Brew Review: Heavy Handed

21 Dec

Brew: Heavy Handed IPA

Brewed by: 2 Brothers Brewing (Chicago, IL)

Style: ‘Wet” Hop IPA (6.5% ABV)


The fresh hop or harvest hop ale from 2 brothers outside of Chicago IL. I didn’t really know what to think of this one as I picked it out. Usually these wet ales are best when they are as fresh as possible to get all of those hops flavors and aromas before they settle down. This beer had to travel all the way from Chicago and that was after it had been brewed, bottled and then waited to get shipped. I think the freshness and the overall punch of the hops had diminished because of this extensive journey. I was still up to give it a go though and I was hoping for the best.

The beer poured out a rich red amber color, much deeper than I expected, a little hazier than I was hopoing for. Looked a little like the beer I come up with in my kitchen. There was a really good thick white head to the beer though, which is not something that shows up in most of the beer I brew in my kitchen.

Upon smelling this ale, there were some fresh grassy hops, reminded me of working out in the garden when I was forced to by my mom. However for being a fresh hopped ale, this beer had plenty of malt backbone, probably more than I have experienced in this style before. I was hoping for something where the hops dominated as that was supposed to be the main part of the show in this brew. The earthy hops were very fresh smelling which brought me back to the idea that this in fact and IPA with a ‘wet’ hop characteristic.

The taste of the brew sort of followed the same suit as the aroma. There were grassy/earthy hops up front but the bitterness was not much to speak of. The malts sort of held fast in the background and didn’t shine much but the hops were subdued so much that nothing really jumped out. I think the malts were the hops ball and chain in this beer. They didn’t really make a huge fuss about anything but kept the hops from going out and having a good time.

What I was hoping for was a beer that show cased the abundance of flavor and aroma that fresh hops can have. What I got was something that touched on that subject but then let it slide into nonexistence. The bitterness level was also something that really didn’t show up the way I would expect. For brew supposedly one that it all about the hops, this one really had a low level of bitterness. Really this beer underperformed in most of the ways that I was hoping/expecting it too come up big in.


Final Grade: B-


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