Derek Warren

DRINK IT DOWN: 12th of Never Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company

DRINK IT DOWN: 12th of Never Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company
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Never say never

Beer: 12th of Never Ale

Brewer: Lagunitas Brewing Company

Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.50%

Description: 12th of Never pours a clear golden hue with a bright white frothy head that leaves a thick and sticky layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with tropical and citrus fruit notes backed by not-so-subtle hints of sweet malts. This aroma is a hint at the wonderful balancing act occurring in the beer. The taste follows the nose with an explosion of sweet malts, and fruity hops attack the palate simultaneously. The malts hit with notes of biscuits and honey, while the hops impart flavors of oranges, grapefruits, papaya, and mango. The medley of flavors is harmonious and sits perfectly in the smooth and creamy body. The moderate carbonation and full yet light body of 12th of Never is breathtaking.

Pale ales tend to be very light and crisp, yet this beer still makes a strong impact and also has a full body. It truly is a beer that is best experienced yourself. Any fan of hop forward beers will want to seek this out immediately.

Food pairing: 12th of Never is quite possibly the best beer to have with pizza ever. While that is a very bold statement, it is true. The rich malts and subtle hop bite are the one-two punch for sweet sauce and dough, and toppings are just a bonus! Most pale ales seem light and airy without much depth or heft and can be easily overpowered by many dishes, but 12th of Never can hold its own. This is also a fantastic beer to enjoy with Indian food, a perfect choice being the popular chicken tikka masala. The rich, creamy sauce will meld with the malts, and the hops will sink their teeth into the chicken – and don’t forget the naan bread!

If you are not a fan of spices, don’t worry – this is also a great beer for backyard cookouts. It is an excellent match with burgers, hot dogs, ribs, and even fish. While most hoppy beers go well with salmon, 12th of Never makes a great pairing with sea bass. The natural spiciness of the sea bass is quelled by the smooth malts, and the heft of the beer washes away any lingering fishy qualities. Most pale ales are not beers to experiment with on a wide array of dishes due to their delicacy, but this is not most pale ales, and 12th of Never should be a beer that is paired with a wide variety of foods!

The final word: Lagunitas is no stranger to brewing hop forward beers. They have long been at the forefront in the IPA category and historically lead the way, brewing well-balanced West Coast IPAs that are still loved today. Despite the history and reputation the brewery has garnered, they have not and will not rest upon past successes. The brewery is always looking to move forward and is not afraid to veer far outside style guidelines.

The brewery first released 12th of Never in 2016, and the popularity of it quickly soared. While many breweries are solely focused on IPAs in a variety of iterations, it is refreshing to see a brewery such as Lagunitas take a step back and brew a well-balanced pale ale. The trick with pale ales that many breweries seem to lose sight of is the balance. A very hoppy pale ale is just an IPA, but a well-balanced pale ale is much more delicate and requires more finesse from the brewer. 12th of Never is quite possibly one of the best pale ales you will ever enjoy, and it’s the perfect beer to have on hand for any final summer get-togethers. Also, be on the lookout for tall boy cans of this world-class beer!


Where can I get it? Currently available in 12 oz. cans at: Sabatini’s Bottleshop & Bar (1925 Wyoming Ave., Exeter), State Street Grill (114 S. State St., Clarks Summit), Ale Mary’s (126 Franklin Ave., Scranton), What’s Brewin’ 6-Pack Ale Shop (937 Moosic Rd., Old Forge), Wegmans (1315 Scranton Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City), and Exit 190 Beer Deli (316 Main St., Dickson City).

Drink It Down is a weekly column that doesn’t just review beer – it provides the full experience of going out and enjoying a quality craft brew. Look for it on Mondays exclusively on NEPA Scene.