For its 23rd anniversary, Heavy Seas is releasing an extra, extra strong triple IPA

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Halethorpe craft beer maker Heavy Seas Beer is ringing in its 23rd year in the hoppiest way. This morning, the brewery announced its latest creation, the 23 Anniversary Ale, which packs a whopping 11.5 percent ABV and a recipe the company says “will absolutely destroy your palate with hop flavor.”

It’s a triple IPA, which, while yet not even a defined style from the national Brewers Association trade group, one can safely assume packs an even greater punch than the already-strong double/imperial IPA variety. The beer is made with Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic and Cascade hops, and is both hopbacked and triple dry hopped. Flavor-wise, brewmaster Christopher Leonard said in a release that it has tones of berry, tropical fruit, brown sugar and pine, and “a warming, semi-dry finish.”

Local artist Owen Murphy, of One Drop Design Studio, designed the vibrant label, which displays a big celebratory “23” buoyed by lava overflowing from a volcano made of skulls, all sitting in the middle of a parted sea.

The beer, to be released in December, is being made on Heavy Seas’ 60-barrel brewing line at its headquarters on Hollins Ferry Road. The company also debuted a 15-barrel small-batch system in July 2018 as a way to put out experimental beers. It’s already produced three experimental sour beers and the summery Honey Ale with Cherries, and others are planned for 2019, including a “a hazy IPA twist” on the popular Loose Cannon, a brut IPA and a barrel-aged sour, Heavy Seas announced last week.

The company is also in the process of expanding and renovating its taproom, which is on track to be finished by next summer.

The 23 Anniversary Ale is being sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans at stores in 10 mostly East Coast states, plus D.C. You can also grab a pint or some cans to-go at the brewery’s 23rd anniversary party in the taproom on Dec. 7.

Ethan McLeod
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