Drink This Beer | Burnt Hickory Didjits Blood Orange IPA
A visit to Burnt Hickory Brewery in Kennesaw, GA is an experience like no other. Their tasting room is covered with punk rock posters and albums (many for sale), there’s an old tabletop arcade machine off to one side, a few church pews scattered inside and out, and a stuffed bear head crushing a can of Heady Topper. The vibe is much like your favorite dive bar, or maybe your buddy’s basement. If you show up at the right time you might even find brewery owner Scott Hedeen practicing his guitar skills for his next gig with classic punk outfit The Cheifs. Scott has quite a personality, and can be unrestrained with his comments at times. Many people love him, but he has his share of haters as well. There’s no questioning Scott is passionate about his beer and brewery and he’ll gladly talk your ear off about what’s brewing now or what’s coming up. He does crazy things with his beers, and just like him the beers have their fans and their haters. If you’re not sure what to make of all of this just take a trip to the brewery and decide for yourself.
One of Burnt Hickory’s most popular beers recently made its seasonal return. We asked Scott a few questions about Didjits, here’s what he had to say.
Tell us about Didjits. How did you come up with the recipe?
It was one of my original home brew recipes from like 2008. I was in the Midwest and a brewery out there had an orange IPA. Seemed strange, but the more I thought about it the more sense it made. I tried this brewery’s version finally and was let down. Thinking I could combine the best part of these new hops (at the time citrusy hops were very cutting edge) and real BLOOD orange, I could have something. I made it, tested it with my beer friends, and there it was.
What’s the inspiration behind the name?
Back in the day, I was making like 4 or 5 new beers a month, as I was ramping up to go pro. I had built a mini version of the FIRST BHB brewery set up in my basement. I was running out of names. I started reaching out to friends of mine who had defunct bands. Rick Sims was the leader of the Didjits. A great revved up Jerry Lee Lewis meets The Ramones style band, they were a fave of mine. I had like 50 beers named for bands. The Didjits carried to the next level because people kept calling it the Didjits. It very well could’ve been Die Kreuzen or Jesus Lizard. I just picked Didjits cos it was the beer at the time i had made when Rick gave me the thumbs up. (btw… Rick really doesn’t know where the name is from. His best guess that it means. “Dumb Idiot” thus “D-idjit” )
It seems like blood orange became pretty popular in IPAs, what sets Didjits apart from the crowd?
Proper use of the proper hops at proper times always makes for a good beer. Also an understanding of sometimes too much is too much. (Shit. did I say that?)
You also do a variation of Didjits called Killboy Powerhead, tell us about that.
Rare brewery only release. It’s a creamsicle version of Didjits. It’s different and it’s our county’s original take on that “popular” style. It’s also really EASY to make! Hehe.
How can people get your Didjits?
Right now? Draft lines take up almost ALL of our gallons of beer. We have to keep the established draft lines happy and in place as we grow. Cans are happening this summer. There’s news about BHB cans coming soon. natch. (Since talking with Scott about The Didjits he’s announced a canning line is on its way.)
What’s coming up from Burnt Hickory?
See above. Cans. More details to folo. But we are coming at GA beer with a new vigor. The laws here held our self-financed non-conforming brewery back in the way of cash flow. 5 years of playing it lean has paid off. 3,000 barrels a year is NOT a lot of beer if you think about it in a $ form (that’s once the bills are paid) BUT for a small local brewery? It’s a God send.
Also JUNE 3rd? Our 5th anniversary fest is coming. Here at the brewery this year, we will have music,a bottle release and collabs. So far Hoof Hearted. Orpheus. Wild Heaven. Cycle breweries are ready to go.
1-8. Bottle release of BBA Kolb’s Farm (one year in the barrel) and BBA Burial Truce will start at 12:30. No tickets. Just show up early.