Two Brothers Brewing Co. is a small, 100% family owned brewery which is located on the outskirts of Chicago in Warrenville, IL. The Heavy Handed India Pale Ale is one of their seasonal beer offerings which is available from September to December. I picked this up as part of a mixed six-pack at The Foodery in Center City Philadelphia.
Two Brothers Brewing Co describes this beer as follows:
“Heavy Handed IPA is brewed to celebrate the harvesting of the hops every year. Within moments of harvest we add freshly picked “Wet Hops” to this IPA. Since the hops have not been dried before use, they add a wonderful character found in no other beer. A hop lovers dream.”
Let’s see if it’s any good…
- Appearance: Reddish orange color. Slightly cloudy. Quarter inch head that dissolves quickly. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.
- Aroma: Carmelized sugar. Pine. Citrus. Had the wife give a second opinion and she picked up on some honeydew melon. And let’s not forget the hops.
- Taste: Lightly carbonated. Creamy mouthfeel. Starts off slightly sweet like a tea biscuit. The hops kick in towards the middle and I start to pick up on some alcohol (not overly boozy, but you can definitely taste it). Gets sweet again towards the end and has a moderately dry and spicy finish that lingers for quite awhile.
- ABV: 6.7%
Once again, a brewer messes with my expectations. When I think IPA, I think hops, hops, and more hops. While the Heavy Handed IPA definitely has that hop bitterness that I have learned to love, it also has a good bit of sweetness to keep things in balance. I wonder if the “Dry Hops vs Wet Hops” factor has something to do with it. Is it similar to using fresh herbs vs. using dry herbs when preparing a meal? While this isn’t my favorite IPA (Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA still rules the roost), it’s still a very good beer which I really enjoyed. You can definitely taste the alcohol, but it’s not overpowering, and the sweet/bitter elements help to keep things interesting from beginning to end.