Thursday, March 10, 2016

Greenbush Anger Black IPA

by Jim Lannen

The India Pale Ale style of beer has been (and still is) quite popular. It seems like every few years a new craft brewery is opening and producing these heavy hopped West Coast IPAs. Of course, with every trend, there comes time for some change...

An emerging new beer style is offering a darker twist to the traditional flavor profile of these hop heavy brews. The American black ale, otherwise known as a black IPA (or the India Dark Ale, India Black Ale or dark IPA), is starting to gain some interest.

The Black IPA is not necessarily a new style of beer.  In fact, there is some debate whether it's a style all together. Many believe it is only a variation of an American style IPA that is brewed with darker malts, such as those used in porters and stouts.

These black IPAs fit the palate of the "in-between" winter and spring month beer drinkers. It offers the heavy hop and a high ABV that a typical IPA offers. However it also offers a distinct toasty dark malt character with a roast of a strong stout and porter. Black IPAs are a hard style for breweries to dial in, as dark malt sharpness often combines with hop bitterness for an overwhelmingly dry, astringent finish. To each their own when it comes to different styles of beer, but we brought one in for you to try.

Greenbush Brewery out of Sawyer, Michigan started back in 2011. The "good ideas often start over a beer" thought process is where this brewery began. Craft beer is their specialty, and no beer in the place is less than 6% ABV. The names of their beers are quite interesting as well, with names like Broken Promises, Closure, Pain, Distorter, Retribution or Pain. 

Their black IPA is called Anger and starts with a neatly balanced chocolate and roasted malt flavors with piney, citrusy hops.  The bitterness does not tip the scale, and an added fruity thread from Belgian dark malts lends more complexity.

Here is one review from "This is the best Black IPA I've ever had. Black beer with a beige head. Smells of roast pine, and chocolate. Huge flavor of chocolate roastiness. Great hop bitterness. I was overall very impressed with this beer."

Discover whether you agree. Try out a glass of this non-traditional brew next time you stop in!

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