Heavy Seas Beer

Set Sail With Heavy Seas Beer

The story of Heavy Seas Beer started back in 1994 when would-be founder Hugh Sisson left his family owned and operated brewpub to focus on larger scale brewing. In 1995 he founded Clipper City Brewing Company in Baltimore, Maryland. The Clipper City brewery focused primarily on those in and around Baltimore with both recipes and branding, as the clipper ship was first constructed in Baltimore, so they’re pretty big fans of them there.

Fast-forward to 2003 and Clipper City Brewing is having a difficult time selling beer too far from their home base in Baltimore, primarily due to their insular branding. So what does this have to do with Heavy Seas Beer? Well, in 2003 Clipper City decided to add a new lineup of beers to their portfolio with their Heavy Seas brand. The brand was specifically created to house the brewery’s higher-gravity beers so they could be easily picked out. The brand was widely popular and in 2010, Sisson decided to re-brand the entire Clipper City lineup as Heavy Seas Beer. The Clipper City beers that made the jump include Heavy Seas Gold Ale, Powder Monkey Pale Ale, and Cutlass Amber Lager.

Jump ahead to today, and Heavy Seas Beer is a strong and multi-faceted brand that includes beers that run the gamut from low to high, light to dark, and strong to balanced in taste. In short, there’s a beer for everyone in their lineup.

Smooth Sail Summer Ale

With warm weather on the horizon, it’s time for the summer ales to make their yearly appearance yet again. Heavy Seas is launching a new summer ale this year with Smooth Sail.

Smooth Sail is a wheat ale that’s brewed with orange and lemon peel, and was brewed to give the beer an airy mouthfeel and a nice frothy head. Brewmaster Chris Leonard says they employed a neutral strain of wheat yeast to produce a clean tasting beer that’s delicate on the palate. In short, it’s light, slightly hoppy, and citrusy to give you an amazingly refreshing summer beer, and at 4.5% ABV, it’s easy to have a few while sitting on the porch and enjoying the nicer weather.

Cross Bones Session IPA

A hot new trend this year is the session IPA. These beers have all the hop flavor and aroma you love but with a lower ABV rating so you can enjoy a few in a row. Crossbones is Heavy Seas’ first new year-round beer since 2003, which means they put a lot of work into making sure this one is perfect.

This sessionable IPA comes in at 4.5% ABV and features floral and citrus hop aroma with citrus and a malt backbone to round out the flavor. While the hops in this beer might be a secret blend, Heavy Seas uses six different malts to achieve the perfect flavor and body for this beer. Cross Bones is also now available in 12 oz. cans.

Loose Cannon American IPA

You’d expect the flagship beer for a brewery to be pretty amazing, and Loose Cannon delivers on this in strides. This 7.25% ABV beer has an intense hop aroma thanks to Simcoe, Palisade, and Centennial hops, which give the beer a mix of grapefruit, herbs, and pine.

Loose Cannon doesn’t over-do it with bitterness, keeping it at a respectful 45 IBUs, which makes the beer easy to drink without having your palate worn out. Loose Cannon is hopped three times during the brewing process, including in the boil, the hopback, and in the fermenter. All of this together makes Loose Cannon a top-notch American IPA that needs tried to be believed. Loose Cannon is available in cans as well as bottles.

Double Cannon Double IPA

Sometimes bigger is better, and when talking about Double Cannon from Heavy Seas this couldn’t be more true. Double Cannon is a double IPA that comes in at 9.5% ABV and features a huge hop aroma and flavor thanks to an insane amount of dry-hopping. The grain bill and alcohol content helps to add a touch of sweetness to this beer while keeping it well balanced.

Double Cannon actually uses the same malt recipe proportions as Loose Cannon, just kicked up a few notches, and the hop bill is doubled. Consider this a bigger, meaner version of Loose Cannon that’s still approachable and a solid beer without going over the top. Double Cannon is the current seasonal beer from Heavy Seas, so make sure to get it while you can!

Small Craft Warning Über Pils

Pilsners are known for their drinkability and balance, which is why Small Craft Warning Über Pils is so fresh and so clean. This 7% Pilsner uses Warrior, Palisade, French Strisselspalt, Saaz, Simcoe, and Cascade hops to make a beer that’s somehow both complex yet simple.

Über Pils is crisp, slightly sweet, and features a strong malt backbone to balance things out and make it perfect for just about any season.

The Sunken Sampler

Up for a little variety? Heavy Seas sells their Sunken Sampler for just this reason. Basically, the Sunken Sampler consists of four of their beers in either 12 or 24-packs. One of these four is their rotating seasonal with the remainder consisting of their year-round offerings.

If variety is what you’re looking for, then the Sunken Sampler is for you.

Uncharted Waters Series

The most interesting and creative offerings from Heavy Seas is definitely their Uncharted Waters line. These beers all feature some influence from wood and are all generally pretty big beers. You can find the Uncharted Waters beers in 22-oz bottles as well as on draft.

The Uncharted Waters lineup includes:

Phantom Ship – A 9.5% ABV Belgian-style tripel aged in bourbon barrels

Red Sky at Morning – A 9% ABV Belgian-style saison aged in Chardonnay barrels

Blackbeard’s Breakfast – A 10% ABV imperial coffee porter aged in bourbon barrels

Siren Noire – A 9.5% ABV imperial chocolate stout aged in bourbon barrels

Desert Island Series

The Desert Island series from Heavy Seas is a series of draft-only beers that were made to give the brewers at Heavy Seas some freedom while giving us some amazing beer.

The idea is simple: What beer would you brew if it were the only one you could take with you to a desert island? Basic nourishment aside, this idea gave the brewers the ability to make a beer they each truly wanted to make. Each beer is limited to 100 barrels, making each extremely limited, so if you see these on tap, make sure to try it ASAP.


Real ale originally came from a cask that held one firkin of beer in it. Today, we call these either casks or firkins, but whatever you call them, Heavy Seas is dedicated to serving the best there is.

Heavy Seas actually offers bars the ability to make their own casks by choosing the beer they want, the hops they want added, any wood they want, and even some spices like peppercorns or vanilla beans. Looking at their chart, we’re pretty sure we want a Loose Cannon with some Cascade hops and lemon zest. Sounds amazing!

Heavy Seas Beer is proudly distributed in and around the Pittsburgh area by Vecenie Distributing.