things i learned from deschutes

one last post about hopscotch 2010!

i was lucky enough to be given a ticket to attend an invite only seminar on "history of deschutes and what the future holds" which involved getting several tasters of jubilale and hop trip while listening to the very entertaining lance mitchell, marketing manager for deschutes

some of the high points:

the jubilale was intended to run out between christmas and new year's
but its so popular that it will be sold out by around december 6th
so if you want some for christmas, you'd best be picking it up now!

deschutes was founded in 1988 in bend, oregon
by gary fish, who wanted to serve local foods and local beers to the locals

it wasn't an easy road getting to where they are today
21 years ago all the beer got contaminated and they had to pour all of it out on christmas day and start over

their new brew system is german
it is 28 feet wide
the road to bend is only 30 feet wide, so they got a police escort

deschutes is one of only two breweries in north america to use whole flower hops (sierra nevada is the other)
using the whole flower hop provides increased aromatics, bitterness, smoothness and balance
they have a climate controlled hop room in which bales of hops wait to be used
this is also known as hop heaven - i wold love to get my sniffer in that room!

deschutes is now the 6th largest brewery in the US
and they aren't even in all the states yet

they are dedicated to quality beer
they have a sensory room for quality control
anyone who works at deschutes can sign up to be quality control, and one of their most reliable tasters is part of the janitorial staff

the black butte porter is their flagship beer

the cascade ale is going through a change, they're taking down the alcohol percentage in order to make it a sessionable beer

the jubilale is a winter seasonal that features new artwork each year
(anchor steam's christmas ale also does this)
the artwork includes labels, packaging and tap handles
they're new each year, featuring a local artist's work

deschutes has a brewpub in portland (in the pearl district)
its a 22 barrel system
they have no budget restrictions on research and development
they tried 39 batches of hop in the dark before settling on the recipe
and they used the portland brew pub regulars as the guinea pigs on those batches

much like howe sound, deschutes tries to lower its waste by offering its spent grain to farmers and using some in pizza crusts

coming out in december will be "the abyss"
its a 2x of their obsidian, featuring licorice notes
its 11% and aged in whiskey barrels
the bottle are hand-dipped in wax for a classy look for this seasonal

they have also brewed the "dissident"
12 barrels of sour brown, featuring wild yeast
(good luck finding that anywhere around here!!)

it was a great talk
mitch is incredibly entertaining
and it never hurts to attend a seminar that gives you free samples!
the recipe changes yearly too


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