Nick Carr on August 10, 2015 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company Location: Petaluma, CA Style: American IPA ABV: 4.65% IBU: 54.20 Appearance: Very pale yellow with soapy, froth-like head Aroma: Heavy hop aromas; Hop notes of orange, resin & floral; Malts are light, notes of bread and crackers. Flavor: Well-balanced with hops hosting the show; Notes of lemon and grapefruit create citrus bitterness; Dry swallow with an aftertaste that craves another sip. Shelf-Life: 3–6 months Suggested Glass: Shaker Pint, Nonic Pint, Tulip or IPA Glass Serving Temp: 45°F—50°F Availability: Year-Round Pairs With: Pizza, Tai Spicy Shrimp Salad, Cheddar Cheese, Lemon Tart Seems sessionable IPAs are getting to be a trend. Most of the larger craft brewers have their own example on the market; New Belgium has “Slow Ride,” Samuel Adams has their “Session IPA,” Stone has “Go To IPA,” and, first released in 2012, Lagunitas has this offering, simply called “DayTime IPA.” And why wouldn’t these sessionable beers be popular? Looking back over the last ten years it would seem inevitable. Not long ago the mention of sessionable beers would bring talk of browns and ambers, beers known for their depth and easy drinking. Beers without the high ABV’s that would leave a weary reveler reeling as they set foot to sidewalk after a long evening of libation lubricated conversation at the local brewpub. But then came America’s love affair with the hop, and subsequently, its star vehicle, the IPA. At the beginning (and to some extent even today), there are prime examples of the IPA in that considered sessionable range of 5 to 6 ABV, but the trend is toward 6’s and into the 7’s these days. These higher fuel loads run just a little hot for a noontime pause between the regular hustle of an ordinary day. So, with ever-advancing hopping practices comes the opportunity to come full circle as it were; make beers with all the hop aroma and flavor looked for in an IPA, but with an accompanying gentler ABV. I, for one, appreciate these beers immensely. It is rare that I drink beer for anything beyond the enjoyment of the beer’s flavor in and of itself, so having IPAs available that won’t “knock me for a loop” is welcomed. And, for the most part, I’ve found the ones I’ve tried on par with their big brothers. Don’t get me wrong I still reach for the big complex depths of a double IPA every so often, but a hoppy thirst quencher can sure hit the spot. Pour and Aroma: The pour extricates a very pale, staring-into-the-sun, yellow beer from its brown glassed prison. A soapy, froth-like, 1½ finger head brushes the top of the glass before slowly settling into a half finger covering which, fed by a stream of rising carbonation, sticks around appreciably. Hops bring orange, resin, floral notes- surprisingly close to the aroma of our kitchen window jasmine,- and sweet onion. The malt gives a slight impression of bread and crackers, but it’s the hops that do the heavy lifting. Mouthfeel and Taste: Light in the mouth, this beer presents as a thin-bodied, but satiating and smooth hop wagon. Lemon and grapefruit wash the palate front to back. Starting with a bright, cleanness at the front and building a citrusy bitterness through to the back. The onion and pine are also readily noticeable, lending complexity. Surprisingly, malts stick in the game all the way through, though at a low threshold. They balance with a nice dry cracker backdrop, giving the hops something to play against. The swallow is drying and sets the mouth to watering. Aftertaste is bready and hoppy creating a pulling need to take the next sip. Best By Date: On the bottle neck. First line of 4 digits is a Julian date. First 3 digits signify the day of the year and the 4th digit is the year number (200 2: would be the 200th day of 2012). A second line shows batch number and military time. Finishing the Impression: I tend toward the more earthy tones often found in English IPAs, but have not found a session-made English IPA; come to think of it, I haven’t had any sort of English IPA in a good long while. But, that being said, this is a very nice session IPA! The hop flavor reminds me a bit of Bridgeport’s Conviction pale ale (just recently tried) and makes me wonder if Lagunitas used any Crystal hops, a hop showcased in the pale. This is an awesome beer for those hopheads looking for a good lunchtime/midday refresher. Day Time gives you the hops you crave while allowing you to remain “Day Time” functional. Or in the words of Lagunitas brewing “Sometimes you want a beer, then you realize how much crap you need to do before you call it a day. This is it.” I can’t say it any better than that. Cheers!