Beer Review: Coast’s Event Horizon Cascadian Dark Ale


Photo By Daniel McCord


Science has always been a challenge to me.  Especially the ideas surrounding black holes, spacetime, general relativity, gravity fields, quantum mechanics, (at this point I’m just throwing out words I’ve heard while flipping quickly past the Discovery channel), etc.  To be honest, general biology is challenging enough– just figuring out how to keep plants alive in my apartment is a Herculean mission for me.  Those guys at Coast Brewing in Charleston must have more than just great brewing down to a science to name their seasonal Cascadian Dark Ale after a phenomenon known as Event Horizon.  This is the part where I would explain what an Event Horizon is, but even after reading the Wikipedia page, which is the extent of my research, I still do not completely understand the concept.  Something about black holes and “the point of no return.”  Mind blown.  What I do understand is that Coast’s Event Horizon is a great beer and that is the kind of science I can appreciate.

Event Horizon Cascadian Dark Ale is in the style of a Black IPA.  This type of brew has also been labeled India Dark Ale, India Black Ale, India Brown Ale, Dark IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale.  You get the idea.  It’s not rocket science to understand that it is a marriage of an IPA and a darker brew.  Although it is controversial about where and when this style originated, the character and flavors of Black IPAs are typical of medium to high hops, high ABV, roasted malts, and medium body.  Event Horizon is no different.  Described by Coast themselves as a “beer brewed like a stout but with the flavors of an IPA,” Event Horizon is a fabulous beer to drink with food, particularly a pepper jack burger or BBQ ribs.

Pouring dark brown with a creamy beige head reminiscent of a cappuccino, Event Horizon leans more in the medium-hopped direction revealing a pleasant bitterness that routinely accompanies an IPA.  Although this beer is dark in color and is brewed as a stout, it is not filling or heavy like a full-bodied stout would be, allowing you to take down that spicy burger without requiring a wheelbarrow to get you out of the kitchen and onto the couch.  Notes of coffee and unsweetened cocoa are present, giving a friendly nod to a stout brew without overwhelming the drinker.  On the nose there is a nice amount of citrus and pine emanating from the hops.  Event Horizon’s mouthfeel approaches creamy-smooth with an agreeable level of carbonation and maintains an ABV of 7%.  Although I enjoyed Event Horizon poured from a bomber from Green’s Beverages downtown, it is also available on draft and can be purchased by the growler, though I have yet to see it in the Columbia area.  Overall, I give Coast four out of five collapsing stars for the Event Horizon Cascadian Dark Ale.  This beer is yet another great seasonal from a great brewery.  Don’t be scared of diving into the Black Hole, try it.  You cannot be affected by the beer’s deliciousness if you remain an outside observer.