the brewery does have a connection to the world of music from producing a line of limited edition beers to mark the 40th anniversary of each Frank Zappa album. Lagunitas managed to get through Frank’s first five albums before the Zappa estate asked to them to discontinue the line.

Why Should You Drink It: While it may not be exactly be Wilco (The Beer), this beer is a bit deceiving much like the band and their seemingly ever-changing styles. Pouring a light brown hue, you expect more of a denser, nutty taste up front, but initially you get a hoppy, floral like mouth feel that is akin to an IPA, but soon after you get a slight chocolate taste in back of your tongue – which makes this one extremely enjoyable for fans of IPA and darker fare. WFT is well worth tracking down and snatching up a handful of bottles to enjoy, while listening to an appropriate Wilco-themed playlist on your stereo.

Brewer’s Description: A big Ol’ Imperial Brown Ale to help you with your slippery slide on into springtime. Rich, smooth, dangerous & chocolatey.

Availability: Limited Release in 22-oz. bottles

Beer Geek Stats:

Style: Brown Ale, IBUS: 64.20, ABV: 7.33, OG: 1.072

Have you tried Lagunitas’ Wilco Tango Foxtrot? Leave your thoughts about their latest offering in the comments section below …

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11 Responses

  1. Anyone know a way to order beer online? I live out in Arizona and while finding Lagunitas isn’t hard, finding Magic Hat is damn near impossible.

  2. I’d normally suggest, but it appears they are having some website issues. Maybe try them later.

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  4. Was intrigued by the name (and a possible connection to Wilco, the band) the other day so I had to try a bottle. Pleasantly surprised that it was more IPA than nutty brown ale. Now I’m on a quest to buy all the remaining bottles I can find!

  5. I’m late to the game…

    I just picked up my first bottle of Wilco Tango Foxtrot.

    Now, I sit down to google aforesaid name, and came across this webpage…and saw WTF in the author write up…I didn’t even catch it…ha ha ha …crack me up…WTF….I was googling to find out some WWII related anecdote, you know like “Roger Wilco”…ha ha ha …I’m still laughing at myself…and enjoying the humor of Lagunitas. Love all their beer!

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