Review: Hop in the Dark, Deschutes Brewing

Hop in the Dark
Deschutes Brewing — Bend, OR

  • Style: Cascadian Dark Ale
  • Bitterness: 75 IBU
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • Malts: Dark, Munich, and Crystal
  • Hops: Cascade, Citra, Centennial
  • Sampled: 22 oz. bottle

Description:  “Can an IPA be black? Semantics aside, this noir version adds deep roasted malts to alter the hue and slightly smooth the edges. What emerges is something deeper, less orthodox, and all its own.  We’ve brewed 22 batches of this beer at both our Bend and Portland pubs, experimenting on our customers as we perfected the recipe,” said Brewmaster Larry Sidor. “This beer has subtle coffee undertones born from a blend of oats with dark, Munich and crystal malts. Classic IPA flavors and aromas are due to courageous additions of Cascade, Citra and Centennial hops.  Take the plunge – a hop, if you will – into this new Cascadian Dark Ale. Many may never even try to swim for shore.”— Deschutes Brewing

Random thoughts:  I'm thinking about brewing a CDA, and this is the first one I have sampled.  HITD is part of Deschutes’ Bond Street Series, inspired by Deschutes' original pub in Bend, OR. The three beers in the series (Hop Henge Experimental IPA, Hop Trip Pale Ale, and Hop in the Dark CDA) all emphasize the use of hops—as you might have deduced given the names.  :)

The tasting:  Color is pitch black. I don’t smell a strong hop aroma. However, after the first taste, I got the “grapefruit” flavor which I believe is typical of Centennial hops. Body is light, and it’s much more drinkable than a porter or stout. But it leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste. At 75 IBUs, it's beginning to push the bitterness envelope for IPA (according to style guidelines).

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again.  I like Hop in the Dark, but I’m not absolutely crazy about it. Although this is my first CDA, I think I will be a big fan of the style.

Have you had this beer or any other CDA? If so, let me know if you liked it.


  1. Love this beer. I drink it on tap at the Brew Station in Corvallis. Julie and I are loving the Jubelale right now.

  2. I'll be sure to add Jubelale to my second round of holiday ale reviews.


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