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Last Call: Lagunitas Citrusinensis Pale Ale

By Ben Kramer in Food on Jul 6, 2015 5:45PM

It’s like a mimosa. That’s the simplest description I can offer regarding Lagunitas Citrusinensis Pale Ale. But the fact is, this beer is more complex than just mixing champagne and OJ. The mid-June release in Lagunitas 2015 OneHitter Series, a series that shares rare, wild, one off brews that are available for a month or so, is an experiment between blood oranges and New Dogtown Pale Ale.

As I learned from the folks in Petaluma, California, Lagunitas “took some fresh Sanguinello Blood Oranges, juiced ‘em, concentrated that juice (without heat) and threw it into a wheatier version of our New Dogtown Pale Ale.” Described as possessing a, “huge citrus burst” I agreed with the sentiment after receiving a sample.

The citrus is in the forefront, not afraid to dance with your tastebuds upon initial sip and inbetween the next. The blood orange juice becomes more pronounced as the beer lingers on your tongue, building during the time before you reach for your glass again. The Lagunitas website claims people in Chicago have called Citrusinensis “the sweet Malort of beer.” I can get the connection, as it does have the similar bitter, grapefruit characteristics of Chicago’s favorite liquor. But there’s no face to be made when drinking this beer, unless it’s a smile I suppose. (Man, that felt kinda corny to write...but I stand by it.)

Aside from citrus, the beer possesses a piney aroma, a translucent orange color and a softness in body which makes for good sipping. You could consider this beer a "One Hitter Quitter” as it comes in at 7.9% ABV, which I realized later after reading the teeny-tiny print on the bottom right corner of the label. For those who like to drink on an empty stomach, be careful with this one.

As I mentioned earlier, this beer is part of Lagunitas 2015 OneHitter Series. This beer was released in mid-June and will probably disappear by mid-July, being replaced by the newest in the Series. That said, once this beer is gone IT’S GONE. So if you want to tango with Citrusinensis then I suggest you head over to the Lagunitas taproom (2607 W. 17th St.) in Douglas Park. They have the beer on tap, and in 6-packs, and it also gives you the excuse to explore Chicago’s near southwest side.