Black IPA thing of the past?

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trapae

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Is black IPA a thing of the past now? I actually really enjoy brewing and drinking them but I don’t see them commercially anymore (Great thing about being a homebrewer I guess is that we can brew things that aren’t out there anymore. ). Have they fallen completely out of favor? Unless you live in the redwoods?
 

day_trippr

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I don't think it was ever a real thing...which is fine...

Cheers!
 

Miraculix

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I like a good black IPA! Time for me to brew a session version. Although.... Maybe normal strength.
 

Shenanigans

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When brewed to my tastes it's one of my favourite types of beer.

I think it's a "style" that's difficult to make a commerical success.
Some parts of the craft beer community can't even agree if it exists and others are divided on exactly how it should taste.
I myself personally like a combination of dencent but not too excessive roastiness and lots of hops.
Others expect it to be like a normal IPA, just dark with a minimal to no roast.
Also a lot of the breweries seem to go for big 8%+ beers which is not everyones thing.
Other's just dont drink dark beer, especially in Spring and Summer :p
It's very difficult to get the balance right and keep enough people happy that they keep coming back for more the whole year round.
There's probably also been a lot of examples of bad attempts at brewing black IPAs that have put people off the style too.

Edit - BTW anyone got a decent recipe to share?

This is the best commercial one I ever tasted.
It's from Austria but I got it in a super market in the Netherlands a few years ago.
Can't get it anymore and the brewery didn't reoply to any of my emails asking for some hints on the recipe

 
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beersk

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When brewed to my tastes it's one of my favourite types of beer.

I think it's a "style" that's difficult to make a commerical success.
Some parts of the craft beer community can't even agree if it exists and others are divided on exactly how it should taste.
I myself personally like a combination of dencent but not too excessive roastiness and lots of hops.
Others expect it to be like a normal IPA, just dark with a minimal to no roast.
Also a lot of the breweries seem to go for big 8%+ beers which is not everyones thing.
Other's just dont drink dark beer, especially in Spring and Summer :p
It's very difficult to get the balance right and keep enough people happy that they keep coming back for more the whole year round.
There's probably also been a lot of examples of bad attempts at brewing black IPAs that have put people off the style too.

Edit - BTW anyone got a decent recipe to share?

This is the best commercial one I ever tasted.
It's from Austria but I got it in a super market in the Netherlands a few years ago.
Can't get it anymore and the brewery didn't reoply to any of my emails asking for some hints on the recipe

I just made this. Super stoked for it. I love black IPA and wish it were still around. I don't understand why every brewery needed to make them super strong. What's wrong with just a 6-7% abv like any other IPA? I like to make a couple batches of black IPA every year. According to my tilt, this started at 1.065 and finished at 1.011, for 7%. Was aiming for more like 6.6%, but that'll do. Now debating whether to dry hop or not...

None More Black!
Type: All GrainDate: 10/23/2021
Batch Size: 5.50 galBrewer: Jesse
Boil Size: 6.50 galAsst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Beersk Brewhaus
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00
Taste Notes:
Ingredients
Amount​
Item​
Type​
% or IBU​
12 lbs​
Pale Ale Malt (3.5 SRM)​
Grain​
85.71 %​
1 lbs​
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)​
Grain​
7.14 %​
1 lbs​
Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM)​
Grain​
7.14 %​
1.00 oz​
Columbus/Idaho 7 [10.00 %] (60 min) (First Wort Hop)​
Hops​
31.7 IBU​
1.00 oz​
Columbus/Idaho 7 [10.00 %] (20 min)​
Hops​
17.4 IBU​
1.00 oz​
Columbus/Idaho 7 [10.00 %] (15 min)​
Hops​
14.3 IBU​
1.00 oz​
Columbus/Idaho 7 [10.00 %] (10 min)​
Hops​
10.4 IBU​
1.00 oz​
Columbus/Idaho 7 [10.00 %] (5 min)​
Hops​
5.7 IBU​
1.00 oz​
Columbus/Idaho 7 [10.00 %] (0 min)​
Hops​
-​
2 Pkgs​
BRY-97 (Lallemand)​
Yeast-Ale​

 

Spikybits

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Black IPA is my jam - my favorite IPA style - you should brew it with Cascade if you're going true CDA. Piney, with very slight roast

My house Black IPA/CDA:
59.5 IBU 6.1%ABV SRM 39

61.5% Pils
23.1% 2row
7.7% Caraf II or III - Dehusked if you can
4.4% Victory
3.3% 40L

Hopping for 4 gallons
28g FWH Cascade 37.3 IBU
20g 30m Cascade 13.5 IBU
20g 15m Cascade 6.5 IBU
10g 5m Cascade 2.2 IBU
20g FO Cascade 0 IBU

Lutra Kveik - I prefer as its clean and fast
WL001 - my second choice
 

beersk

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Black IPA is my jam - my favorite IPA style - you should brew it with Cascade if you're going true CDA. Piney, with very slight roast

My house Black IPA/CDA:
59.5 IBU 6.1%ABV SRM 39

61.5% Pils
23.1% 2row
7.7% Caraf II or III - Dehusked if you can
4.4% Victory
3.3% 40L

Hopping for 4 gallons
28g FWH Cascade 37.3 IBU
20g 30m Cascade 13.5 IBU
20g 15m Cascade 6.5 IBU
10g 5m Cascade 2.2 IBU
20g FO Cascade 0 IBU

Lutra Kveik - I prefer as its clean and fast
WL001 - my second choice
Dehusked is a must in my opinion, midnight wheat is best, blackprinz is good also. You get the color and a slight amount of chocolate/roast/coffee character. I think many commercial versions back when black IPA was a thing used to make them too roasty.
 

PCABrewing

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Opinion Alert!
Below is my opinion and you may have a different one. You are not likely to change mine, I'm too old for that, but please don't hesitate to express your own. That's what dialogue is for.

Isn't Black IPA an oxymoron to begin with? How can something be Black and Pale at the same time!
Black Ale would be fine, but then if color is the only attribute being called out as a differentiator then why bother?
You can't taste "black", you can taste toasty or roasty, but not "black".
So what is the point anyhow, in my opinion it is purely marketing BS.

Which brings up the total BS of a canned "Black and Tan"! Is a good stout too much for some (BTW I do not consider Guiness to be a good stout necessarily)? Or is the ale or lager blended unable to stand on its' own merit so it needs a stout to fill-in some flavor gap?
Again why bother? It's like putting a wedge of lime on a corona. That is obviously to compensate for a total inability of the brew to stand on its' own. Don't add fruit to my beer at serving time. If that's how you brew it fine, I'll judge if I like it based on taste.
If you can't draw a pint at the intended serving temp and take a sip and think "man that is a good beer", it aint worth drinking!
And as for beverages that rely on a particular "look", if it doesn't taste better (Black and Tan) don't bother offering it to me.
If I want visual stimulation I'll look at art or a beautiful creature. That's not what I open a beer for.

Rant off, Opinion stated! :)

To the OPs initial post; Let's hope so, there's better use for commercial shelf space.
 

KBW PilotHouse

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Is black IPA a thing of the past now? I actually really enjoy brewing and drinking them but I don’t see them commercially anymore (Great thing about being a homebrewer I guess is that we can brew things that aren’t out there anymore. ). Have they fallen completely out of favor? Unless you live in the redwoods?
Trapae, to answer your question, I’ve been wondering the same. On the East Coast they seem to have disappeared quickly when the NEIPA fad came about. Haven’t seen any commercially in several years. Seems we’re now relegated to doing our own; not that it’s a bad thing!

Cheers🍻
 

Beer-lord

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I brew a black IPA about 5 or 6 times a year. It's the favorite of a few of my friends and is very forgiving as it can cover any possible off flavors. My favorite is Men in Black that I found in this forum in 2012 (thank you tknice). I've adjusted and tried a few variations and they are all very good.
I don't see too many BIPA's being made by the local or national breweries but when I do, I grab them. There was a local collab in my area 2 months ago and I was surprised to see they brew a black IPA and it was great!
 

lumbergh

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Track 7 brewing in Sacramento did one a few weeks ago. It was quite good. They probably still have some if anyone is in the area.

21st amendment brewing makes one called Back in Black that used to be available year round (not sure if it still is). The recipe is in the can you clone it thread.

It's not a highly popular style or else every brewery would have one. I do as someone stated above: I make the styles I like that are hard to find. I've never brewed an IPA or hazy because I can find those everywhere.
 

smata67

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I'm working through a batch of Ace of Spades right now. You don't want to have too pronounced a coffee or roasted flavor for this style, so keep the dark grains (I have used both Weyermann chocolate wheat and Briess Midnight Wheat) at no more than about 5%. I think the Weyermann worked better to be honest. Either one of these gives a beautiful, dense tan colored head. It is also a good idea to add these grains at sparge and not the mash and maybe extend the sparge to 20 minutes, to minimize the coffee/roasted flavors.

I once absent mindedly ground the dark grains with the grain bill and mashed overnight, and though still a good beer, was WAY too much coffee flavor to call it a black ipa. But yeah, a very hard to find style now, my local liquor store which has a vast selection of beers, carries only one specimen, THORNBRIDGE WILD RAVEN BLACK IPA, from the UK apparently...
 

Velnerj

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This is my opinion of black ipa. I feel that it's the cafe-bar of the beer styles. What I mean by that is Cafe-bars serve both coffee specialities and alcohol specialties, but if we're honest with ourselves neither one is done exceptionally well. I'd rather go to a fine roastery and sample some hand roasted, home ground coffee or to a posh bar and be served well balanced cocktails than be stuck drinking mediocre slurry at a two for one...

Black IPAs try to combine stout/porter roastiness and the IPA hop character but both fall flat and become muddled. Commercially you're not going to win the Stout crowd nor IPA crowd.

If you like it, more power to you to brew it at home but there will always only be a small market for it.
 

hout17

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If we are honest with ourselves and look at the history of the IPA we can literally throw a dart at a board and call it an IPA lol. I recommend Ron's book 'The Homebrewers Guide to Vintage Beer' it will open your eyes.
 

Beermeister32

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This is the one to get if you can find it. Stone Sublimely Self-Rightous Black IPA. I’m currently working on a clone recipe, still needs to be dialed in.

Before I tried this, wasn’t too sure about the black IPA thing. I tried it and this beer was FANTASTIC! Go out and find some, you won’t be disappointed.
 

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Miraculix

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Opinion Alert!
Below is my opinion and you may have a different one. You are not likely to change mine, I'm too old for that, but please don't hesitate to express your own. That's what dialogue is for.

Isn't Black IPA an oxymoron to begin with? How can something be Black and Pale at the same time!
Black Ale would be fine, but then if color is the only attribute being called out as a differentiator then why bother?
You can't taste "black", you can taste toasty or roasty, but not "black".
So what is the point anyhow, in my opinion it is purely marketing BS.

Which brings up the total BS of a canned "Black and Tan"! Is a good stout too much for some (BTW I do not consider Guiness to be a good stout necessarily)? Or is the ale or lager blended unable to stand on its' own merit so it needs a stout to fill-in some flavor gap?
Again why bother? It's like putting a wedge of lime on a corona. That is obviously to compensate for a total inability of the brew to stand on its' own. Don't add fruit to my beer at serving time. If that's how you brew it fine, I'll judge if I like it based on taste.
If you can't draw a pint at the intended serving temp and take a sip and think "man that is a good beer", it aint worth drinking!
And as for beverages that rely on a particular "look", if it doesn't taste better (Black and Tan) don't bother offering it to me.
If I want visual stimulation I'll look at art or a beautiful creature. That's not what I open a beer for.

Rant off, Opinion stated! :)

To the OPs initial post; Let's hope so, there's better use for commercial shelf space.
I agree. ABA or iba would be far better concerning the naming.
 

smata67

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Black IPA has its own BJCP descriptor under Specialty Beers, so it is unique enough to have its own category. It will have some subtle coffee/roasted flavors that differentiate it from an IPA, it is not just color. If I ordered an IPA at a bar and was given a Black IPA, it would not be what I was expecting. So having its own name is of great value.
 

Steverus07

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Yeah, I’m with OP. Same with Brüt IPAs that seem to be just about gone in the NEIPA craze. I prefer the term Cascadian Dark ale because it just makes more marketing sense to me, but whatever you call it a hoppy dark ale is welcome in my home.

This sorta thing is what I love about being a home brewer. The market will do what it does, but I can keep great styles that I love on rotation. If I can’t get friends and family to drink then maybe I’ll brew them infrequently, but my wife loves the brut IPA I have on tap and am dialing in.

also, for commercial examples that were great, I loved the Firestone Walker Wookey Jack.
 

Shenanigans

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This is the one to get if you can find it. Stone Sublimely Self-Rightous Black IPA. I’m currently working on a clone recipe, still needs to be dialed in.

Before I tried this, wasn’t too sure about the black IPA thing. I tried it and this beer was FANTASTIC! Go out and find some, you won’t be disappointed.

Alot of people recommend that beer as being one of the best in class but it's not easily available here :(
Even though it's one of those over 8% beers I mentioned above it's actually on my "too brew soon" list.
Hopefully I'll get it done before the end of the year.
Stone practically shared the recipe so there is one tried and trusted one out there on Brewer's Friend based on their information that I'm going to try.
 

rmchair

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It's the key lime pie of beer. Hard to replicate the perfect recipe for the perfect moment.
I had one years ago at North Idaho Mountain Brewing that changed my life and have been chasing it ever since. My buddy swears by the Sun King one but I have never had it.

Most use the wrong roastiness, wrong hops or go too dry or way too malty. I also suppose the hazy is so different a path it has wounded the expectations for a black ipa.

I also think it's a
Similarly hard to nail down as rye ipa. The perfect one is Lake Tribe's Red Cloud. All others are just not quite right.
 

PCABrewing

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Black IPA has its own BJCP descriptor under Specialty Beers, so it is unique enough to have its own category

I did not notice that. I have not had one that impressed me enough to seek it out.
I still find the name to be an oxymoron :)
Learned something new.
 

shawn252

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Well I can't answer your question, but I sure hope not. I have only had one commercially that I really liked. I have a good recipe that I really like. I was short some corn sugar, so I added some brown sugar to the recipe that made it very good. It is probably my most brewed beer. I will try to remember to share.
 

beersk

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Opinion Alert!
Below is my opinion and you may have a different one. You are not likely to change mine, I'm too old for that, but please don't hesitate to express your own. That's what dialogue is for.

Isn't Black IPA an oxymoron to begin with? How can something be Black and Pale at the same time!
Black Ale would be fine, but then if color is the only attribute being called out as a differentiator then why bother?
You can't taste "black", you can taste toasty or roasty, but not "black".
So what is the point anyhow, in my opinion it is purely marketing BS.

Which brings up the total BS of a canned "Black and Tan"! Is a good stout too much for some (BTW I do not consider Guiness to be a good stout necessarily)? Or is the ale or lager blended unable to stand on its' own merit so it needs a stout to fill-in some flavor gap?
Again why bother? It's like putting a wedge of lime on a corona. That is obviously to compensate for a total inability of the brew to stand on its' own. Don't add fruit to my beer at serving time. If that's how you brew it fine, I'll judge if I like it based on taste.
If you can't draw a pint at the intended serving temp and take a sip and think "man that is a good beer", it aint worth drinking!
And as for beverages that rely on a particular "look", if it doesn't taste better (Black and Tan) don't bother offering it to me.
If I want visual stimulation I'll look at art or a beautiful creature. That's not what I open a beer for.

Rant off, Opinion stated! :)

To the OPs initial post; Let's hope so, there's better use for commercial shelf space.
This simple answer is NO. Black IPA is not an oxymoron because IPA, to begin with, these days, has NOTHING to do with India, and most are also NOT pale. So this argument for black IPA needs to stop here and now. I always thought that was the dumbest thing that folks up in "Cascadia" argued over. Life is full of oxymorons AND disappointments. Get used to it.

Black IPA describes EXACTLY what the beer is. And IPA that is black. There are also: White IPA, Red IPA, Brown IPA, English IPA... Give it up dude. That argument is nil, finito, finished, OVER.

I agree about black & tan in a can. That's just dumb.

Some may argue about New England IPA. Sure, maybe a region shouldn't claim it. Call it a Hazy IPA, I don't care. Black IPA was created in New England, though, by Greg Noonan at Vermont Brewing back in the 90's supposedly, so Cascadia claiming the style is also kind of silly. It might not have been called a black IPA, but it was a porter hopped up like an IPA, by historical accounts. But this whole argument is 10+ years old. Where were you back then?
 

hout17

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Well there are British stouts and porters from the 1800's that are hopped anywhere from 90 - 200 IBU so saying people invented these styles is interesting. I guess making up a name is inventing a style lol. This absolutely deserves a thousand eye rolls.

Edit: Here's an HBT thread for you Black IPA patriots lol.
 
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Well as far as a commercial beer I never really felt that it ever took off or was ever really a thing. Personally I was never a fan of the style. I kind of felt the roast and the bitterness was a clash in flavor profiles and never really hit my yummy button. All that having been said I think it was kind of intriguing that this style was created and if I'm not mistaken by a homebrewer. Then pulled into the commercial world. I mean realistically it is a "style" it has a place in the BJCP guidelines I'm going off memory here but I believe it's actually listed under specialty beers. Over the years I've had many of many of these come into the store on the Homebrew side and just, like I said never really hit my yummy button. It is definitely one of the cool things about being a home brewer is you have the ability to make the beers you cannot find.

Cheers
Jay
 

grampamark

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FWIW, this is the description in the style guidelines-
Description
A substyle of Specialty IPA (21B). A beer with the dryness, hop-forward balance, and flavor characteristics of an American IPA, only darker in color – but without strongly roasted or burnt flavors. The flavor of darker malts is gentle and supportive, not a major flavor component. Drinkability is a key characteristic. History: A variation of the American IPA style first commercially produced by Greg Noonan as Blackwatch IPA around 1990. Popularized in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California of the US starting in the early-mid 2000s. This style is sometimes known as Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA), mainly in the Pacific Northwest. Style Comparison: Balance and overall impression of an American or Double IPA with restrained roast similar to the type found in Schwarzbiers. Not as roasty-burnt as American stouts and porters, and with less body and increased smoothness and drinkability. Entry Instructions: Entrant must specify a strength (session, standard, double); if no strength is specified, standard will be assumed. Entrant must specify specific type of Specialty IPA from the library of known types listed in the Style Guidelines, or as amended by the BJCP web site; or the entrant must describe the type of Specialty IPA and its key characteristics in comment form so judges will know what to expect. Entrants may specify specific hop varieties used, if entrants feel that judges may not recognize the varietal characteristics of newer hops. Entrants may specify a combination of defined IPA types (e.g., Black Rye IPA) without providing additional descriptions. Entrants may use this category for a different strength version of an IPA defined by its own BJCP subcategory (e.g., session-strength American or English IPA) – except where an existing BJCP subcategory already exists for that style (e.g., double [American] IPA).
 

pc_trott

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I'm fairly new at this, and still mostly an extract brewer, but my favorite brew is Northern Brewer's "Ace of Spades IPA." I've brewed it three times, and every bottle was delicious! As with all such things, de gustibus non est disputandem. (Latin for, "If you don't like this, your tastebuds must have died!")
 
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