Hairy Eyeball

hairyeyeballlagunitasHere’s Lookin’ Atcha’…

is the slogan on Lagunitas’ Hairy Eyeball American Strong Ale (9% ABV).  It’s reviewed by Billy Broasat the end of this post and you can read more about it on the Lagunitas website.

I don’t think the Hairy Eyeball is really my beer style,  but the name certainly does make me laugh and the gazing, bloodshot eye that stares out at you from the label is both disturbing and intriguing!

Billy says that according to the Urban Dictionary a Hairy Eyeball is “When someone looks you up and down in a judgmental way.”  It kind of sounds like Stone’s Arrogant Bastard with the “You’re not Worthy” slogan (which I love, by the way).

So what is the Hairy Eyeball all about?  You can read about the beer’s characteristics here,  but perhaps most helpful (mentioned by Billy in his own search for the meaning of the Eyeball) is Eyeball Trilogy on the Lagunitas site:


Suddenly, the over and over in the beer from where it comes from came from to over and all at once there spiked a lugge and out came the eye and it was caught, no fell into his glass, no mug, no stein, no it wasn’t like that at all, in fact it happened in Cincinnati, no Cleveland and anyway a mysterious new plan-9 pulse beam from outer space ca used spasm the muscles to eject the eye into outer node float to the two-step rain dance, no flop to the eye glass glassy eye of the beer foam to spill but at last if it rolled onto the bar and still everyone just stared and ask ed the obvious question on everymind and what did it really have to do with beer and as it happened it didn’t. But we still have it at the brewery!


Well, we all sat there a while and stared at the eyeball on the bar and argued about what it meant. The eyeball, for it’s part was phlegmatic and offered nothing. An-other round was ordered and we agreed tha t sometimes an eyeball is just an eyeball. But now there was the matter of t he hairball. Matted and moist, almost dripping, it looked back at us from th e far side of the eyeball. The hairball ordered a hi-ball and the drunks at the other end of the bar got up and left. A woman dressed in a flimsy bernouse appeared at the door to the bar and told us that she had a pizza for ‘Harry’. Fuzzily she looked at the eyeball. The eyeball said some-thing softly t o the hairball and blinked lovingly. The hairball swooned. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We all knew that this truly was the Eye of the Hairball.


And maybe it really was the eye, the one true love, the ‘soive de la amour con supe un vie’ of the hairball, but no one would ever know for sure because as we all sat there staring in horror, one of the drunks at the end of the bar had returned and in his stupor mistook the Eyeball for a martini onion popping it into his mouth and chomping down squirted the vitreous humor onto the bar through his missing front teeth. We gasped and looked down at the unimaginable grief of the Hairball expecting the worst but instead the Hairball lathered moistly down the bar towards the drunk who p icked it up and placed it over a thin spot on the crown of his head and toge ther they beamed and we realized that love will find a way, that the heart wants what it wants and that vitreous humor is thicker than vermouth. Go figure.

Now that’s one interesting story…something I might come up with after drinking a few Hairy Eyeballs.

Review by Billy Broas (

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company
Location: Petaluma, CA
Style: American Strong Ale
ABV: 9%

…The Hairy Eyeball falls into the nebulous category of an American Strong Ale. To my palate, it tastes like a cross between a barleywine and an old ale with a Belgian twist.
It pours a deep reddish-brown color. Intense bready malt and rich caramel dominate the aroma. A light alcohol warmth is noticeable upon first sip, but it never gets out of hand. The flavor is slightly sweet with touches of brown sugar and burnt caramel. There is a spice component that reminds me of Belgian holiday beers. My best description is that it tastes like allspice. Eyeball is beautifully balanced with deep, interwoven fruit flavors and a restrained hop bitterness. It’s hard to stand out among the excellent California breweries, but Lagunitas, and this beer in particular, really shine…

Food Pairing Suggestion:
I can’t think of a better pairing than with a homemade pecan pie. I also get a strong urge to pair it with a cigar, even though I don’t really smoke cigars.  Is it the influence of the eyeball?