What to Drink This Weekend: A Beer That Will Get You Drunk, Yes, But Not Too Drunk.

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Photo Robert Caputo

Aside from making it just a bit more difficult to get out of bed in the morning, the primary drawback of drinking the high alcohol content beers that are so common in America’s craft beer world is that it can make drinking the lighter stuff somewhat unfulfilling. With all that extra alcohol tends to come flavors that are bold and obviously interesting. If you’ve ever had something like, say, Brooklyn Brewery’s 8% ABV Blast Pale Ale, and then tried to follow it with something like a 4.4% 21st Century Bitter American—a beer that most normal people would consider more than adequately flavorful—you know what a letdown it can be.

Petaluma, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company has put forth a solution to this problem, in the form of their Daytime IPA, a new limited release that comes in at just 4.6% and somehow holds its own among much bigger beers in terms of flavor, while also remaining unbelievably drinkable.

Nearly every Lagunitas beer I’ve ever tasted, from their Maximus and their Hop Stoopid all the way down to their regular IPA and their New Dogtown Pale Ale, has pretty much the same flavor profile. They do classic west coast-style ales that are bursting with piney, citrusy hops, and Daytime is no different. It pours a crystal clear golden yellow with a bright white head, and it immediately hits you with with an inviting aroma that, in addition to all that pine and citrus, also features some slightly floral notes. On the palate, it’s extremely light and crisp, with a nice bitterness that’s offset by just the right amount of bready malt. It’s the opposite of a sipper: so refreshing and delicious that it’ll be gone before you know it. The good news, of course, is there’s no reason to stop at just one. Or eight.

Lagunitas Daytime IPA is widely available in the borough, but it will be for just a short time. Get some now, while it’s fresh.