Oakshire Makes First Cascadian Dark Ale

Eugene’s Oakshire Brewing has received label approval for a new beer, O’Dark:30 Cascadian Dark Ale. Oakshire’s brew team will begin brewing this beer on Thursday February 11, 2010.  Unlike Widmer ’10 and Hopworks Secession, two other excellent commercial examples of the beer style to be recently released, Oakshire elected to make the leap and clearly label their beer as a Cascadian Dark Ale instead of a Black IPA.

Oakshire Brewmaster Matt Van Wyk the beer will be “Nearly jet black in color, and low to medium bodied, the beer is deceptive for sure. With aromas and flavors of Pacific Northwest hops interwoven against a subtle background of roast and chocolate flavors, this Cascadian Dark Ale is an ode to balance.”

Van Wyk adds “At Oakshire Brewing, we’re not claiming to have made the first dark and hoppy beer, we’re just supporting the movement to name this style properly. We hope that we can be leaders in helping people not only enjoy, but also understand ‘better beer’.”

Here’s some statistics:

OG 15 plato, IBUs 70, ABV 6.3

Malts: 2-row, Wheat, Carfa III

Hops: Nugget, Cascade

When we asked Van Wyk what he though about other breweries using Black IPA instead of Cascadian Dark Ale on their labels. He said “It is a tough situation for sure re-labeling. At the end of the day, you have to sell beer and the best way to do that is make sure the customer knows what they are getting. We didn’t go “all in” so to speak because we added “aka Black IPA” to the side. But, we do feel strongly that having a different name for this beer style is important and we were going to feature it prominently on this label. It’s pretty hard to help educate the consumer if the only place they can learn about CDAs is from a handful of beer writers and a little word of mouth. I can’t speak for other Pacific Northwest brewers and their decisions, we just know what this should be and as a company are going to stand behind the movement. Change is hard for people. But as someone told me repeatedly, ‘If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!'”
What sort of stuff do you guys have lined up for Zwickelmania?

More from Oakshire on this beer:

So we’re calling it A Cascadian Dark Ale. Yep, not scared. New nomenclature for a beer that’s has been made for a while. Customer confusion? Maybe for a little while. But you’ll all eventually come over to the Dark Side, right?

And because I couldn’t upload a bigger graphic without covering the whole screen, I’ll tell you what the verbiage is under the graphic:

“Dawn has not arrived, But we are awake-making beer. A tribute to Oregon’s brewers, O’Dark:30 is a beguiling blend of dark malt and NW hops-A beer style as unique as our heritage.”

Oh yeah, release date: March 3 is the scheduled date. Enjoy it all spring on draft and in bottles.