Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The wife and I wandered through the streets of Old Town and the Pearl District of Portland until we arrived at one of the sources of some of my favorite beers: Deschutes Brewery & Public House, Portland edition.

I ordered a sampler tray of six beers of my choosing. I decided to enjoy some of the pub exclusive brews, seasonal beers, and variations rather than the core brews with which I was already familiar.

4 ounce taster, on tap.
IBUs: 27 Alcohol content: 4.5%

"This experimental golden ale was brewed using Munich and Victory specialty malts. The experiment behind this beer was in the hops. One kind of experimental hop was used to accentuate the flavor and aroma of the hop. Comments are much appreciated."

Hazy, buttery yellow in color. The aroma is strong of peach, pear, and citrus. The flavor is sweet and then mellows, consisting mostly of orange, with light pear, a hint of peach, and an undergirding of wheat. It's good.


4 ounce taster, on tap.
IBUs: 33 Alcohol content: 5.0%

"Keller is the German word for cellar. This beer is called this because it is unfiltered Pilsner like you would get straight from our cellar. The beer is made up of all German ingredients which include yeast, malt, and hops."

This was my least favorite of the bunch. I may have missed something, but I don't think so.

Clear yellow with a faint head. There is almost no aroma. Is that a hint of wet paper? Faintly perfumed damp paper? Straw? Hay? I don't know. There is a wee bit more flavor than aroma, but it is like licking the dust on the inside of a box of sweetened cereal. It is very light in the mouth and unobtrusive. It is on the verge of nonexistence.


4 ounce taster, on tap.
IBUs: 38 Alcohol content: 5.3%

"Our first fresh hop beer of the season made with Sterling hops from the Goschie farm near Mt. Angel, Oregon. This pale ale, made with light crystal malts and straight-from-the-vine Sterling hops, is very well balanced. Enjoy the excellent aroma and flavor of this crisp pale ale."

A slight head sits upon a yellow-orange body. The main aroma is a citrus and pear mixture, with peach trying to make an appearance. The main flavors are caramel, citrus and pear, and apricot. The mouthfeel tends toward thick and oily. This is good stuff.


4 ounce taster, on tap.
IBUs: 40 Alcohol content: 5.0%

"Our Head Brewer just couldn't get enough of the fresh hops this season, so he added freshly picked Cascade hops to our Mirror Pond Pale Ale, which is already brewed with copious amounts of Cascade hops, to give it the freshest aroma of the season."

Mirror Pond Pale Ale is a good pale ale in its own right. This fresh hopped version is even better.

Everything is orange. Orange is present in the color, the aroma, and the flavor. Additional aromas are of apricot and apple. Additional flavors are of apricot and malts. There is also a floral hint that tickles the tongue. This is thick in the mouth. Its thin head leaves behind a lot of lacing.


4 ounce taster, on tap.
IBUs: 38 Alcohol content: 5.5%

"Deschutes's brewers took the journey over to the Willamette Valley to pick an abundant amount of the freshest whole leaf Crystal hops straight from the vines of Doug Weather's farm. The return trip to Bend was greeted with a homecoming welcome as the hops were immediately added to the boiling brew kettle. The first brew started soon after a phone call was received from the Willamette Valley confirming the hops were loaded on the truck. Roughly 680 pounds of Crystal hops were added to each of the 120 barrel batches in addition to some dry kilned whole flower hops. All together, there are pounds of hops per barrel. A brisk hop flavor is created with a finish of soothing bitterness from the fresh hop oils."

This is excellent in the bottle and even more so from the tap.

A copper body supported a wee bit of white head that left behind excellent lacing. The aroma was light and refreshing—caramel, orange, nectarine. The same flavors were complemented by an undertone of vegetation that was reminiscent of the scent of newly flowering stinging nettles right after a brisk spring rain. Also, some light spiciness. Wonderful.


4 ounce taster, on tap.
IBUs: 23 Alcohol content: 5.3%

"This year's version of PDX Deschutes Brewery's Oktoberfest utilizes German Pilsner and Munich malts, as well as German Northern Brewer and German Hallertau hops. This easy drinking lager will go well with most German fare. Prost!"

Octoberfest was orange with a yellow tinge. It smelled leafy and of caramel. The flavors were not exactly what I was expecting—earthiness, caramel, candy necklace, and a hint of varnish. It was sweeter than anticipated. It was okay, but I think there are better Oktoberfest beers.


This was a great "six pack" of beers. The best of the bunch were definitely Goschie's, Fresh Hopped Mirror Pond, and Hop Trip. And they were best enjoyed in that order, each building upon the foundation laid by its predecessor.

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