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Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Baderbrau Naked Selfie

By Jason Baldacci in Food on Nov 7, 2014 9:30PM

2014_11_7_naked_selfie.jpgThis week, we're taking a look at a new offering from one of Chicago's budding breweries.

Naked Selfie is billed as a Black IPL from the guys at Baderbrau. It pours almost as dark as beer will get into the glass, and we pick up expected aromas of heavily roasted barley and earthy, piney hops on the nose. On the palate those roasty malts bite right up front but quickly give way to the robust, herbaceous hops that linger long after the finish. The beer is crisp, with a velvety texture that actually makes the bitterness quite pleasant though, as we're left with a complex hop profile that hints of citrus rind, lemongrass and black tea. At 6% alcohol content, Naked Selfie is bone-dry, and probably a really fun thing to request from a bartender or server. Just don't be creepy about it. Believe us, you're not the first person to think of that joke.

More and more brewers are making dark hop-driven beers lately, but it's a trend we've been a little weary about getting behind. Since you're getting bitterness both from the hops and from the heavily roasted grains, it can be difficult for a brewer to balance that bitterness against the rest of the recipe. Don't get us wrong, we love bitter things. Coffee, espresso, Campari, endive and rapini are all things we go out of our way to order when they're available, but for beer we tend to preach balance above all else. For an IPA, a brewer can balance the hops with a little malty sweetness, but if your malt is also lending bitterness, striking that balance can be a little more delicate. Luckily Baderbrau has given us a good example of how this is possible with their latest release.

Naked Selfie is available on draft and in 12 oz bottles. Check to see where you can pick some up this weekend.