Surely this beer had some kind of connection to the current reigning “best rock band in the world” — the sublimely subversive Wilco, right?
The Peteluma-based Lagunitas Brewing Co. has already established their awesome taste in tunes by releasing half a dozen Frank Zappa themed beers in the bottom half of the last decade.
So a Wilco-themed beer would make some kind of random sense — especially when the name of the beer is so similar to Wilco’s best known album, 2001’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”
“That is just a biq misconception — it doesn’t have anything to do with the band,” said David Lindsey, who answered the phone at Lagunitas when I called Monday morning. “It’s based on military jargon. Put together the first three letters from each word.”
WTF. Hmmm. Unless the Lagunitas peeps are big Battlestar Gallactica fans, I am pretty sure the f isn’t for “Frak,” the ubiquitous swear word of the future. I think it is more old school. You get the idea.
Lagunitas’ first idea for the beer’s name was Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, but that doesn’t work for legal and aesthetic reasons. The ATF has pretty strict advertising and labeling rules. (You wouldn’t believe what brewers have to go through to get basic things like names of beers and labels approved).
The WTF is beer, not whiskey. It’s not like it is aged in whiskey barrels or tastes like whiskey.
The WTF is described by Lagunitas as “A big Ol' Imperial Brown Ale to help you with your slippery slide on into springtime. Rich, smooth, dangerous & chocolatey.”
So Wilco, Tango, Foxtrot it is, then.
Last year, Lagunitas brewed a seasonal beer called Recovery Ale, based on the aftermath of the (still lingering) economic apocalypse. This year, as many of us are saying “WTF is going on and why isn’t the economy getting better?” Lagunitas decided to name their March seasonal beer after that question.
The subtitle to the beer is "a malty, robust, jobless recovery ale."
So there you go. Mystery solved.
It wouldn’t make that much sense, anyway, since Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy gave up alcohol a long time ago.
Tweedy and the rest of Wilco stay busy making great records, playing killer gigs, and snubbing Boise on tour — like when they had gigs in Missoula and Portland earlier this winter and blew off Idaho's capital city for like the millionth time.
“We like the band, of course, but there is no connection,” with the beer, Lindsey said.