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Belt’s Beer Garden: Raleigh Caps

Pulp - a delightful DIPA from Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh, North Carolina

Sitting just over two miles from NC State, in Raleigh, North Carolina, is Brewery Bhavana. The brewery’s name - Bhavana - is Sanskrit for “development” and is a very important concept in Buddhism.

Brewery Bhavana isn’t just a brewery though; it’s also a restaurant (with a focus on Dim Sum), flower shop, and practically a library as well, with a plethora of books lining their walls. Their beers are brewed with a “yeast-forward quality that requires conscientious restraint in malt and hop additions” and are heavily influenced by Belgian styles.

Sadly, I don’t have one of the classic Belgian style beers today…instead I have an Imperial IPA named Pulp. This 7% DIPA was brewed with only Galaxy hops and is reasonably priced at about $16 for a four pack of 16-ounce cans.

Pulp poured a bright and hazy golden straw color with about two fingers of thick, fluffy white head billowing up. The dense bubbles slowly - very slowly - fizzled away but left a very solid lacing around the entirety of the glass.

The aroma was quite balanced. The grist added notes of flaked wheat and oats, giving off a cereal-like quality. The hops countered with a strong scent of tropical fruits. Mango, apricot, and some very zesty lemon and grapefruit were all noticeable. There were also some yeasty esters that gave off some notes of melon and guava.

Each sip starts with an incredibly creamy and smooth mouthfeel. It’s so pillowy soft…like wrapping your taste buds in a comfy robe.

The flavors slowly creep forward, coming out from under their fluffy covers, and hitting first are those melon characteristics. Cantaloupe and honeydew hit strongly out of the gate but only have control for a brief moment.

Some more bitter hop flavors begin to appear - like a dry, pithy grapefruit and some sweeter mango and apricot. The hop bite is a nice combination of juicy and bitter, with the later lingering on a little longer.

The flavors don’t actually last too long, quickly fading out. It’s a pretty clean finish with just a bit of dryness and some of those ester qualities taking a few moments longer to disappear.

Pulp is a solid, somewhat easy drinking, IPA. With that insane creaminess, it does sit on the heavy side. And the hops do spike with a twinge of bitterness midway through…but the flavors are quite nice and that 7% ABV is hard to find (but you might feel it towards the end of the pint).

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