There are some double India pale ales with high alcohol-by-volume (ABV) contents and pleasingly complex flavor profiles, but the vast majority is less worthy of drinking than for wiping road tar off mag wheels. Don’t let Barley Forge’s logo for Two Louder fool you into believing it’s on the swill side. It shows an amplifier volume knob cranked past 11 to 12, which is fitting because Two Louder’s ABV is a hefty 12 percent. But the indicator’s placement is more a play on Barley Forge’s 8.3 percent double IPA One Louder, whose logo shows it cranked to 11 (à la Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel’s famous line). Miraculously, Two Louder’s subtle blend of Nelson, Eureka, Lemon Drop, Hallertauer Blanc and Amarillo hops goes down smooth—fruity, even—without the boozy burn typical of most other double-digit ABVs. That can make Two Louder as dangerous as frat-party jungle juice, which may explain why it’s only in limited production. So when you see it on a menu board, order a glass—and drink responsibly, rock star!
2957 Randolph Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 641-2084; www.barleyforge.com.
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