On one hand, I don’t particularly care for most IPAs. I Just don’t want bitter for the sake of bitter. I just find it to be overly silly.
On the other hand, I’ve developed a bit of a taste for Cascadian Dark Ales, otherwise known as the black IPA. There’s something about the richness of a heavy roasted malt that helps to filter and smooth out some of the aggressive bitterness.
Case in point: Firestorm (Black IPA, 5.8% ABV, 50 IBU) from Big Storm Brewing. Here you have a brew bursting with a strong, floral hop character. Leave it alone, and you have your standard, somewhat aggressive IPA.
Bring in the dark and roasted quality of a malt bill closer to a porter and everything pretty much changes. Now those lupulins have something to really play with, and what you end up with is a beer whose bitterness is soaked up somewhat by a deep, bready undercurrent. The hops are still present and still a driving force, but it’s not off putting at all.
So there you have it. A substyle I enjoy, firmly nestled within a style I’m not particularly fond of. Confusing, I will admit, but there you go.
In the meantime, I’m having another.
Drink Florida Craft,