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  1. Victory has been a solid Mid-Atlantic brewery going on 20 years now, one of those "so established they can't be trendy anymore" kind of places. The founding brewers both earned their stripes at the late, great Baltimore Brewing Company/DeGroen's (I don't think there has ever been a better brewer of traditional German styles on this side of the Atlantic, and it was a great loss when they shut down). So it should be no surprise that Victory Prima Pils is very good, but almost all of the hype they get goes to their other styles. Hop Devil is an excellent American IPA and has been for a long time; Golden Monkey Belgian tripel has a strong following (but I think it's too cloying, and I've had what must have been off bottles that were very yeasty in not a good way). DirtWolf is their newer flagship DIPA. You can find it year-round in bottles, and if aggressively hopped DIPAs are your thing it's one to check out. It scores a 99 overall on RateBeer, and similar high marks in other ratings, but when you dig into individual ratings you can see a lot of variation. People either love it, or say it's nothing special or not what they expected in a DIPA. To my taste I think what sets it apart is how dry this beer is. The normal progression for big IPAs these days is a strong hit of hops up front that gives way to a malty/toffee finish with a noticeable alcohol warmth under the sweetness. DirtWolf is hops layered all the way through. The nose is strongly resiny, and the first sip is fresh pine. That then gives way to the fruity hop characteristics that blend really well with the relatively subdued maltiness. It's a dangerously smooth transition for a beer that weighs in at close to 9%; it drinks like something much lighter. I currently have a sixtel of this on tap at home, and I think it opens up a lot better on draft than in bottles; it probably would open up even more if I raised the temp on the fridge a bit more. They had this on cask at Snallygaster, which was even better. I don't think it should rank as highly as it tends to be rated, but it's a top tier, readily available DIPA from a local(ish) brewery that otherwise gets lost in the hype hive mind these days. (By the way, the name is a nod to the the scientific name for hops, humulus lupulus, which is also where the term "lupulin" comes from that refers to the resin contained in hop cones. So I guess a wolf that grows from the dirt? Sure.)
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