Illustration by Alyssa Nassner
The letters “DDH” frequently appear in beer descriptions on IPA labels and taproom chalkboards. It stands for Double Dry Hopped India Pale Ale, and while the term might be familiar to passionate beer lovers, the style itself can be confusing.
“I think that double dry hopping can mean different things to different brewers,” says Jean-Claude Tetreault, cofounder and brewer at Trillium Brewing Co. in Massachusetts.
In brewing, hops are traditionally added during the boil, which extracts oils from the cones or processed pellets, creating flavors and aromas as well as imparting bitterness to the finished product. Conversely, dry hopping is the act of adding hops to a lager or ale after the liquid has cooled, while it is fermenting or being conditioned in a tank. The practice has been around for generations and infuses brighter, more vibrant hop flavors and robust aromas.
As IPAs grew in popularity during the modern American brewing renaissance, hop-forward ales became top sellers, and brewers sought ways to differentiate themselves while conveying that the desired smack of lupulin drinkers desired could be found in their bottles.