Hop dreams

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First Posted: 5/26/2014

Beer: Two Hearted Ale

Brewer: Bell’s Brewery

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.00%

Description: Two Hearted Ale pours hazy golden orange with white foamy head that settles and remains while leaving a webbing of lace on the glass. The aroma is filled with lovely hops, with citrus, floral, and pine notes being the most dominant with a very subtle backing of sweet malt. The taste is also hop-forward, again with citrus notes coming through, mainly grapefruit, backed with lemon and candied orange while pine and floral tastes dance around the palate before a lovely sweet malt bill rushes through and leaves behind a perfectly dry finish, with absolutely no hint whatsoever of the seven percent ABV within the beer. The full body and moderate carbonation work flawlessly together to deliver this perfectly balanced American IPA. The key to making a great IPA is drinkability, and Two Hearted Ale certainly has a high drinkability factor. If you consider yourself a hophead in any manner and you have not had this beer, you are doing yourself a disservice!

Food pairing: As with most IPAs, Two Hearted Ale is perfect with a wide variety of spicy foods; however, the wonderful malt bill helps this beer to expand out and also makes it great for everyday dishes. Try pairing Two Hearted Ale with your next burger and, of course, go crazy with the toppings: jalapeños, bacon, cheese, barbecue sauce. Anything you like, this beer can handle it, and it will still leave behind that wonderful dry finish after it scrubs your palate clean. Also try this beer on your next Friday night pizza excursion and definitely pile the pizza high with pepperoni; Two Hearted Ale will highlight the spicy flavors locked within due to the hop bill in the beer. This is, of course, a great beer with any Mexican dishes, and do not be afraid to lean more towards the spicy side of the spectrum.

The final word: Two Hearted Ale is a beer that has garnered itself quite the reputation since its initial release. This is certainly not a beer that has ridden the IPA wave, but instead is one of the beers that initiated the craze early on. It is a perfect example of the American IPA style with great balance, drinkability, and a strong hop presence. It is a beer that even the most jaded craft beer or IPA lover can still find enjoyable despite the numerous variations tried within this style. Regardless of what trends come and go within the craft beer industry, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is a mainstay, and this is simply because it was perfected long ago. A nice new addition to this beer is its release in 16-ounce cans. The perfect beer is now packaged into the perfect container for summertime fun, so grab yourself some cans and get out and enjoy the perfect beer with the perfect weather!

Rating: W W W W V

Where can I get it? Currently available in 12-ounce bottles and/or 16-ounce cans at: What’s Brewin’ 6-Pack Ale Shoppe, Old Forge; Backyard Ale House, Scranton; J & H Beer, Plains Township; Mrs. D’s, Scranton; and Wegmans, Wilkes-Barre. Currently available on draft at: Jack’s Draft House, Scranton; and Beer Boys, Wilkes-Barre.

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.