Cascadian Wheat Ale – a beer is born

I’m calling it! I’ve had enough with ‘IPA’ being used as a byword for ‘lots of hops’. IPA has a great history that has genuinely developed over time to mean a range of beers that have a common theme. Pale malts, well bittered and dry hopped aromatics. Which malt? what hops? how much? – its kind of up to the brewer, but whether you are enjoying a Lighthouse Switchback IPA from BC, Canada, the East India Pale Ale from the Brooklyn Brewery in New York or the IPA from Meantime Brewing in London, we know what family we are in, and rightly so. Black IPA, White IPA, Belgian IPA, India Session Ale?….. oh come on! Get your own bloody names people – leave India out of it!

There have been a number of “White IPAs” on the market in the US and Canada, but when Vancouver Island Brewery released their rather delicious Flying Tanker White IPA, it struck me as a missed opportunity. We Cascadians are at the centre of craft brewing in North America, whether you are in Oregon, Washington or British Columbia, we have much in common, not least our hops and innovation. So why not take this opportunity to create our own names for a new generation of beer, rather than pilfering the 19th century. North American IPA, West Coast IPA, Cascadian IPA, Pacific North West IPA… fine,  they all mean something. They are our versions of the classic British IPA. They maintain an historic philosophy while interpreting the style with their own local inspiration. But White IPA?

Please brewers and beer marketers, stop mis-using IPA and forge a new identity. Cascadia is the home of hoppy brews and great hop varieties, so why not make some new beer styles our own! We have tried with Cascadian Dark Ale, lets seize Cascadian Wheat Ale before it is too late!

2 comments to Cascadian Wheat Ale – a beer is born

  • BeerLearner

    I like the idea of Cascadian Wheat Ale. On the other side of the fence though, I could see many breweries using the ‘marketing’ method in using the IPA terminology. One could say they may be trying to reach those people that regularly consume Alexander Keith so-called IPA. By naming their own product ‘IPA’, it could be construed that they are trying to get those customers to switch over to an overall better product. Ok, Ok, I know that’s potentially a weak argument but hear me out. The same theory could be applied to cheese (i.e. calling it ‘authentic’ cheddar), beef (the word Angus gets thrown around a lot), I think you get the idea.

    Let’s face it – in Cascadian, our breweries product higher quality brews that use more hops. We like our hops so our skill level in creating better quality ones is likewise accordant. The same could be same for Alberta & wheat ales (or wits, or weissbiers, etc, etc). They have ready access to wheat, so why wouldn’t their wheat ales and the like be of better quality? Doesn’t the same translate to Burton Ales? Ok, but to reign things in here, BeerWrangler – I’m in complete compliance with ya. The last while I have found myself in a random beer store saying to my girlfriend: “Look at this honey, yet another IPA!”

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