Photo | Southern Prohibition Brewing

Southern Prohibition’s Paradise Lost IPA is less hoppy than its Crowd Control, with a cloudy appearance and citrus flavors.

If you’ve ever noticed people drinking beer out of brandy snifters or strange tulip-looking glasses instead of mugs or pints at your local watering hole and wondered what they were drinking, those goblets are reserved for high-gravity beers, usually those over 7 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). While there are a host of different styles of high-gravity brews, the most popular are IPAs. These high-gravity IPAs are often labeled as double (or even triple) IPAs.

Our own Fairhope Brewing Co. is well-known for its wide variety of IPAs, including its Take the Causeway (8.2 percent ABV), which seems to win the Nappie as best craft beer every year, and its seasonal Hop Hogan is a double IPA in a traditional style — very strong and very hoppy (how’d you guess?). Not for everyone, but if you like the hops, you’ll love it. Just be careful, because at 9.0 percent ABV, it will put you on the mat.          

Just up U.S. Route 98, Hattiesburg’s Southern Prohibition produces some of the best IPAs anywhere — its flagship Crowd Control (8 percent ABV) is one of my all-time favorites. Southern Prohibition recently came out with another high-gravity IPA, Paradise Lost, at 8.1 percent ABV. Less hoppy than Crowd Control, it has a cloudy appearance and citrus flavors — another excellent offering from the guys at SoPro.     

Another strong IPA I fell in love with during a trip to Tampa that’s now widely available in our area (I even found it at Sam’s Club!) is Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai. It’s easy drinking — perhaps too easy for such a strong beer (at 7.5 percent ABV), with lots of hop flavor and some citrus hints at the finish.

In Athens, Georgia, Terrapin Beer Co. puts out another classic double IPA, its Hopsecutioner (7.3 percent ABV), which features six different hops.           

While Fairhope, SoPro, Cigar City and Terrapin produce very traditional strong IPAs with lots of hops and bitter finishes, I’ve recently come across some double IPAs with a variety of flavors that are also much smoother than most doubles, and smoother than even regular IPAs.    

Louisiana’s Parish Brewing Co. puts out a fantastic double IPA, its Ghost in the Machine, which is available on tap and in bottles at a host of locations in our area. It’s a hazy IPA with nice hop flavor and a hint of a citrus finish. At 8 percent ABV, it is stronger than it tastes, so be careful or it will hit you hard!

Finally, another citrusy double IPA I recently came across is Do You Even Zest (7.5 percent ABV) from Denver’s awkwardly named Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. I had never heard of this beer or brewery until I stumbled across it on tap at LoDa Bier Garten. It tastes very light for an IPA, much less a double, but it’s very nice, especially on a hot afternoon on Dauphin Street, with grapefruit and orange notes.      

So if you’re looking to try something a bit stronger, give a double a try!