Lagunitas Brewing Company has long been one of my favorite off-the-shelf breweries. Their distribution is extremely widespread, with their flagship India pale ale available in nearly every liquor store and supermarket I have been to. While their year-round selection is usually quite good, Lagunitas produces their best beers in limited edition runs. Beers like Undercover Investigation Shut-Down and The Waldos’ Special Ale come to mind as their best offerings, but the 2017 edition of Born Yesterday may be the best beer Lagunitas has made yet.
This fresh-hopped pale ale was pretty difficult to find, considering how far-reaching distribution for Lagunitas normally is. Worldwide Wine Cellar in Tolland was the only nearby liquor store that had any bottles in stock at the start of November.
Immediately after opening this beer, I was struck with an incredibly strong aroma of citrus fruit. Off the pour, the aroma increased in complexity and depth, maturing from a generic citrus scent to a melody of red grapefruit, clementine and orange zest. A light white head faded to a thin lace around the sides of the glass. The color is a deep gold, with noticeable levels of carbonation.
Bright citrus flavors dominate this beer. Similar to the aroma, grapefruit and orange take the front of the flavor. A healthy dose of fresh, bitter hops comes in through the middle of the flavor, with a light and sweet cracker malt to round it off. The most interesting and unique part of this beer is its aggressive and citrus-heavy hop profile.
On their website, Lagunitas lists Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops as main ingredients. In addition to a heavy concentration of hops at 11 pounds per barrel, this beer was wet hopped, or made with freshly picked and unprocessed hops. This process accentuates the raw citrus flavor of the wildly popular Citra variety of hops and causes them to come to the forefront of the hop profile. Simcoe and Mosaic hops feature slightly less prominently than Citra, but add levels of complexity and some extra punch to the overall hop profile.
This really is a tasty beer. Few other breweries with distribution as widespread as Lagunitas can produce this level of quality. Usually a beer of this standard does not make it far from the brewery before the supply is completely exhausted, and the closest of Lagunitas’ four locations is in Chicago.
While Lagunitas markets it as a pale ale, an immense amount of hops and 7.2 percent ABV make this beer taste more like a New England style IPA or double IPA. Any fan of IPAs or heavily hopped citrus beers will love this brew if they can get their hands on it. If you want to try Born Yesterday, I would act quickly, as this beer will likely only get harder to find as November goes on.
Will Harris is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.