“It’s Dangerous to Go Alone” — It’s a Good Beer, Though

In Beer Reviews by Karl

Last night, we spent a few hours in the company of fellow beer drinkers enjoying the release of our ‘collaboration’ beer, “It’s Dangerous To Go Alone.”

2014-02-13 19.18.10Here, take this:

The details of the creative process are here, so we won’t belabor those points too much. My main curiosity going into this were threefold:

  1. Would it be hibiscus-y?
  2. Would the Hull Melon hops work with the hibiscus flavor?
  3. Would it be appropriately colored?

The answer, I’m happy to report, is yes, yes and yes.

Pouring a hazy reddish-gold with a beautiful sorbet-pink wispy head, It’s Dangerous To Go Alone is crisp, complex and harmoniously herbal — the fruity qualities of the hops meld nicely with the tea-like flavors of the hibiscus. As it warms, some nice melon-y aromas emerge and savory flavors float up from the hibiscus.

It’s a little medicinal, but overall it’s a good unified flavor pairing that doesn’t present itself as two different things — the blend of the two main ingredients really did pair well with each other.

It’s not sweet, but it is light bodied and very easy drinking, especially for a 6.3% ABV beer — almost dangerously easy drinking. It’s exactly the kind of beer I want to drink on the first 50+ degree day of spring, sitting on the back porch in a sweatshirt.

It’s cool weather beer, not gushingly moist and wheat-sweet for summer, nor heavy and dark and oppressive for winter. Even though this was envisioned as a Valentine’s day offering, this will be a great springtime drinker and I hope it sticks around until then. wait, no I don’t, I want them to sell all of it immediately. right? I’m not sure. I’m conflicted. I do know I’ll be back for more.

Having our site name on the menu is pretty cool, too.

Having our site name on the menu is pretty cool, too.

While brewer Ben Saller and I discussed last night if we would want to change anything, we decided we’ve kinda hit the sweet spot where the hibiscus and hops balance — add more hops and the bitterness might overpower the herbal qualities and make this just another single-hop APA, whereas too much hibiscus and it would just get overwhelmingly savory and tea-like.

As always, thanks to Ben and John Saller and the whole Atlas team for letting us come play in their sandbox for a little while, and also to hang out with some of you fine folks for an evening of beer related dorkery. Making beer is fun. Everyone should do it more often.

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Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, comes out in early 2017, and if you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.