Cascadian Dark Ale is a relatively new style of beer. It became a recognized style for beer judging competitions in 2010. This style has an interesting history of being called Black IPA, India Black Ale, American-Style Black Ale, and CDA. Even though everyone doesn’t agree on what this style of beer should be called, everyone seems to agree on the style guidelines. The idea is to have a beer that is dark brown to black in color with a prominent Northwest hop aroma and flavor. The dark color should come from the use of crystal, roast, chocolate, and black malts, with just a hint of dark malt flavors. The hop profile should be similar to an American IPA, with a pronounced bitterness with strong flavors of citrus, pine and resin.
Blackfoot River Brewing Company’s CDA does just that. It’s dark brown in color with just a hint of dark malt character that comes off slightly minty. It’s well balanced with a medium body and plenty of hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. The hops come across as citrusy and piney.