I’m not gonna lie to you. I picked up this beer because of the can. It’s simple, muted, mysterious, attractive as hell…It looks like the exact beer The Riddler would drink. I’m not saying you can judge a book by its cover, but sometimes, a cool cover helps, you know? And then there’s the message on the back of the can:

“If you’re not living over the edge, you’re taking up too much space. These 12 fluid ounces of hoppy American goodness should be carried with you on your greatest adventures.”

I can dig that. True, I rarely live “over the edge” these days—mostly, I drive a minivan around—but I can dig the sentiment. So I bought the beer. Also, I’m really into IPAs right now. I think it’s a reaction to all of the malt-forward winter beers I’ve been drinking over the last couple of months. I’m ready for something a bit more complicated. Something…edgy.

Standing in the beer store, I’d hoped Unknown’s Over the Edge IPA would fit the bill. Sometimes, a gamble pays off; Over the Edge turned out to be a hell of an IPA. This beer has a full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel and an incredibly balanced structure. That’s the beauty of modern IPAs—balance. At one time, the common American IPA was a hop bomb full of bitterness on the back end. I’d drink one and immediately get heart burn. Now, these beers have so much more going on than just being “bitter.” Over the Edge is a little bit sugary sweet up front, with incredible notes of citrus—mainly orange. Yeah, there’s a tinge of bitterness on the backend, along with a slightly piney drying effect on the tongue—it is an IPA after all—but that’s just one part of the Over the Edge package.

Unknown Brewing Co. is based out of Charlotte. Between this beer, and all of the goodness that NoDa brewing (also in Charlotte) is cranking out, I’m thinking a road trip to the Queen City is in order.