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The Beer geeks among us already know what DDH stands for. But for the rest of us those three letters signify a guaranty of freshness, of coniferous flavor and of substantial body. In fact, the letters DDH may represent the next great innovation in pale ales. They stand for Double Dry Hopped, denoting a process that is supercharging hop flavor in some of the world’s most sought after craft beers.
Brewers add hops early in the boil primarily to impart bitterness. They add them near the end for flavor. When a brewer wants to showcase foresty, tropical, candied hop notes, they toss more into the fermentation tank days after the brew. This process is called dry hopping, and it has existed as long as modern brewing has. Now, beer makers are experimenting with still-later hop introductions. As more hops are added later, the flavors become more vibrant. That’s where the double comes in.
Double dry-hopping exists at the intersection of several movements in craft beer, and the massive popularity of these beers reflects a public desire for the biggest, dankest IPA possible.