Beer Review 0268: Lagunitas Daytime IPA

Low alcohol session beers seem to be a trend that is growing in craft beer, and it is an exciting thing to see. While the big, boozy beers are enjoyable, there comes a time you’d like to drink a few of something that is still full-flavored — today, we’re looking at one of the newer session beers to the market, made by the venerable hop-gods at Lagunitas Brewing Company, (Petaluma, California) Daytime IPA.

At just 4.6% ABV (alcohol by volume), Lagunitas uses some very simple, straight-forward marketing on Daytime: “Sometimes you want a beer, then you realize how much crap you need to do before you call it a day. This is it.” Indeed. This beer is highly hopped, coming in at 54 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).

The last new session IPA I reviewed was Founders All Day IPA, which I rated 80 points. While I liked the beer, I didn’t like the price; at $10.99 for a six-pack, that’s not “sessionable” to me. I took a few points off because of that. It is my understanding that while these low ABV session brews should seem to be cheaper options, they are actually harder to make and require more resources in order to make them tasty. Lagunitas Daytime is priced at $9.99 per six-pack, which is more in line with your average pack of craft beer, but I’d love to see some of these brews at $8.99 or even $7.99. Then, they would truly be session friendly.

That gripe being aired, let’s get to the beer.

The pour produced an average size, bright white head that was soapy and foamy in texture. Immediately as it began to fade, which was a slow process, the suds started lacing up the glass, and it lasted all throughout tasting. The color of the beer was yellow to a light golden color, exceptionally clear and free of any particles or sediment.

You can tell by the aromatics that Daytime IPA is very highly hopped, and it’s a great scent. There was an initial big fruity blast, delivering plenty of grapefruit and lemon; some orange and orange peel was there, too, and a hint of apricot. As I raised by nose high above the glass, I got a candied lime scent, very sweet, almost like a margarita! Awesome. There was some balance, too — the malts offer a touch of caramel and a fairly big backbone of bread. And as the drink warmed, I noticed a little bit of hot garlic, too. Dig it!

On the palate, Daytime starts out a bit slow, with just some mild bitterness, and touches of grapefruit and lemongrass. But prepare yourself, because when the finish comes on, for this beer only being 4.6%, it’s a taste of beauty. Awash comes a big burst of hop flavor — fruit fireworks pop and mix with a thick, underlying bread-like malt. This is a light-bodied beer with a thin texture, quite foamy, and it does dry out the mouth a little, but it just makes you want another sip. The finish is long, and it offers a ton of citrus, especially lemon, lime, and some sweet orange.

With a hop profile that is nearly like a mixed pack of citrus LifeSaver candies, this beer is remarkable. Not only that, but for a session brew, Lagunitas have done excellent work here. This is the best in the session category I have tried thus far. Damn fine stuff.

Lagunitas Daytime IPA, 93 points. Price: $9.99 US for a six pack.

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  1. Top 25 Beers of 2012: 15-11 « All The Same Beer - December 30, 2012

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