LAGUNITAS CALLS THIS summer seasonal ‘A Fractional IPA’ and at 4.9% ABV it is indeed the weakest beer they brew. DayTime’s unassuming name and mild label also imply a softer touch than is the brewery’s wont. But all such assertions must be taken with a grain of salt when Lagunitas is concerned and this beer is no exception. Pouring about as pale a straw-gold as their punchy Pils, DayTime makes a powerful first impression on the nose with huge hop bitterness—catty, piney, grapefruity, and floral, it’s likely a blend of several C hops and Simcoe. The 50+ IBUs are also sky-high for such a light ale and come to dominate the finish (admittedly no tall order), tasting almost like the lawn one finished mowing just before grabbing a DayTime from the fridge.
Yet for such a bracing aroma and forceful aftertaste the beer’s presence on the palate is fairly meek—slight caramel and bready notes in a very light body and almost watery finish. With such a low OG (1.042), to achieve its 4.9% ABV DayTime must have a FG no higher than 1.005. That’s lighter than virtually any European pilsner and right at home alongside American lagers like PBR or Budweiser. The flavors in a single DayTime would disarm any domestic 12-pack, to be sure, but they are lopsided. When this ‘fractional’ IPA has around three-quarters the ABV and half the body of their standard IPA yet actually boasts 15% more bitterness, it seems someone’s division was a little off.
Served: 12 oz bottle