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Heavy Handed IPA | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA
Very Good
876 Ratings
Heavy Handed IPAHeavy Handed IPA

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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. (Available September through December) Each batch is "single hopped" with a different hop variety.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 876 |  Reviews: 402
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A little bit darker appearance, brown really, cream colored head is ample with good retention for something so heavy, but the color isn't the most attractive for an ipa. Aroma was hoppy, good job. Centennials?

Taste, hey this really hit the spot during my time in the Midwest, there really wasn't much of a hoppy beer culture at the time, and just coming out from the west coast, this was a savior to my almost exclusive hoppy palate back in those days. Taste leaned to the grapefruit side of the hop descriptor. Delivered both hop mouthfeel and bitterness. Good dry finish to it, despite that the brewer was heavy handed with the malt here too. Given what I suspect the brewing cost of this to be, the decent $7-8 for a 6pack is a good deal.

A solid ipa, at a good price. When it comes to hoppy ipas, the only ones I can think of that are better, are solid top tier excellent ones. This one is very good.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out as a pretty nice looking copper color with a white colored soapy looking head. The lacing is decent. The smell of the beer is hoppy with a little malt in the background. The taste of the beer has a hoppy pine flavor, there is a dry aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a little watery on this one. Not my favorite IPA but it could have been worse.

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Photo of socon67
2.68/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours amber with some foam. Somewhat clear and mild carbonation.

S - Scents of malt and hops. The sweetness is a bit overdone for me.

T - Just not a fan of this. There are flavors of vanilla, caramel, and citrus. It just doesn't come together. Thought it was me, but none of the other tasters in my group at the time found it enjoyable. The finish was a harsh sweetness that I found unsettling.

M - It is a smooth medium bodied beer. Makes for a solid drinker, even though I didn't enjoy it.

O - I'm curious to try other offerings from Two Brothrs. Won't let this get me down on them.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.63/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to hurfer for the extra. Poured from 12oz bottle (no date) into snifter glass. Pours deep, slightly coppery amber with a 1 finger rocky yellowish head that has good retention. Aroma is very sweet, doughy, syrupy, pine, caramel, floral, biscuit, toasted grain, light orange peel citrus and a bit of black tea. Flavor is caramel, biscuit, toasted bread, a little butter, extreme syrup, burnt sugar, light mineral notes and floral notes near the end. Finishes with herbal hoppy bitterness and pine, just a little dough, and syrupy taste. As it warms the tea and syrup comes out a little more and the bitterness seems to increase in strength and length of aftertaste. Palate is light to medium body, slightly slick on entry, drying out a bit, but still slightly slick on the finish and has a pleasant, moderate strength carbonation. A bit too slicky and syrupy/doughy for my taste in regard to an IPA. It was a very interesting beer from a small brewery nonetheless.

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Photo of mmmhopslam
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1st review! Picked this bottle up at the Cardinal Liquors in Shorewood as part of a Mix 'n' Match 6 pack.

A - Nice amber orange color with some haze.

S - The hops are there but they're not demanding my attention.

T - Hops and caramel malt. Nice balance on this beer, not too bitter for my taste. I'm getting this odd lingering citric sweetness that seems to stick to my palate. I recently ate orange cranberry carmel corn and the resemblance on the aftertaste is uncanny. This might be off-putting for some but I quite enjoy it.

M - Rather light and crisp. Decent carbonation.

D - Easy drinker here. I definitely consider this a session beer as I would have no problem knocking back 3 or 4 at a time with a pizza and wings.

Overall I really have nothing bad to say about this beer. On the other hand, I don't have many praises to sing either. It's a pretty average beer in my mind, but one that I would not mind trying again in the future, perhaps on tap at the brewery.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack this one open to start the evening. Poured into a pint glass.

Nice dark amber in color with a small head of white that peaks up and over the top for a few brief moments before settling back down to a nice lacing around the sides of the glass. Aroma is deep piney and citrus hops, candied sugar and loads of well balanced malts. Warming lets the balance shine through really nicely and shows off how well this is put together. Nice medium feel and balanced profile lets the flavor sit on the palate for a good long while before settling back down and leaving a smooth, dry finish.

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Photo of in780
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask @ Stout NYC. Here we go:

A - Light orange hue, good lacing

S - Lots of hops

T - Lots of hops, and some good grain malt background, not sweet but balanced

M - Delicious on cask

D - Easy to drink considering the hop presence

Better than the bottle version in my opinion, great hops without overdoing it

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Photo of thecarster1
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a snifter, amber chestnut coloring, full finger of head, fades slow, few floaties, nice lace.

s- interesting here, i'm getting really green hops, really piny, after that hit the malt kinda takes over, smooth with maybe a touch of vanilla.

t- very green, fresh piny hops, citrus, very earthy, nice bitterness that sticks around, the hop presence fights to shine with a malty backbone - i'm getting a bit of a woody flavor here which is a bit off.

m- medium, coating.

d- okay, i was expecting something much different here, not the best wet hopped ipa that i've had but it's certainly drinkable and unique.

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Photo of 2BDChicago
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quicky review.

Two Brothers did (6)versions of Heavy Handed in 2010, each brewed the same except for a different hop variety.

Did a semi-vertical of (3) versions. I tried to collect all six, but drank em up .

With my fellow BD, sampled the following batches:


This is a very cool way to educate myself on the characteristics of hop varieties. I don't know of another brewer who does somehting like this.

And oh by the way, this is a awesome IPA. Well crafted, top notch ingredants, perfectly balanced, and the lucky strike extra is six similar versions of the same thing.

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Photo of jmich24
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a Duvel Tulip

A: Crystal clear amber, almost ruby red. Tanish one finger head. Sporadic sticky lacing.
S: Fruity, malty,
T: Fruity, bitter, malty bit of sweetness.
M: Medium body, finishes wet and bitter.
D: Well balanced, malty with a nice kick of bitterness.

I wouldn't call it heavy handed, but there is a hop kick. A little to balaned for my liking.

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Photo of sportscrazed2
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured an amber colored brown with almost no head.
Aroma: Reminds me of grapefruit
Taste: Pretty balance for an american ipa. Starts off sweet and citrusy with a nice bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Good it's definitely not watery and leaves a pleasant lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.
Overall impression: pretty good not a huge fan of ipas but this one is very drinkable.

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Photo of Duff27
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot 2500 - Tettenager hops

A- Pours a dark copper with plenty of sediment within. Quarter-inch white head that leaves drink-by-drink step lacnig. Really enjoy the color of this bier.

S- Citrus and caramel malts. Fresh hops!

T- Follows the smell. Grapefruit. Pleasantly bitter. Damn good.

M- First impression is thin to medium for the style...nice carb bite at the end of the mouthful. Leaves the mouth watering.

D/O- Bitter but not overpowering. A very drinkable IPA. Three to four of these in one sitting would be right in my wheelhouse. Cheers to Two Brothers.

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Photo of mryuk
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For my first review I figured I would start with a good beer from down the street. I don't love everything Two Brothers puts out but Heavy Handed is always on my purchase list in the wintertime.

A: Nice amber color. with a good head that lingers well. Looks like a bit of carbonation.

S: Very fresh and hoppy.

T: Bitter and hoppy. It starts out in-your-face but mellows out as you go along.

M: Fairly carbonated but not overly so. Light and crisp in the mouth.

D: Very satisfying IPA and it is always a pleasure to support the local talent. I can enjoy two of these in a row without a problem. There is variation among batches since they fly in hops straight from the harvest which adds a nice surprise at times. Batch #2850.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of david18
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my review of the bottle version of the beer:


I saw this beer for the first time at New Beer Distributors on Christie Street in Manhattan. I like Two Brothers' double IPA so I knew I'd like this one. It's a little strong on the hops considering the abv. I felt like it was almost drying my mouth.

Golden color, great hop aroma, flavor is good but, again, a little over bitter for the other characteristics of the beer.


I've been drinking the draft version at the Amsterdam Ale House and I don't think i agree with my previous review at all. This beer is very well balanced with hops but definitely not too much. Great golden/amber color. A perfect ipa.

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Photo of Patchmaster
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally something from Two Brothers that I really enjoyed. I love their ability to think outside the box when brewing.

A- A little bit of sediment floating around with a nice cloudy orange appearance. Fingers worth of head.

S- Fresh. The smell really pops on this beer. Piney with a touch of alcohol, but well masked. You can smell the freshness in this beer.

T- The hops take the stage and provide a nice grapefruit and citrusy taste. This is well balanced between the hops and malts

M- This has a medium to heavy carbonation feel. It seems to coat your mouth a bit.

D- A pleasure. A good example of wet hopped IPA that really was worth a try. I look forward to having this next fall. Thanks Two Brothers for a job well done.

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Photo of BHwks
4.59/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Forgot to note which bottling this was (wrote some notes down while drinking and recycled the bottle, oops)

A - Cloudy orange with very little head, some sediment floating in the glass.

S - A really nice smelling IPA - you can really get a whiff of the wet hops in this one, there's a light grassy note for sure mixed with a bready aroma. The smell of this beer really matches up nicely with it's taste (some really don't)

T - Sweet and malty at first sip, and then turns very crisp and bitter on the finish. You can tell this is a finely crafted brew, it really shines during all points of consumption.

M - Slick and oily on the palate, very full and smooth overall. The body of this beer really compliments the initial smell and finish.

D - Very good - I love IPA's, so of course I'm a bit biased, but within the style this beer drinks much easier than others due to the balance between malt and hops. As much as I love a beer that just kicks you in the face with hops, these beers can become a little tiring as you consume them. Not this IPA, it really defines balance if you ask me.

This is a must-try wet hopped IPA if you're in the Chicago area. Unfortunately, it shows up and is gone really quickly. I paid about 9.99 a six pack and regardless of price, you're not going to find anything that really blows this out of the water. Some may want more hops, but if you pay attention to the finish, they're there - you just don't notice them AS much because of the great balance of the malt. At this point though, unless you have some already it could be tricky finding this on the shelves.

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Photo of BrewBra
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle , batch 2660

Beer poured out awesome, beautiful dark amber/ copper color very nice lacing. Great looking beer!

I was expecting a little more aroma for being a fresh hopped IPA, hints of pine.

Nice flavor, kinda earthy, decent bitterness hint of booze. Was kind of expecting it to have a little more hoppy punch to it. Noticeable after taste that stuck around for a while. Not to shabby but not exceptional.

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Photo of drewba
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2850 - Columbus hops

A - transparent golden straw, pours a two fingers white, bubbly head.

S - pine and grapefruit, a touch of phenol-y alcohol.

T - Very nice balance of hop and malt right away. The columbus hops are adding juicy lemon & orange citrus notes with a pine afterthought. The malt imparts a slightly sweet caramel and cracker taste. Again, really nice balance here. Slight lingering grapefruit bitterness.

M - Medium body. Carbonation is crisp but not overbearing. This really coats the mouth, but still doesn't feel thick.

D - This is my third of the night before I decided to review it. So, that should be a testament to extraordinary drinkability. I was nomming on some pretzels in between beers because of the bitterness in the aftertaste, but that's my only criticism.

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Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot 2660 - Cascade Hops

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a sturdy two incher; a decent lacer but stands out with its stickage

Smell: The toffee malt holds its own against the Cascades, and for an aromatic hop, there is hardly any citrus - just resinous pineapple

Taste: Sugary toffee flavors, up front, with an overripe pineapple character that develops by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter malts get the better of the hops, though there is some residual bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit sticky

Drinkability: Certainly an OK drinker, just not what I was looking for in a harvest IPA

Thanks, welosiped, for the opportunity

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Photo of John_M
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Drafting Room the other day.

The beer pours an orange copper color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some sweet malt and light orange citrus. On the palate... Christ. Yet another sweet, malty, East Coast style IPA. There is also some rather noticeable alcohol in the finish, and the sweet boozy flavor profile dominates what would otherwise be some pretty impressive bitterness in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bitter, slightly hot finish. Drinkability is not very good in this beer, as the sweet malt, coupled with the noticeable alcohol, quickly wear out the palate. Also, maybe it's all the sweetness in this beer, but I really pick up nothing of the fresh hops that were supposedly used in this beer.

For those who appreciate the so called East Coast style of IPA, this may be right up their alley. However, in my case, this beer is very definitely not my cup of tea.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pair of nonic pint glasses at The Firkin.

Sampled both the Centennial and Columbus varietals from 2010. Let's start with the latter, shall we? It pours a clear amber topped by a thick finger of cream-colored foam. The nose comprises flowers, mild lemon, and caramel. The taste holds notes of minty pine, grapefruit, melon rind, orange peel, and light toffee. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish.

The Centennial version looks virtually identical. Its nose comprises orange sherbet, light caramel, and light flowers. The taste holds notes of dark greens, pine needles, cedar, and some very light caramel. The body is unchanged from the above. Though I can't really account for the sherbet scent, it just makes this all the more interesting.

Overall, a solid IPA regardless of the hops being focuses upon.

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Photo of cjacobsen
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out the color of organic honey. Golden orange with a thin head that reduced with lacing.

Smells sweet with hops and caramel. Some floral hints in there.

Tastes bitter but has a blander hop character and flavor. Go some decent malt character to it but there's not a lot that really stands out.

Mouthfeel is not bad. Its not smooth but it doesn't kill your tongue. Has a small bite to it.

This is an average IPA. Its nothing to write home about but its not terrible.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass

2010 vintages on tap at The Firkin for Two Brother's Tap Takeover

Columbus Hop version

Poured an orange color with a thin white foam head. The smell was of orange zest and raisins. The flavor has a crisp light hop flavor with a nice amount of bitterness. Drinks well but is a bit too thin for my liking.

Centennial Hop version

Also an orange color but there was a more banana like belgian aroma to the sniffer compared to the other version. That aroma and sweetness carry over into the flavor. This was a better beer than the columbus version, but not by too much, since clearly they were quite similar. This one just smelled a hell of a lot better.

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Photo of claspada
2.96/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma was extremely muted. I honestly could barely decern anything; malt or hop wise. If I almost put this beer in my nostrils I can get some light pine with some hints of citrus and pale malt.

Luckily the taste of this beer is better than the nose, but still nothing to write home about. Bitterness is really the summary point of this beer which is the exact opposite of how I prefer my hops. I do appreciate the bitter finish but could not have more than a pint of this w/o having a cracker/pretzel to clean the hop resine off my tounge. his beer has an excellent bitter finish.

The bubbly mouthfeel combined with the bitter ending is mildy enjoyable. This is a step down from most of the IPAs I like but others may like like this more, me I'm more of a hop aroma heavy guy, especially for a Wet Hopped Ale.

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Photo of Keffa
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Batch 2660, according to the Two Brothers site, this batch is brewed with Cascade hops.

A: Pours a dark copper, with a 2 finger head that settles into a small cap, and leaves sticky lacing all over the glass. Every drink leaves more lacing too. This is the best lacing I've come across to date. Off to a good start.

S: Meh, let down here a little. This one starts out with some orange peel, a little piney resin, and sweet caramel malt. As it warms, the caramel malt comes out even more. A let down for an IPA.

T: Orange, pine, herbal hop off the bat, then switches sides to a biscuit and caramel malt, then finishes somewhere in between. Again, let down, as the bitterness in this one is very subdued, as is the flavor over all.

M: Creamy and medium body. Not too bad.

D: Not shabby at all. The bitterness doesn't overpower this one. The only points I take off is the slightly long aftertaste, which is pine and caramel malt, and those two together are a little strange.

Not bad, but not great. This one started off awesome and ended in meh. I'd give it another shot if I found it on tap, otherwise, I'll probably stick to IPA's that I know will blow my socks off every time I have them.

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Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 876 ratings
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