Thursday, December 29, 2011

Black IPA...India Black Ale...Cascadian Dark

To date I had been calling my next homebrew endeavor a Black IPA but as I have done some of my due diligence to familiarize myself with the style I have found that there is still some contention in the upper echelons of the Brew World as to appropriate naming and characteristics.

I had heard lots of chatter lately about this somewhat newer style that was making the rounds and I was intrigued.  Seemed like a interesting mix of styles that I like.  Turns out this is still pretty cutting edge as far as brewing goes and the community appears to still be 'hashing this one out'.  Only analogy I can think of that more people might understand is dog breeds and the folks at Westminster.  Just about everyone knows that there are 'x' official dog breeds as far as the governing body is concerned and every other dog is just a 'mutt'.  Beer is kind of the same way.  People mix and match styles all the time but every now again some sort mix differentiates itself for whatever reason and those characteristics are deemed desirable enough to want to repeat and over time new breeds or brews are declared 'official'.  Its in that declaration that things get tricky.

Who mixed it/bred it first? What exactly should it be called? Should it be named by the founder or original brewer/breeder or by the governing body?  Who the hell governs beer?  Who really cares about any of this?

From what I can tell there is one camp who says a style that pretty much matches with this type of beer has been being brewed up in the Pacific Northwest for some time now which those folks have been calling a Cascadian Dark Ale.  Some people have gone with the simple Black IPA because most of the style adheres to IPA qualities with the main difference being that it is black and not pale.  Problem is the P in IPA stands for Pale.  So that obviously leads us to removing that P for Pale and inserting a B for Black...India Black Ale.  Seems the most logical thing to do to me.  And don't get me started on the folks who think all this hoo-haa is really just an Imperial Stout in a fancy dress.  So call it what you will...a rose by any other name right?  Bill Shakespeare knew what was up.

6oz of 4 different types of hops: Cascade, Summit, Centennial & Chinook

I can't wait to go through this whole tirade every time someone asks me what I'm brewing currently or when they ask me what they are drinking.  Maybe I'll just whip up some business cards with a QR Code that links to this post.  What do you think Shaun, does that jive with your inbound sensibilities?  Maybe yes, maybe no but I can guarantee it will be inbound to your stomach come Spring time.  Sneak some up to Cannon and toast one on the deck in early April?  See you there.


  1. "yea, they called it a bullshit"

    I think if you're gonna compare beer to dog breeding and stress over what to call your beer, just step it the fuck up and call it a bullshit.

    or IBA- india bullshit ale

  2. I believe it was Shakespeare who said that Black India Black Stout Ale was light held together by moisture. Pretty positive.