Review – Fall Seasonal Black DIPA from Institution Ales

My love / hate relationship with Black IPA’s continues with the 2021 Fall Seasonal from Institution Ales.

It pours a dark brown, near black with a light tan head. It has a spiced coffee latte aroma. Not PSL but nice. The balance is tilted more to the malt side. Quite bready and filling. The bitterness is more of a counterpoint. I like the re-emerging trend back to this style but I just wish the hops would be more assertive.

German Apparel

When a brewery ties itself to a specific style, it can cut a couple ways. One is that certain styles are left aside that are fun or hot sellers but it can also mean that hardcore fans get chuffed if you do anything other than what your mission statement from years ago said.

Enter the elegant solution of collaborating with another brewery when you want to break out of the straitjacket. Hence, Enegren teaming with Institution Ales for an IPA.


Institution Ale Company has added to the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) range of beers with their ominously named Surviving California IPA. I don’t know what kind weird Westworld meets drama mask theme is about but I do like the lemony tumbleweed.

Institution Ale Company

No this isn’t the continuation of the popular American Horror Story series, but Institution Ale Company is named after an institution (former state psychiatric ) near where the brewery stands.


They are based in Camarillo and you will probably find them the easiest at Wades Wines in Agoura Hills, since the people behind it used to work there.

Here are some of the first beers rolling out:

Sedation – a Session Red Ale at 4.0% alc.
Ratched Rye Porter
Restraint – a Brown Ale Aged on Hard Maple Wood
IPA – with no special moniker but clocking in at 7.5% abv