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The Beer Circle » Beer, Fresh Hop, Two Brothers Brewing Co. » Two Brothers Heavy Handed Fresh Hop IPAs

Two Brothers Heavy Handed Fresh Hop IPAs

A few months ago as a late birthday gift, I was given three variations of Two Brothers Brewing Company’s Heavy Handed IPA.  Different variations can be distinguished from each other based on the “Lot” number on the label. Unfamiliar with the brewery, I learned it was founded in 1996 by, you guessed it, two brothers in Warrenville, Chicago.  These being the first beers I’ve ever seen from them, I was pretty interested to see what they had to offer.

In terms of what Heavy Handed IPA is, I’ll default to the Two Brothers’ website:

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.

Lot 2711 = Cascade hops from Marcell Field
Appearancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Clear orange brown pour with a big, off-white head. Retention is great, as is the lacing.
Aromawww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Not much of a big aroma here. Some malts; sweet, but not much else. I was hoping to be able to discern some differences with the hops here, but I guess that's not happening.
Tastewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Thankfully, the hops come out a bit more in the taste. It is still pretty malty, sweet with some caramel, and the hops lend a fruitiness, grapefruit and slight citrus character. The finish has a nice bitterness to balance out the fruits.
Mouthfeel/Drinkabilitywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Medium body with a ton of carbonation, it hints towards over-carbonated. Regardless it's pretty damn drinkable.
Valuewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
I can't really speak to the value here as all three were gifts, but I will say that at this point, these aren't worth much. Perhaps they were better fresh.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
I was expecting a bit more here; perhaps I've had it a bit too long. The hops seemed to be too muted.

Beer Stats
Style: American IPA
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 6.70%
BA Score: 86
RB Score: 92
Lot 2591 = Columbus
Appearancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The pour here is a bit cloudy, still orange with the same massive off white head. Retention is good--a ton of sticky lacing paints the edges of my pint glass
Aromawww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The smell of this seems to present a bit more bitterness than the last. Piney hops add to a similar caramel malt base to the aroma as featured in the first version. Still a bit on the sweet side.
Tastewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
I enjoy the taste of this one more as well. Following the aroma, the taste is much more bitter with the sweet malts providing some balance. The pine and perhaps some herbs play nicely with the sweetness and leave a bitter finish.
Mouthfeel/Drinkabilitywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Medium body with similarly high carbonation. Like before, this one is really drinkable.
Valuewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Again, I can't really speak to the value here as it was a gift. A step in the right direction, but I still doubt I'd recommend this.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Overall, this is a nice improvement. I have one more of these to sample and hope it continues the upward trend!

Beer Stats
Style: American IPA
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 6.70%
BA Score: 86
RB Score: 92
Lot 2521 = Centennial
Appearancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Haziest pour of them all, but the smallest head. Lacing and retention are both on the same level as its predecessors.
Aromawww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The aroma is quite floral with slight hop bitterness, but the same sweet maltiness shows up. This one does seem to be more balanced, but still sweet.
Tastewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The taste on this is better than the first one as well. The bitter and floral hops actually provide a decent balance to what has been a pretty malty group of IPAs.
Mouthfeel/Drinkabilitywww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The body here is a bit heavier and has a lower carbonation. The difference in appearance and body between the three beers really surprised me. My assumption is that all of these have the same base IPA, it must come down to storage. Regardless, chalk this up to another really drinkable beer!
Valuewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Unlike the other two, I would probably recommend this one depending on the price.
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Probably the one I enjoyed the most honestly. Nothing really puts it over the edge, but it certainly is more balanced. Overall, the tasting was a bit disappointing. I should not have waited so long to crack them open. I was able to tell differences in the hops, but I was hoping they would be more distinct. Maybe next year!

Beer Stats
Style: American IPA
Serving: Bottle
Size: 12oz
ABV: 6.70%
BA Score: 86
RB Score: 92

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Written by Russ Beck

Russ can trace his beginnings in craft beer to sitting in Zeno’s Pub in State College drinking various craft beer options from across Pennsylvania. Since then, he has never faltered in finding new brews, whether they’re rare, delicious, or hopefully both. Russ will be writing on a large variety of subjects, including but not limited to: reviews, homebrewing, and how to take labels off of beer bottles. He’ll drink just about anything, but prefers a nice Stout, IPA, or Weizenbock. Find Russ Beck on Google Plus

Filed under: Beer, Fresh Hop, Two Brothers Brewing Co. · Tags: , ,

One Response to "Two Brothers Heavy Handed Fresh Hop IPAs"

  1. James Vorel says:

    This beer has been hit and miss in its different iterations in past years. You really have to get it fresh. The columbus lot has usually been my favorite each year.

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