Lagunitas Daytime IPA


Lagunitas Daytime IPA

IPA / Lagunitas Low / 4%

California- Session IPA- 4.0% ABV. At 4% ABV and only 98 calories, DayTime IPA represents everything we know about making hop-forward beer, expressed in a sotto voice. Enjoy!

There are any number of reasons that you might be looking to find some delicious beer that is low in alcohol content. Maybe you are experiencing health issues and have been ordered to cut back on your booze intake. Or perhaps you have no problem with the amount of alcohol you are putting into your system, but you want to stretch it out over the course of a long day, not take it all down in one fell swoop. Maybe you just want something you can sip on after work to get that pleasant one-beer buzz. Lord knows there are enough barleywines and imperial stouts for other occasions.

Luckily, with thousands upon thousands of craft breweries to choose from these days, there is something for everyone and for every scenario. Session beers are the perfect option to look for when you don’t want to nix alcohol altogether but you are looking to tone it down a notch or two. I decided to turn to Lagunitas and their Daytime IPA to see if it fit the bill. My experience with this Chicago-based brewer leads me to believe that I will typically find something solid but maybe not spectacular. But I must head into this Lagunitas Daytime IPA review with an open mind and see if this low-calorie, low-abv option is a smart thing to keep in the fridge for when I need it.

Lagunitas Daytime IPA Review

Lagunitas doesn’t get too fancy with most of their packaging. This beer comes in a white can with horizontal stripes of different yellow hues representing sun rays to go along with the name. It’s a pleasantly simple design, and right there, toward the bottom of the label, we are told that this brew contains just 98 calories and three grams of carbs, pretty impressive numbers for an IPA. The low abv of just four percent is not displayed front and center, but you can easily identify this type of beer when you see a calorie count under 100.

The can label also contains a long, rambling blurb about why this beer is a good choice. Their website claims that it has “Less carbs than a banana and easier to peel,” which is rather clever. We’ll see how the quality stacks up, but it’s clear that they are pumping this brew up as a healthy day-drinking option.

First thing’s first. Poured into a glass, the beer has the nice golden color of a classic lager. There is a nice sized head that dissipates very slowly, giving way to some generous lacing. The aroma comes in at a nice level, showing me a number of strong notes but not overpowering with them.

I believe that these notes could be describe in a variety of ways. I get a good amount of pine, some vegetable, some grass, a little bit of citrus. The scent of wort is present, and there isn’t much in the way of malt. Definitely a fair amount of hops to go with the 42 IBUs.

In both appearance and aroma, this beer screams drinkable. The froth and the color give me high hopes that it will be refreshing as well. Let’s dig in and answer the question, “Is Lagunitas Daytime IPA good?”


Is Lagunitas Daytime IPA Good?

There aren’t many surprises that present themselves on the tongue. Generally speaking, I believe this is a good thing, although there is still a little room left that could have been filled with a bit of a stronger element.

The hops, Centennial and Citra, come through a little bit stronger on tasting than they did on the nose. The actual citrus notes themselves are faint, but I do get just a teensy bit of both orange and grapefruit. The pine is strong but balance, and that is a flavor that really appeals to me.

The body is light, which is not shocking but nice to find in a beer that is intended to be crushable. The mouthfeel is relatively soft for something presenting this much hop character. Where it lets me down just a little bit is on the finish. A sharp, crisp finish is one of my favorite things, particularly in a day drinker, but the hops on this one linger quite a bit on the tongue. It isn’t a complete turn off, just something I wish could have been fine tuned.

Everything is balanced out nicely, but it doesn’t add up to the absolute smoothest tasting experience. When ice cold, the beer is quite refreshing and would definitely do the job on a warm summer day, though it does lose a fair amount as it warms.

Overall, I don’t have many qualms with this brew. It gives me about what I would expect and what it is intending to. There is nothing remarkably tasty to it though, so let’s see what that all means for my final Lagunitas Daytime IPA rating.


Lagunitas Daytime IPA Rating

Day drinking is a time-honored tradition that I am quite fond of. Whether it be tailgating a sporting event or an afternoon spent boating on the lake, there are certain beverages that fit this setting better than others. My perfect day-drinking beer goes down easy without packing a punch that hits me hard earlier than I want it to. This specific beer meets those standards to a point but not overwhelmingly so. It definitely goes down easy while still packing a generous amount of hops and a decently complex flavor profile. This may just be a personal preference thing, but sometimes when that bitterness hangs around on the finish, it slows me down. This is probably in my best interest, but it can make me turn to something a little more drinkable.

All that said, for a beer with this few calories and low alcohol content, it is not lacking in character, and that is a feat in and of itself. I think the right way to end this Lagunitas Daytime IPA review is by giving it 4 out of 5 stars. A cleaner finish and just a little bit of malt would have put it over the top.


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