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Brewing TV - Episode 10: Cascadian Dark Ale Debate


Orginal postdate: July 9, 2010

- Cascadian Dark Ale, Black IPA, India Dark Ale, etc...
- Time to Brew: Stone Anniversary XI with Brett Begani (PDX Brewers) in Portland, OR

In this week's episode we ask ourselves: What's in a name? There's a big debate going on right now in the worlds of homebrewing and craft beer. It involves a new-ish style some are calling Cascadian Dark Ale, some are calling Black IPA and some are calling, well, you'll see...

Join us as we attempt to shine a light into this Dark space.

Mobile-friendly version.

Related stuff:

Brett's CDA recipe

Abram's CDA recipe

Lisa Morrison (aka The Beer Goddess) on CDA

Brew Your Own magazine article on the topic

Thanks to Tobias (all the way from Sweden!) for showing support.  Cheers!

Stuff we used (or will use):

Northern Brewer's Black IPA kit


Don't forget, in recognition of posting our 10th epsiode we are passing along a sweet deal to BTV viewers!

10% off your entire order* from 7/9 (9am CT) - 7/16 (9am CT) at Northern Brewer

Just enter coupon code, btv10 at checkout, and get your discount.

All for brew, brew for all!

*offer does not include Blichman Engineering products.  Cannot be combined with other offers


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Reader Comments (32)

Great show! I appreciate the insight into the debate. As much as I embrace the CDA moniker, being from Cascadia and all, I have to believe that somebody, somewhere had to be playing with hoppy, dark beers. My fav right now is Widmers W'10...but have yet to do the full side by side with others. CDA all the way, baby!!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Perkey

What is your facebook page? I thought at first it was just Northern Brewer's Page but on this episode the profile picture looked to be Brewing TV's logo, although I can't find a "Brewing TV" facebook page. Happy 10th episode guys, the show kicks ass and I can't wait until the 100th episode (would that be a 100% off discount!?)

All for brew & brew for all,

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

@Alex -


... and the 110th episode will be a 110% discount! In Russia, program sponsor pay you! What a country!


July 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterDawson

great movie , I have tried the dog fish dark ale and will try others as soon as i can probably buy brewing my own. i think the name dark ale is better than dark IPA , that's just opinion

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpcredale

Small correction: Deschutes is based in Bend, OR ... not Portland. Deschutes *does* have brew pubs in both Bend and Portland, and the Hop In The Dark recipe was developed over many brewing sessions in both locations. It was nice being "experimented on" during the long recipe development period.

Really enjoyed this episode. Great work.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSpence

Pretty sure my opinion was already given. :)
Take the Chinook back a couple ounces if you don't like the smash you in the face bitterness of those hops. the Amarillo and Simcoe will become more prominent if you whirlpool for 10 minutes before cooling.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrett Silver Begani

As an astrophysicist/homebrewer, I'm developing a style called Black Hole IPA with an infinite staring gravity. Just have to figure out how to bottle it!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEin-Stein (of beer)

Ooops, that should say "infinite starting gravity" - my English typing ist nicht so gut!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEin-Stein (of beer)

Great show as always guys! I believe it should be CDA to honor the region where it originated. Can't call it American becasue it started with the Canadians, can't mix IPA with Black or dark - aren't Pale and Black mutually exclusive? Kind of like Jumbo Shrimp? Sláinte!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPat O'Brien

Congrats on the 10th show! Keep up the good work. I look forward to Fridays after work even more now!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJake

Cascadian Dark Ale Debate.... If I was on a jury ... my verdict would be Cascadian Dark Ale !!!!!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZeeGadget

Keep it up boys.. here's to another 10 (while i enjoy my dog fish india brown ale)

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

I believe I side with Jake, I really don't care what you call it, I just know that I love this beer. I will be brewing the clone recipe out of BYO the next time I get enough time to spend the day brewing. Can't wait. In the meantime, time to hit the local brewpubs loking for the latest commercial example Cheers!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteratahoekid

Abram hyphenated-last name is wrong. Call it an American Style Black Ale is not shutting Canada out. Canada is in America too. North America. It would only be biased if it was called an United Stateish Black Ale or Yankee Doodle Dark. The US is not the only country of America. Now who is biased Mr. hyphenated last name?

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterparanoid brewer

Style, shmyle! Let Gordon Strong stroke his beard in contemplation for all time. All I know is mine is called "Blackety Black, Don't Talk Back!," has 2lbs of Rye and some Chocolate Rye, way too many hop varieties, 7,2% abv, and just got kegged today.

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVaughn

I think Cascadia Dark Ale has a better ring than Cascadian, and there are lots of examples of style names using the place name and not the nationality or place adjective.

July 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Ditty

My problem with this style is that it wasn't cfreated in "Cascadia". The first comercial example was brewed in Vermont back in 1990. There is no arguing this. I would also bet that when Texas homebrewers were creating the American Brown style back in the 80s there were many examples that would fit this category.

Besides Cascadian Dark Ale just sounds stupid.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan

What makes the difference who developed it, where it was born? It's Barley and Hops concoted to a magical brew....I tip my hat to those Cascadian guys whoever they are! Now get busy on the next one!

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSupernaut

Indulge me for a second, please:

The BJCP notes a distinction between pale and medium amber in the English IPA category description: "...most are pale to medium amber..." If "pale" and "medium amber" were the same it wouldn't draw a range noting the difference between the two.

With that in mind, wouldn't it follow that if pale does not equal black and pale does not equal medium amber, then wouldn't the India Pale Ale category have to discriminate against medium amber IPAs in the same manner it discriminates against black IPAs?

IPA has come to be associated more with a flavor profile than the specific color. They also don't travel to India too terribly often anymore. If "black IPA" gives anyone a hernia, it should be about more than the fact that pale does not equal black.

When the "pale does not equal black" folks have forced us to have a style-designation for India Medium Amber Ale, then I'll let them create a different name for dark-colored beers with IPA-like flavor profiles.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWutz

One thing I felt this episode was lacking, as that one of the earliest and most influencial beers of this style wasn't even west coast! It was Greg Noonan's Black IPA at the Vermont Brew Pub which was brewed as early as the late 80s/early 90s (having trouble finding exact dates). Many of these West Coast brewers, including Mitch Steele, cite Noonan as a significant influence. How is this suddenly an entirely Cascadian derived style? I'm not disputing the role of the Pacific Northwest in advancing this style, but I think certain people are giving themselves a little too much credit in designing this style and ignoring the role of people outside their small region in developing this style.

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthatguy314

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