Laurelwood, a great microbrewery out of Portland, OR recently released a new Cascadian Dark Ale. If that throws you off, CDAs are also referred to as Black IPAs or IBA (India Black Ale). Here in the Pacific Northwest, CDA is becoming the most relevant, and argueably the better name for this type of beer. Here, in an article from craftbeer.com, Eugene’s own Matt Van Wyk, of Oakshire fame, discusses the difference (or lack there of) in these beer types. I have to agree with Matt, I think CDA is a better definition for the beer type. It really doesn’t taste like an IPA, unless all you taste in an IPA is some hop bitterness. A CDA, in my mind, is some hoppy(har, har) balance between porter and IPA and is becoming an increasingly relevant style here in the Pacific NW (Cascadia), thus deserves it’s own name, rather than just being shoved in the corner as an off shoot of another beer style.
On to the good stuff- Ink Heart, the newest release from Laurelwood is a CDA that boasts a unique hop balance. A liberal use of aroma hops give off wafts of citrus and there are some sweet fruity notes as well. It poured a nice, robust dark brown with a little off white head. It drank smooth and the citrus hop notes were amplified by a nice level of carbonation. I thought this was a nice drinkable beer. It smelled great and tasted good too.
I really like Laurelwood's vibrant labels. Oh, and the beer is good too!
I’m quite excited to say I’ve entered that level of beer geekness that can only be achieved by one’s first beer exchange. Through my blogging endeavors, I’ve met a fellow home brewer from Texas that really appreciates the beers of the Northwest. You can take look at his blog whatsinmybeer. Since I’m in Oregon and have access to all this lovely Northwest beer, I thought, “aw heck, I should send this guy some beer. Maybe I’ll get some in return!” Thus, a beer exchange was born. I am incredibly excited, especially because this package should be received by the recipient tomorrow. I really hope I did a good job and picked some beers that are not only appreciated for deliciousness, but also are a little taste of the NW from hoppy IPAs, delicious porters, to a sour Belgian. We’ll see.
I sent 4 22 oz beers (including a homebrew porter) and 1 350mL offering from Russian River (you may remember my discussion of Damnation). The two beers I really wanted to get were Abyss from Deschutes and Pliny from Russian River. But everybody wants those beers and they just weren’t around from what I could find, I’ll have to start keeping a better stock.
If you were embarking on your first beer exchange endeavor, what would you pick as representative of your area/tastes? What would you hope to receive in return?
To ring in the New Year, Brock and I brewed our second batch of beer. For you dedicated readers you may remember I held a poll for what beer I should brew next. Porter was the clear winner. Those who are local and voted for porter, let me know, and I’ll get you a bottle. For those of you who voted for “butt beer” it was a close second, maybe next time. We went for a little more of a sophisticated kit from, where else, The Home Fermenter Center! The owner puts together pretty nice kits. We selected the porter kit with some additional malts so we could ‘Black Butte-rize” our beer. German debittered roasted barley and roasted barley, to be exact. We also used liquid yeast this time, which was really fun. I’ll explain why later. Continue reading
Filed under Beer, Home brew
Monday was a bonus day. The day after Christmas and the husband and myself found ourselves with a rare Monday off together. That can mean but one thing: Beer Projects.
We cruised around town purchasing some sweet new items with cash received during Christmas (Thanks, Grandpa!). Assuming there would be some killer sales on turkey fryers, Brock and I headed to Cabela’s. There were not great deals, nor a powerful enough propane burner for what we were looking for. So I checked out Amazon.com and within moments our new Bayou Banjo Classic was on it’s way. This is going to make brewing so much faster! Continue reading