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Monday, February 16, 2009

Deschutes News

Last night, tuning into KGW to get the wrap-up on the All Star game (Brandon acquitted himself nicely), I saw a piece on two new Deschutes beers, brewed for the sesquicentennial. I posed a question earlier this year about what kind of beer would be appropriate for the milestone; well, here's what a couple brewers from Deschutes came up with.

Maiden Oregon Ale, brewed at our Portland Brew Pub by Cam O’Connor, is a Belgian amber ale that was brewed using Crystal hops from the Willamette valley, organic 2-row barley from Klamath Falls, water from Mt. Hood, Oregon beet sugar from Nyssa, and yeast from Wyeast labs in Hood River. At 8.0% alcohol by volume, this one will be best enjoyed sipped out of a snifter glass.

Oregon 150 Ale was brewed at our Bend Brew Pub by Paul Arney. This beer has a very unique color and flavor that makes it hard to categorize. Brewed with barley malt grown in the Klamath Falls basin (malted in Portland), blackberry honey from Yamhill County, Oregon marionberries and Crystal hops from the Willamette Valley we have created a beer like you’ve never tasted before. Our mash conversion took place at, you guessed it, 150 degrees!

My grandparents lived in Nyssa, and my aunt and uncle farm nearby in Vale (though they no longer grow sugar beets). It was a hallmark of my youth to see the White Satin plant as I drove across the border from Idaho to visit them. So it will be a delight to see if I can taste the Nyssa influence.

Incidentally, you may have seen the words "Experimental IPA" on the new Hop Henge. (I did last night, as I picked up a bottle, along with a new Widmer '09. Reviews to come.) Gary Fish and Larry Sidor explain the "experimental" at their blog. You should read the whole piece for its information/entertainment value, but here's a taste:
We have been experimenting with different hops and hop addition techniques. Some new, some old and some quite unique. Through all of this, our quest has been to produce a teeth staining, mouth numbing, tongue scraping IPA that would impress the most iron-lipped hop head. We have come a long way and, judging by the reviews I’ve read on many of you also think we’re doing pretty well with that.
I welcome this move by breweries to start blogging (you'll notice links in my blogroll to brewing bloggers). It's really fascinating to see the thought processes behind the beers. Keep it up, men!

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