The basic distinction between an ale and a lager comes down to the strain of yeast they’re fermented with, how it operates, and how it likes to be treated. Without getting into varying technicalities, ales are brewed with a top-fermenting yeast that prefers warmer temperatures while lagers are brewed with bottom-fermenting yeasts that prefer colder temps. These load-bearing branches of beer’s family tree have each spawned countless styles, and they rarely intersect, but sometimes they do. Today, we’re going to talk about one of those times.

In 2018, Gold Dot Beer’s Kevin Davey was working as the brewmaster of Portland, Ore.’s Wayfinder Beer when he hit upon the idea of brewing an India Pale Ale with lager yeast. Hazy IPAs had yet to step into their role as the dominant substyle of the traditional West Coast variety, and this was the age of tinkering. In fact, Davey says his experimental brew was an answer of sorts to Kim Sturdavant’s Brut IPA invention in San Francisco during that same era. Davey called his crisp, clear, dry-hopped creation “Cold IPA” — a nod to its lager-like production process, and the temperature at which it’s meant to be enjoyed.

On this episode of “Taplines,” we’re joined by none other than Davey himself to recount the genesis of this now-famous substyle. Tune in for more.

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