A beer to imbibe
Two Brothers' Heavy Handed IPA is a fine example of a wet-hopped India pale ale. (Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune/MCT) Purchase photo reprints »
A BEER TO IMBIBE
Two Brothers’ Heavy Handed IPA
What it is: We tend to think of this season’s specialty beers as Oktoberfests and pumpkin brews, but on a smaller scale, another seasonal favorite is released every fall: wet-hopped India pale ales. Using hops fresh from the late summer and early fall hop harvest, these beers get “wet” (rather than the standard dried) hops.
The result is a lively IPA with slightly more refined flavors. Many breweries make wet-hopped beers, including Sierra Nevada (Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale) and Sixpoint (Autumnation).
In the bottle: With just a light burst of the expected flowery pine and citrus in the nose, Heavy Handed pulls off an admirable trick: It’s a full-flavored IPA without being overwhelming. The hops are obvious but delicate, and wrestle with a healthy amount of malt that makes this beer finish with a crisp, balanced and bitter snap. At 6.7 percent alcohol, it’s an ideal medium-weight, after-work beer — especially in fall. If you’re looking for a hop bomb, keep looking. This beer is about freshness, subtlety and balance.
Drink it with: The heartier foods we want now that cooler temperatures are setting in — chili, a hamburger, even a steak burrito.
— Josh Noel,