There is another option, the dry suit. It has thick, tight rubber rings at every opening, so your body stays relatively dry. This is used mostly in deep water or cold water diving, so you can have a couple layers of sweatpants or whatever underneath to help keep you a bit warmer. Plus it keeps them nice and dry so you don’t end up swimming with 200 lb of waterlogged cotton on your body.
First Magnitude, the fantastic Gainesville brewery I’m a big fan of and need to visit very soon, released two hazy IPAs named Wet Suit and Dry Suit (Hazy IPA, 6.8% ABV).
This brewery does a lot of great things in Gainesville, but I did not realize they were playing an incredibly inventive hop game. Dry Suit was liberally dry-hopped with copious amounts of Citra, Mosaic, Victoria’s Secret, and the oddly named experimental hop HBC586.
If you are into playing with hops, this is a dive you need to make. The aroma has a very tropical feel to it, touches of fruits with a beautiful floral bouquet. It’s a lot of orange, lemon, and hibiscus flower notes.
The flavor is fantastic, with soft floral notes and mild citrus punches that swim around in a very soft biscuit malt bill that has touches of juicy alpha acids. Everything is there, brought together with a bready base that acts as a sort of binder to bring slightly different flavors together in just the right amounts. This lets everything shine in its own particular way.
I’m not totally sure any other hops would be good with this. There was a lot of thought creating the very specific floral and fruity body they were going for, all which would be interrupted and bullied by any other hops.
What’s really nice about the mix is the Citra is present, but does not take over. There’s enough for the flavor, but not an overload like other brewers want to get from the hop.
It’s a fantastic beer, done in a great style to let the hops really go and play. I did not get any Wetsuit, unfortunately, and with as flavorful as Drysuit ended up being, I’m a little bummed about it. And unfortunately that beer, like any diving that requires a drysuit, is a little too far away from me. But who knows? Maybe I’ll dust off my old diving equipment and go for a swim sometime soon.
Probably not, but I can hope.
Drink Florida Craft,
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