Is a CDA an IPA?

Answered by Louis Krause

Is a CDA an ?

When it comes to categorizing styles, things can get a bit tricky. The Cascade Dark , or CDA for short, is a perfect example of this. Is it an IPA? Well, it certainly shares some similarities with the IPA style, but it also has distinct characteristics that set it apart.

First, let's break down what makes an IPA an IPA. IPA stands for India Pale Ale, a style that originated in England and was later popularized in the United States. IPAs are known for their strong hop bitterness, floral and citrusy hop aromas, and a higher content compared to other beer styles. They typically have a pale, golden color and a lighter body.

Now, let's take a closer look at the CDA, or Black IPA as it's commonly referred to outside of the Northwest. The CDA is essentially a beer that takes the hoppy characteristics of an IPA and combines them with the darker, maltier flavors of a or porter. It has a deep, dark color, often bordering on black, hence the name. The use of roasted malts gives it a slightly roasted, chocolatey flavor, but it's not as heavy or thick as a stout.

In terms of , CDAs tend to use a mix of both bittering and aromatic hops. The bitterness is typically more pronounced than in a traditional IPA, but it's balanced out by the roasted flavors. This creates a unique flavor profile that is both hop-forward and complex.

So, is a CDA an IPA? Well, it's not a straightforward answer. While it does share some similarities with IPAs, such as the hop-forward nature and higher alcohol content, it also deviates from the traditional IPA style with its darker color and roasted malt flavors. Some argue that the term “Black IPA” is more fitting, as it captures both the hoppy and dark aspects of the beer. However, in the Northwest, where the style originated, the term CDA has gained popularity and is embraced by many breweries and beer enthusiasts.

Ultimately, whether you call it a CDA, Black IPA, or American Black Ale, the most important thing is the taste. CDAs offer a unique and enjoyable drinking experience, combining the best of both worlds – the hoppy goodness of an IPA and the complexity of a darker beer. So, next time you come across a CDA on a beer menu, give it a try and savor the harmonious blend of hops and dark malts. Cheers!