last September I was able to visit Bear Republic. I was able to jump behind the bar, chat with brewers and sample everything from the Peter Brown Tribute to the Grand Am, right from the source. Solid beers that are becoming easier to find across the US as their distribution expands.
Maybe it was the gorgeous Northern California setting, or the charming bar managers, or the fantastically solid beer, but I became a fan of what this growing team is doing up North. And then they go and make a Black IPA, one of my favorite new styles.
Black IPA’s are becoming more common, a great trend that craft breweries are embracing all over the US. Maybe as a way to satisfy people like me, stout lovers who also adore an IPA. A hoppy beer, with a roasted malt that adds a smooth, balanced, nearly stout like flavor. The Black Racer IPA is a great example of this growing beer phenomenon.
Black Racer is just as hoppy as you want an IPA to be, but with a smoother, rounded malty finish. It has a leaning towards a traditional IPA, with high notes like citrus and pine as well as a fairly high carbonation, but with some dark beer flavors of malt and coffee.
Black IPA’s are both a great example of how the creativity of brewers are blurring the lines of beer styles, as well as another great, endless craft beer debate we all love to partake in from time to time. How do you differentiate between a hoppy stout and a dark IPA? Brewers discretion?
When it’s this good, they can call it what they want and the brewers will always have my full support.