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Revolution Celebrates Legalized Marijuana in Illinois with Legal Hero

Revolution Celebrates Legalized Marijuana in Illinois with Legal Hero
Mike Zoller

Recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, 2020 and it was a big deal. People lined up early in the morning, waiting for hours in order to be one of the first to legally purchase weed in the state, not unlike a beer release. Several breweries were preparing to release a special beer to mark the landmark occasion; the first one released was Revolution’s Legal Hero.

Described by the brewery as the dankest IPA they’ve ever made, this double dry-hopped hazy IPA comes in at 8% ABV, is very hazy and yes, incredibly dank. Dank isn’t a new word to describe craft beer: It has been used on beer message boards as early as 2012, according to my research. But with the rise of hazy IPAs and more states either legalizing, or beginning legislation to legalize, marijuana it’s becoming a much more common adjective in the craft beer industry.

But what exactly, or how exactly, do you describe dank? Dank is commonly an aroma characteristic but is used in tasting notes as well. Smell plays such a big role in how you taste that when you describe something as dank, it’s because of the aroma you get when you smell the beer.

Synonymous with the cannabis industry, at the simplest level, “dank” is how you would describe the aroma of marijuana. Webster’s provides the definition of “unpleasantly moist or wet,” and while the word “unpleasantly” might not be accurate, moist, wet or damp could be used when describing the aroma of these dank IPAs.

It’s hard to describe dank. Everyone will probably have a different take on it but for me, it’s a vegetal, earthy, fresh, green-like aroma that is incredibly noticeable. It can also be described as funky, but different in the way we use funky for sours or wild ales. After talking to several people about how to describe dank, they told me that they couldn’t describe it but they knew it when they smelled it. And that might be the best way to talk about dank.

Legal Hero is a great representation of a dank hazy IPA. A blend of Strata, Eureka! and Columbus hops lay the foundation for the unique profile of the beer. While there are many different hops you can use to achieve the dank aroma, Columbus, Apollo, Summit and Simcoe are pretty common.

The dankness of Legal Hero is noticeable upon that first pour. You won’t mistake this beer for a juice bomb as Revolution accomplishes what it set out to produce. You get weed, fresh grass and earthy aromas. I want to say the beer smells dank but isn’t that obvious?

On the taste, you’re going to get a full-bodied beer with lots of hops but still not overly bitter like a classic IPA. This beer definitely earns the hazy IPA moniker without having to be loaded up with juice and tropical fruit flavors.

Legal Hero is a dank hazy IPA that is exactly how it’s described. Will it appeal to everyone? Probably not. But what beer is?

The beer won’t see distribution and will be available on draft and in 4-packs to go at Revolution’s taproom and brewpub while supplies last.

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