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Two Brothers’ Heavy Handed IPA

Published: Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 11:10 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — 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. Because of the labor involved in shipping fresh hops, it’s hardly an industry standard, but many breweries make wet-hopped beers, including Sierra Nevada (Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale) and Sixpoint (Autumnation).

In the bottle: For a beer touting its hops, this handsome golden-amber brew is relatively restrained (it’s a moderate — for an IPA — 65 IBUs on the hop bitterness scale). 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.

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