We’ve got a new beer on the block! Tunnel 13 is a unique, dark ale with a crisp, hoppy finish. The laymen might call it a Black IPA or a IBA (India Black Ale), but we’ve been told by our brewer, John, in no uncertain terms, that this beer is not a Black IPA or IBA. It’s a Cascadian Dark Ale.
What’s a Cascadian Dark Ale you might be asking? It’s called a CDA for short, and the beer typically has proponents of flavor, color and aroma from both an IPA and something like a Stout or Porter. CDAs typically combine a dry hop finish with a sweeter, roasted malt body. The color is usually either very dark brown or black, and the head of the beer should be tan or khaki. Black IPAs, IBA’s and CDA’s all share similarities. What makes the CDA unique is in the ingredients list. Like the name would suggest, Cascadian Dark Ales should source most of their ingredients from the Cascadia Region of the US (The Pacific Northwest). This means, a beer made in a similar style should not be called a CDA if the ingredients were solely sourced in Europe or on the American East coast or from Gibraltar. It might sound like petty semantics, and perhaps it is, but hop flavors are affected by different climates in the same way wine grapes, peppers and coffee beans are. It is a technicality, but technicalities are what help us make distinctions, people.
Additionally, it’s a bit confusing to be drinking a Black India Pale Ale, and India Black Ale brings to mind the strong hop finishes an IPA typically has. So what we’re saying is, most breweries making this particular style of beer will worry about semantics and call their beer what it is: A Cascadian Dark Ale.
Whew, OK, that’s enough beer style background. Let’s get to the beer itself.
Tunnel 13 Cascadian Dark Ale
- 2-row malt
- Carafa II
- Columbus (bittering)
- Citra (dry-hop)
From the Brewer:
Common Block Tunnel 13 CDA balances the spicy, citrus, and piney hop flavors of the Pacific Northwest with a laid-back chocolate malt roastiness. In spite of its dark appearance, Tunnel 13 CDA finishes light and smooth. Dark as a tunnel, light as day!
That John, what a poet. We’ve debuted seven beers in the last eight months of being open, and we wont stop brewing now. For further reading on the history behind Tunnel 13 (spoiler alert, there’s murder and robbery involved) check out our other blog post on the name behind the CDA. And keep an eye out for the next beer on the horizon – we’ll be tapping our Session Bitter Ale come mid-September.