First, the bad news: Deschutes is scaling down its plans for their Roanoke brewery. The Bend, Oregon-based brewery is still going to purchase the land, and will likely still build an expansion brewery there, but isn’t sure about the scope of the project given the recent market conditions. Green Flash, which was in the process of building an expansion brewery in Virginia, is in foreclosure.
That’s a bummer all around. I was looking forward to both the Deschutes and Green Flash East Coast breweries. But here’s the good news: Deschutes still operates a tasting room in Roanoke, and they’re still making great beers that most of us can get our hands on. They’ve even started canning some of their beers (thank God!).
So let’s look at a couple of new beers from Deschutes, because I’m a “silver lining” kind of guy.
I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten a passionfruit. I’ve probably had some passionfruit juice, like at a tropical hotel breakfast buffet, but I’ve never seen one in person. After doing a Google image search, I’d probably run the other direction if I saw one in person. They’re not pretty. This new Passion Fruit IPA from Deschutes, on the other hand, is downright gorgeous. It’s part of Deschutes’ new “Just Tapped” series, which puts experimental pub brews into larger circulation. As the name implies, this IPA is a fruit bomb. You get loads of passionfruit on the front end of the sip, but instead of coming off too sweet or letting the bitterness of the hops provide balance, there’s a slightly tart finish that sweeps the fruitiness away. Put it all together and you’ve got a crisp, refreshing IPA that works wonders on a hot summer day.
Speaking of hot summer days, Deschutes is releasing another new beer for the season, Twilight Summer Ale. Okay, Twilight isn’t new. They’ve been making it for more than a decade, but it’s only available during the summer, so you’ve got to jump on it while you can. And you should jump on it, because it’s easily one of my favorite summer beers. It’s a golden ale with a robust dosing of Amarillo hops. It has some elements of a pilsner (crisp and bright) and some characteristics of a pale (hop bit, malt backbone). It’s damn good.
Ideally, you’ll grab a six-pack of each of these new beers. You could even drink them simultaneously if you were ambitious. God gave you two hands for a reason, right?