I had a busy summer traveling throughout the U.S. In Oregon for a week, Athens GA for two, Minneapolis for a long weekend, and then back out to Oregon.
My son and I visited Bend OR for a few days. A small city (pop. approx. 78,000) in the central part of the state, it is home to no less than 15 breweries. We spent most of our time there exploring five of them, and took a side trip out Tumalo Falls for a bit of hiking.
Deschutes Brewery & Public House
This is where Deschutes started, and where they have grown into the 5th-largest craft brewery in the United States. Deschutes has always focused on making clean, full-bodied ales (such as Mirror Pond Pale Ale), and brews in that style dominate the tap list here. But a few deviated from that line and those were the ones I enjoyed most.
Deschutes Dust Buster American Kölsch
A pub exclusive. Medium-strength citrus aroma, with tangy citrus flavors. With strong hops in mid palate, it is very flavorful but tastes more like a pale ale than a kölsch.
Deschutes Willamette Weisse
A Berliner Weisse that uses scotch broom and red cedar leaves in place of hops. A dusty lemon juice aroma and a fruity tartness so mild that it is simply an afterthought. Very delicate and smooth. It could almost be a breakfast drink.
Deschutes Belgian Baroness
A pleasant estery nose, with light berries. A fruity mix dominates, and then great bittering folds in smoothly. The finish is balanced, slightly phenolic, and a bit unrefined. Complex, sweet, interesting, and so tasty.
Deschutes Horse Ridge IPA
This is in Deschutes’ best style line -- and is kind of an amped-up big brother to Inversion IPA. I also had it on cask, and that version has a blue cheesy initial flavor but overall is a bit milder and gentler and not quite as full bodied as on tap.