Last year I wrote that Tony Magee, the iconoclastic owner/brewer of Lagunitas Brewing has been a big Frank Zappa fan most of his life. That’s still true and he’s kept his promise to keep releasing Frank Zappa beers as the anniversaries of each album comes to pass. First it was Freak Out and now Lagunitas has released Kill Ugly Radio, which was apparently the name Zappa wanted to call his second album. The record company said no, and instead it was known as Absolutely Free. The new beer was also made with the permission of Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa (who runs the Zappa Family Trust). Like the last one, the label uses artwork from the album.
When the Celebrator panel tried it for the New Releases section of the latest issue, here’s what we thought of the beer:
Like a cacophony of Zappa’s music, there’s a lot going on in this beer. In some ways it’s a bit like a saison on steroids with the peppery, zesty spices you’d expect, but with a very big hop presence. Perhaps a little unbalanced, but then so was Zappa. Again, like Zappa, it’s big and eccentric with a lot of tangents of flavors, in the end a fitting tribute. Highly Recommended for fans, merely Recommended for people who don’t get Zappa.
Click on the label for a larger view.