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Belt’s Beer Garden: Can-ouflage

HYFR: Citra + Vic Secret - a two-hop DIPA - from Tennessee’s Xül Beer

Xül Beer Company has quickly garnered a lot of attention. The brewery, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, is only a few years old - beginning in 2019 - but they are already widely known.

Maybe it’s their 4.21 average on BeerAdvocate or their 4.19 on Untappd…either way, it’s because they make some damn good beer. They craft a wide variety of styles but with a slight emphasis on IPAs and big pastry stouts (the latter of which they call their “thing”).

Today I was able to try a beer from their ever expanding HYFR series - a two-hop Double IPA with rotating hop varieties. My version features a heavy dose of Citra and Vic Secret hops, an 8.2% ABV, and costs about $7 for a 16-ounce can. If you’re lucky enough to be in Tennessee, you can find it for cheaper though.

This DIPA poured a murky golden straw color with minimal head building up. No more than half a finger of wispy eggshell white foam appeared. It quickly fizzled down into a razor-thin ring around the edge of the glass with a single cloud floating on top.

The aroma was quite juicy and featured a blend of hoppy characteristics. Tropical fruits like papaya, tangerine, and guava are the most prevalent. But behind the fruit are some dank, earthy and floral notes as well as a nice backing of flaked wheat and oats that offer up a cereal-esque quality.

Each sip begins with a creamier, slightly thicker mouthfeel and a hum of carbonation. The hops immediately begin their assault on my taste buds.

The tropical flavors hit first with super juicy notes of orange/tangerine, papaya, guava, and passion fruit. There is a bitter bite from the hops that also appears up front but it hits early enough that, by the end of the sip, it had been washed away for quite some time.

It wasn’t until the midway point that any other flavors even appeared and, when they did, the tropical fruits still controlled the flavor. The first deviation to the fruits was a floral note that added some softness to the brew.

The grist added some grainy, cereal qualities later on. And, finally, there was a pithy flavor - grapefruit and orange peel - that added a different kind of bitterness to the beer.

This variation of HYFR ends super clean, with no lingering flavors, bitterness, or dryness. It’s insanely crushable for 8.2% and seems to become lighter as it warms up.

It was very, very tasty beer that ended up becoming more and more sessionable as it went on. Can’t wait to try the next version of HYFR!!

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