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Presented by Consumer Beverages
by Paul Marko, Chris Groves
Cascadian Dark Ale—Black IPA as it has become known in these days of hop mania—is as unique an American beer style as you can get. The term “Cascadia” is derived from the Cascade Mountain Range, a region that encompasses British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Since the style was born in this area of the country, using hop varietals in many of the popular beers from there (Columbus, Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe and Cascade) it’s easy to see why the original name was self-applied. But what differentiates this dark ale, from a porter or stout? Good question! The answer is simply that dehusked Carafa malts are used to contribute color and but not roastiness. Lagunitas, from Petaluma CA, gives us their take on the style with Nighttime. This highly hopped beer is moderately bitter bursting with citrusy hops amidst the charred pine note. Hazelnut and dark chocolate complete this nice version, which at 8.2% ABV, is higher in alcohol than most Black IPAs. In lieu of a food recommendation, let’s pair Nighttime with a local take on the style—Hamburg Brewing’s “No Lux”—one of their flagship beers that has been enjoyable from day one at their uber-cool tasting room and pond side patio. Hamburg’s 7% ABV “no color IPA” is a rounder take on the style with spicy rye taking the place of the citrus, while still loaded with plenty of Northern Brewer hops for a bitterness that builds with each sip. No Lux is praiseworthy in it’s interpretation and with excellent distribution it can be found on many tap handles throughout WNY.
If you’re into traveling to try new beer, TAPNY is where it’s at. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in one of the states largest and best run beer & food festivals going. What’s cool about TAPNY is that every brewery at this festival is from New York State...it’s a requirement. At over 200 breweries now operating within our state, seeing almost 50% of them represented in one space at one time is pretty incredible. In it’s 18th year, TAPNY has grown from a handful of breweries to this years 95 breweries and well over 300 beers. Located at the base lodge and surrounding areas of Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in Hunter, NY, you’re treated to epic views of the Catskill Mountains on your way. You can expect to try anything from 100% wild fermentation sour ales to Whiskey barrel aged Russian Imperial Stouts. Lets talk about a couple breweries... Standouts for me from this festival include the funkiness coming from The Brewery at Bacchus (New Paltz, NY) including their “Indigenous” (Wild ale with Seval Blac grapes, aged in red wine barrels) and “Good Old Neon” (Wild ale dry-hopped with Columbus). Bringing it a little more accessible comes the always solid selections from Peekskill Brewery (Peekskill, NY) with their NYPA (American Pale Ale) and Higher Standard (Double IPA). There’s so much more to cover on this festival...do yourself a favor and just make the trip next year. It is incredibly worth it. Visit tap-ny.com.
Lagunitas Nighttime & Hamburg Brewing No Lux, TAPNY blog comments powered by Disqus
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