Two of anything is usually more fun than one…
I remember as a kid that in the summer, you could order a two-headed ice cream cone with two of your favorite flavors. How much better can it get? Or the constant TV ads selling a product that you probably don’t want, then they say; “…but wait, call right now and we will double your order free!” Well, if you get the second one free, you might be enticed to call. The point is that double of anything is usually better. How does that relate to beer you ask? The new craze of Double India Pale Ale or DIPA is all around us and here we will learn about two of the newest to be brewed right here in NH from Great North Aleworks and Henniker Brewing.
Great North Aleworks is a 20 barrel brewery located in Manchester and owned by Rob and Lisa North, both from Canada (aka Great White North). During 2013, Rob worked at Newburyport Brewing in Rhode Island while making plans to open their own brewery in 2014. Rob’s renowned IPA just won a silver medal in a recent national beer competition. You can find these in 12 and 16 oz six packs cans or get growlers at their Manchester brewery. Visit them at or their website at www.greatnorthaleworks.com.
Henniker Brewing Company is located in the one-and-only Henniker, NH. Founded in 2011, HBC has captured the attention of craft beer lovers in the NH beer scene with their 15 barrel capacity. But they had bigger plans and today are a 30 barrel brew house. Their new head brewer, Devin Bush proved to be a genius when it comes to making awesome beers. Henniker is now sold in NH, VT and Massachusetts and distributed in 12 oz cans, 22 oz bottles, growlers (half gallon bottles) and kegs for restaurants and taverns. Visit their website at www.hennikerbrewing.com
There seems to be a boundless variety of double IPA’s recently. This beer style tends to be a bit more hops to help balance out the extra malt, at least that was the traditional method. But a twist is becoming evident that the malt is trying to catch up with a TON of hop bittering and aroma. This is where the men and boys are separated. Not everyone is a hop head. But everyone that enjoys hop bittering seems to like more and more of them in their flavor options.
Damn Sure (DS) is as golden-hazy as it is hoppy, while Tragically Hopped (TH) is a golden, clean and clear drink. A crisp white head greats you in both beers. According to Henniker’s website, they built their DS using oats, pale malt and wheat, which would explain the haze. But TH also contains a bit of wheat, but mostly Munich malt, explaining the golden hue.
DS uses 6 different American hops and lots of them! These varieties together give the pronounced pineapple, mango and grapefruit juiciness that helps give a distinctive flavoring. TH uses Centennial, Simcoe and Mosaic hops which individually are potent but together are amazing. Both are rated at 8.5% which is also where the double part comes in. And both breweries use about the same quantity in their recipes. Both beers are super interesting separately. But comparing them side by side leaves you scratching your head to try and decide which is your favorite. Luckily, you will be able to get these gems year-round.
Great North and Henniker beers can be found at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia and other fine craft beer emporiums. One thing is for Damn Sure, Tragically Hopped beers are here to stay!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to firstname.lastname@example.org