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Belt’s Beer Garden: Lost Treasure

Wilmington Brewing’s Diver Dog, a delicious hazy DIPA

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North Carolina has become one of the nation’s best places for independent beer. And today’s beer from Wilmington Brewing Co. is yet another great example of that.

Recently, Wilmington, North Carolina was rated as the 13th best city for beer drinkers in the United States. And Wilmington Brewing is one of the big reasons why. They are one of 15 breweries in the city, usually have upwards of 15 options on draft to choose from (although they are currently to-go only), and have their own home brew shop attached to their brewpub.

Today I have one of their one-off brews - Diver Dog.

Diver Dog is a hazy Double IPA brewed with Citra and Simcoe hops. Each 16-ounce can has an 8% ABV and was reasonably priced at $4.50 per can or $16 for a four-pack. It was canned on January 27th and this review was written March 8th.

It poured a bright, but quite cloudy, golden straw color with nearly two fingers of head building up. The eggshell white foam was quite dense and formed an inch-thick barrier between myself and the beer. It took awhile before it finally began to fade down and granted access to the beer below.

On the nose it was super juicy and tropical. Notes of papaya, guava, mango, and pineapple were most prevalent and made Diver Dog a really inviting DIPA. A small pithy grapefruit peel characteristic could also be picked up. Behind the tropical fruits was a light aroma of flaked wheat and oats that gave off a slightly cereal-like quality.

My first sip started off with a thicker, creamy mouthfeel and a small fizzle of carbonation. The flavors slowly began to build up and, as the smell had indicated, it was heavy on tropical fruit flavors.

Leading the way was guava and papaya with a slight hint of acidic pineapple hitting the tip of my tongue. Joining the tropical fruits were some notes of tangerine and lemon that were joined by a tiny hop bite.

The hoppy bitterness hummed at the back of my throat but was never overly harsh or too noticeable, as the juicy qualities of the beer squashed it rather fast.

Midway through, that grapefruit rind flavor appeared and brought a slightly resinous feeling that coated my entire mouth and dried it out some. After a few consecutive sips of Diver Dog, my mouth was dry enough to where taking a swig of water was sometimes needed.

However, outside of that dry, resinous feeling, the beer ended cleanly with no lingering aftertaste or bitterness.

I ended up drinking this beer way too quickly. It was insanely crushable and tasty. The 8% was never noticeable and the juicy flavors up front made Diver Dog one of the more sessionable Double IPAs that I’ve had. Great stuff here.

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