Feral Brewing is confident that Australian beer drinkers are ready for the permanent release of its Karma Citra India Black Ale.
India Black Ale, Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale in the US, has been one of the hottest craft beer styles to emerge in recent years.
“Karma Citra was first brewed in 2011, so it was produced for the very first GABS festival, which was still run at the Local Taphouse at the time,” Feral’s Steve Finney told Australian Brews News.
“In 2011, there really weren’t any other Black IPAs on the market, and it would have been a relatively new style out of the US at the time.”
It still remains a niche category and Feral is certainly bucking the trend in putting Karma Citra in bottle year round, with Carlton & United Breweries recently declaring there was no future in high bitterness, high alcohol craft beers.
Karma Citra is a 5.8 per cent ABV beer with 52 IBUs (International Bitterness Units). It combines American Citra hops with dark malts to create a beer with chocolate and coffee undertones and a big tropical and citrus aroma.
“When Hop Hog came out it was the first IPA out on the market. It’s time to take the next step,” commented Finney.
“At the end of the day, Feral stands for producing beers that other domestic breweries aren’t.”
Finney said Feral boss Brendan Varis is always extremely hesitant about bottling hoppy beers, “because freshness is the number one priority”.
“But it’s probably just starting to hit a time now where there is enough of a market there to be able to release what we see as the next step up from Hop Hog, in flavour profile,” Finney said.
“I think craft beer in Australia’s at that stage. It’s still about balance of flavour. It’s not a beer that’s overwhelming in alcohol, it’s not a beer that has huge bitterness, it’s a balanced beer that has been brewed to the same recipe since 2011.”
Karma Citra will be available nationally on draught and through independent retailers from next week.