BridgePort Brewing Co. just released Dark Rain, the newest addition to their lineup. Dubbed a “Black Pale Ale," I was curious to learn more about the style behind this new beer. I also wanted to know what happened to Café Negro, so I sent a note to Jeff Edgerton, BridgePort Brewmaster. Here’s what Jeff told me.
Jeff Edgerton: Café Negro came out of the gate hard and fast last January and most people that I know really enjoyed it. However, the company made a decision not to bring it back this year. We never say never on bringing a beer back at some point in the future, but I don’t think that I will be making it anytime soon.
Dark Rain is a "Black Pale Ale". Black IPAs/CDAs are very popular, but you took a slightly different route. What do you want to accomplish with this beer and how does it differ from a CDA?
JE: We agonized a bit over the style moniker on Dark Rain and, as you say, we did take a slightly different route with this beer. We used Midnight Wheat for a pleasant round roastiness and dry-hop this beer with a really nice American hop variety called Nugget. I personally don’t think that a beer has to be super-high alcohol to be balanced and a good drink. So I argued that we should keep the ABV in a lower range to make this beer a bit more sessionable than the CDA’s and Black IPA’s that tend to be in the higher range. “Black Pale Ale” seemed to be the most honest and accurate descriptor for this style.
Is Dark Rain a spring seasonal or part of the year-round lineup?
JE: Dark Rain is currently slated to be just a Winter/Early Spring Seasonal and will be followed by Summer Squeeze.
Can you give us a preview of upcoming releases and brewery plans?
JE: Look for Stumptown Tart to make a return. I’m not 100% sure as to the fruit yet this year. We may be looking at a late summer seasonal product between Summer Squeeze and Ebenezer (still talking about it). For our Big Brew series, look for one brew that will be completely outside the box for Bridgeport and also for the return of a one of a past favorite product in 22 oz.
A big thanks to Jeff for taking the time to spin me up! I’m looking forward to tasting what BridgePort has in store for us in 2012!