Welcome to Theme Week for April 2010! For this week I decided to focus on the (somewhat disputed) new beer style of Cascadian Dark Ale—although if you find that name confusing, then it’s entirely possible you’ve heard the alternative name of Black IPA, or even India Black Ale.
And if you haven’t heard of any of those, then this should be an interesting week for you!
The short, quick primer for the Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) is this: think of an American IPA, only instead of pale it’s dark brown to black, like a roasty Porter or Schwarzbier. In other words, very much a “black IPA.”
You’ll notice that I laid out three possible names for this new style; unsurprisingly, the naming issue is the main area of dispute among the beer geeks and it should be obvious where I stand as far as the name goes. So this week in addition to reviewing a number of these new black beers, I’ll dig into the style definition and the naming dispute a bit as well.