Welcome to PW's 50-Beer Countdown to Philly Beer Week! Every day from now through the Opening Tap ceremonies on May 31, we'll be getting in the mood by spotlighting a different great craft brew that's been poured by one or more Philly Beer Week participating venues.
At this point, everyone knows IPA. It’s THE style in craft beer, the one style almost every brewery makes, and the one, along with imperial stouts, that wins all the accolades on rating sites. So no surprise that brewers began playing with the “hops, hops, and more hops” approach of American IPAs, and in the process created brand new styles. One of them is Black IPA, aka Cascadian Ale. Back in Black is a fine example of this very new invention in beer brewing. The beer is dark like a Guinness, but has the light body and aggressive hopping of an IPA, countered by black malts that lend it touches of chocolate and espresso. Sounds like it should clash, but it doesn’t. Against all expectations, this works nicely with the pine- and citrus-laden hopping of the beer. Back in Black isn’t the best example of this style, but it IS both widely available and tasty. Back in Black is sometimes available at Percy Street and The Irish Pol.