If you’re in Hamilton, or need a reason to go there, perhaps a keg of Black IPA at Bitter Root Brewing Co. will be enough to turn your Friday from good to great, or maybe from just OK to good – either way you win. From Bitter Root’s newsletter:
We’re tapping a keg of Black IPA that we’ve been hording like that neighbor kid you grew up with that horded Halloween candy. We’ll tap the keg at 4 p.m. on Friday
- Matt Pritchard
Matt Van Wyk, brewmaster at Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Ore., tries to unravel the mystery behind “black IPA” in a recent article on CraftBeer.com. He argues that the name of this relatively new beer style is misleading and should be called Cascadian Dark Ale, for various reasons. Read the article and decide for yourself. And while you’re at it, check out Will Moss’ review of Bitter Root Brewing’s Black IPA.
- Matt Pritchard
Bitter Root Brewing released their much-anticipated Black IPA this week, so we stopped by their Hamilton tap room for a taste and a quick chat with the brewers, Jake Talbot and Tony Wickham.
First off, when they say that this is a “Black” IPA, they’re not fooling around. This unfiltered brew is like dark matter; black as the night, black as the dark side of the moon, black like a black hole from which no light escapes.
A big part of that is the triumvirate of dark malts they used to give it that dark character, namely: a French chocolate malt, a basic Brown malt and a debittered Black malt. Alongside those, you’ve got some ESB, Munich, Vienna, Honey, Carapils and some C-15. More on those later.
The first thing you notice when preparing to enjoy a frosty mug (superb caramel-colored head, btw) is the intense floral hop aroma. That comes from the GENEROUS infusion of Citra hops. According to brewer Jake Talbot, they used CTZ for the first wort, but then piled on the Citra throughout the rest of the brew, including a 13-pound dry hop (one pound for each barrel).
So, as any IPA should be, it’s a hoppy beer, but it is balanced, oh so well, by that all-star malt lineup. There is a depth of malt character that hits you immediately upon the first sip. It balances that hop profile and makes for a nice transition of flavors throughout each sip and the pint as a whole. Each sip ends with a feisty, hoppy zing that lingers on the back of the palate.
This will be a great beer to enjoy as fall gives way to winter. Cheers!