Brewer Birdwell’s Blog on Malt Rooms & Mega Fans

As a brewer at Deschutes Brewery, I’m often amazed by the array of assignments a workweek can entail.

For example, a random sampling could reveal a day like this:

We descended into the malt room with apprehension and dust masks. How long was this going to take? It was time for a deep clean of our malt room, a three-story nightmare with décor part dungeon/part warehouse. Here, malt is stored and transported to different areas of the brewery which creates endless dust that settles on and saturates everything. No piece of machinery, wall or floor surface is spared from this seemingly permanent residue from brews past. This is basic grunt work, hands and knees floor scrubbing, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, no degree or experience necessary. Yet it was a team effort with everyone pitching in from Brewmasters to interns. Four hours later we ran out of pizza and had funny coughs. This is part of being a brewer.

Malt
photo caption: Brewer Brent Baughman hates dust and Summer Shandy's

A random sampling could also reveal a day like this:

Brewing a Gose with Artisanal Oregon Salt

We have been making beer for 25 years but remain students of beer. That might be one of the more fulfilling parts of this job - the never ending learning, head scratching, ah-ha moments. It‘s the fact that creativity if a part of the job description. One would think that being in the business for so long we would have exhausted all styles and variations of styles out there, but just like millions of musicians can still create unique combinations of sounds with the notes available to them, so can our brewers invent their own styles, combine past and present, and resurrect recipes and make them their own. Such is the case with the Deschutes Gose.

Brewing

Gose is a traditional German beer that belongs to the Berlinerweisse / Witbier family, and similarly takes a fair amount of wheat in the grist bill. It is lightly soured by Lactobacillus and uniquely spiced with coriander and salt. Sounds like a margarita beer, right? Why the heck did it take us so long to brew one?

Black Butte to Mirror Pond Instagram Giveaway: May 24-June 10

To celebrate our 25th Anniversary and in honor of our two flagship beers, we’re hosting a Black Butte to Mirror Pond Bike Ride on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013. Honestly, this is one ride you shouldn’t miss! We’ll start at Black Butte Ranch and wind our way along the dirt roads behind Sisters until we reach Mirror Pond at Drake Park in downtown Bend. Register for the ride here.

Award Winning Beer Any Day, Any Where

Brewers

Medals for five different beers and receiving "Best of Show" trophies for Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Obsidian Stout at the International Brewing Awards (which has been dubbed ‘the Oscars of the brewing industry’) is a great honor for all of us here at Deschutes Brewery. This year’s competition contained 953 beers from 199 different breweries in fifty different countries! Forty distinguished brewers from 17 different countries judging the beers makes this competition stand out from others.

Deschutes River Recording Reunion: Laura Gibson Recap, Huichica Music Festival & More

Last Friday we had the privilege of watching the powerful and talented Laura Gibson perform at our pub in Bend. Laura’s performance was the last stop on our monthly First Friday Art Walk and she helped us kick off the release of our well-loved Twilight Summer Ale. Laura’s roots run deep in our own backyard: she spent this past February at Caldera in the mountains of Central Oregon, writing and reflecting on her work. Last summer we traveled with her out to Smith Rock to record the third installment of Deschutes River Recordings, a unique partnership between Northwest musicians and the Deschutes River Conservancy to create songs by the river, for the river. We were thrilled to welcome her back to Bend to perform the latest from her album La Grande (aptly named after a small town in Eastern Oregon).

Taking "The Kids" Sightseeing in Washington D.C.

Taking

Once again we’ve set out with “The Kids” to do some sightseeing in a place they’ve never been: Washington D.C.

Not only is this city home to the President of the United States and some great craft beer, but the history here is rich with monuments, museums and statues galore.

Brewer Birdwell’s Blog on Bitterness

Deschutes is considered by many to be a hop-forward brewery and we're certainly not going to argue. We use primarily whole hops in our beers to produce a unique and enticing flavor and aroma. We're not afraid of bitterness, I mean, holy moly, have you ever had an Inversion IPA? We like to experiment with new ways of processing hops (which I can't tell you about) and we revel in trialing new methods of marrying hops and beer...Hop Henge Experimental IPA! So it's a bit of a surprise that several new beers headed your way are, shall we call them, distracted, from our usual hop first, ask questions later modus operandi.

Consider Deschutes River Ale at only 28 IBUs and 4% ABV. Simple, sessionable and satisfying, Deschutes River Ale offers you a chance to nuzzle up to Cascade and Crystal hops without having to call a taxi. Golden in color with light bitterness and appreciable back-end hop goodness, Deschutes River Ale proves flavor and easy drinking can flow together.

Why our Brewers Like It: Easy hop gathers! This whole hop obsession is fantastic for the beer but a pain in the brewer's behind to accomplish! Remember, effort required for one Inversion IPA hop gather = effort required to rake the leaves in your backyard. However, Deschutes River Ale hop gather = using leaf blower to blow leaves to neighbor's yard.

Deschutes River Ale
Bitter Brewer Units (BBU's) 3 out of 10
Note: this scale is entirely made up and unscientific

Deschutes

Your Secret Gourmet Ingredient

Cooking

What happens when you take more than 20 years of experimenting with craft beer and gourmet cooking? You end up with an amazing assortment of culinary wonders that garner flavor and depth from beers like our flagship Black Butte Porter in the recipe itself. Want to savor the experience? We invite you to become a part of the story by trying it first-hand. View the guide on Facebook, Pinterest, or email us for a copy to throw in your kitchen drawer.

Giving Back to the Community

Deschutes

Giving back to the community we’ve called home for the past 25 years is part of our core culture here at Deschutes Brewery. What better time to talk about the importance of businesses being involved in charitable giving than today, International Corporate Philanthropy Day (ICPD)? This international advocacy day was originally founded by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, the only international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons focused exclusively on corporate philanthropy. We say every day is for giving back, but if a recognized day like today helps raise awareness, then we’re on board!

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