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The intimate story behind BlackStack Brewing’s ephemeral Soul Lao’d IPA

Updated: Dec 23, 2021


There is no beer more polarizing than the India Pale Ale. While loyal hopheads swear by the IPA, others keep a safe distance from that week-old tangerine peel funk parading as a beverage.  Jokes aside, regardless of which camp you find yourself in, there’s no denying that IPAs dominate. You’d be hard-pressed to find a taproom without a couple on the menu absolutely anywhere in the country. 

Not only are IPAs hopelessly ubiquitous and an easy fallback for the uninitiated, they’re also the juggernaut of the industry. They were onnce the unofficial libation of the British East India Company. Then a catalyst of the stateside craft beer revolution. Now, brewers both large and small rely on IPAs to get by today. And drinkers in the United States can’t seem to get enough. From ales built with the classic columbus, centennial, or cascade hops (the Three Cs), to smooth and creamy milkshake IPAs balanced with lactose, America’s appetite for IPAs shows no signs of diminishing. 

But the rules of the local IPA game changed with this past February’s release of a collaboration between BlackStack Brewing and Soul Lao. Their Soul Lao’d Lao IPA was for the adventurous, a beacon in a beerscape overcrowded with lackluster, bleached brews. Forget conspicuous dank and barely-there citrus. Soul Lao’d was all blaze and bright flavor, delicately tempered by herbaceous aromatics. While it flowed freely in the BlackStack taproom, Soul Lao’d was the unexpected magic that happens when a garden variety pale ale meets imagination, creativity, and cross-cultural resonance.

Read the full City Pages article here.

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