Sudwerk Brewing - Cascaderade
- Alcohol by Volume: 6.6%
- Serving Temperature: 43–51° F
- Suggested Glassware: Nonic, Pilsner, or IPA Glass
What a great start. Sudwerk’s impressed in the past, no doubt—and their India Pale Lager is nothing close to a slouch. The name’s inspired by the Cascade hop, of course, and this one’s were grown in Yakima Valley. Hop lineup? “Cascade, Perle, Falconers. And more Cascade.”
Lagers aren’t supposed to taste like this. At least, that’s what one curmudgeonly dark corner of your head might say while the rest of you gets the hop tingles. Sudwerk’s Cascaderade is a dank, juicy, generous take, while the lager fermentation means there’s less fruitiness to get in the way of the Cascade additions. Maybe we’re overplaying this. Maybe we’re in the mood to fall in love. But! Every time we returned to our glasses, we found ourselves more impressed.
This pours like an IPA: a blossoming honey-gold, deeply orange, a frothy off-white head that coats the glass. The aroma is like running face-first through hop fields, with delicious lemons and lime and pine notes leading. Further back, there are ripe berries, more resin, and the soft sweetness of candied oranges. The lattermost speaks more to this beer’s balance than any bit of lingering sugar, as there’s just enough roundness left in the mouthfeel to fully amplify just how much hop flavor and aromatics are packed in. There’s nothing astringent here, nothing to take away from what Cascade and its compatriots are offering. We found mango, passion fruit, and endless layers of candied lemon plus pleasantly bitter citrus. This feels sleak, with a lean profile overall, miniscule bubbles, and, again, just a subtle lift of light caramelized sugars in the background, counteracting the potential hop juice overload. Even up at 6.6%, this was refreshing, crisp around the edges, with a hop character that wowed. Consider us impressed.
As Sudwerk subtly puts it: Elevate your lager experience.
We’ve enjoyed various batches of this beer over the past few years. And this latest was pretty much the most expressive we remember, calling back memories of releases from Jack’s Abby over in Massachusetts and a few other like-minded IPL brewers around the country. We can, probably on one hand, count up the number of breweries doing IPLs at this level. At this point, we’re not too surprised that Sudwerk Brewing in Davis has now joined those rarified ranks.
This is by no means a style that should be hanging out in one’s cellar, and how anyone could get through summer and have bottles remaining is pretty far beyond our imaginations. Drink bottles of this fresh, and, for pairing, look to crisp salads, or grilled chicken with fresh herbs.
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