One of the newest style hybridizations to emerge from the craft beer scene, this one was started by brewers in the America looking for unique ways to play off the bitter astringencies in dark malts and the same characteristics in bittering hops. Perhaps beginning with India Brown Ales brewed on the east coast, or perhaps with Black Bitters brewed on the west coast, the definition of this style has since coalesced around a hopping regime very similar to authentic American IPAs, minimal and balanced (often specially debittered) roastiness imparted by the dark malt addition, and a dry, quenching finish similar to the finest west coast IPAs. The end result is dark and roasty like a stout, but hoppy and dry like an IPA. They call it a Black IPA, India Black Ale, or Cascadian IPA, but we just call it delicious.
After several attempts to dial a recipe for this style in, we found a real winner. Specially debittered black malt provides color and just a hint of coffee and toasted notes to an otherwise simple, slightly caramelized palette upon which we’ve tossed enormous amounts of three different varieties of highly aromatic American west coast hops, including a continuous hopping regimen over the last ten minutes of the boil to provide a maximum burst of hop flavor and aroma. The end result is a beer as crisp and resinous as a fresh IPA, but as dark as Cebu’s own Black Shama.
The Black Shama (Copsychus cebuensis) or Siloy is endemic to our island, and is one of only three species of birds found on Cebu and nowhere else in the world. It has gone from a common sight around the island–where one could hear its rich, varied song in the early mornings, including its attempts to mimic the sounds of other birds–to endangered and near extinction as a result of the destruction of the moist lowland forests and shrubland that it calls home. As with all our Humulus-Lapu-Lapulus beers, 10% of all proceeds from these beers will go to programmatic efforts by a wildlife conservation organization dedicated to protecting the Siloy and other Cebuano area natural treasures.