New Years Eve, 1988; it seems like a month ago this week started. The busiest week in the brief history of the brewpub, far busier than any that preceded it. Everyone’s tired. But everyone’s still game for what is to come. I’m tired, really tired, but relieved that people still want to come out and see us. I’m tired because my Christmas day was largely spent with a hot water hose held on the cone of one fermenter we are still trying to get started. Fortunately, I have a great wife and great parents that kept me company for a large part of that day. Even more fortunately, it seems like we might survive this week, and this first year (6-months really) and, although we’re battered, we’re still here, still in business. I’m excited for our new bookkeeper who is starting in a week. It’ll be the third we’ve had in the first 6 months and I don’t need to be hiring another one. So many things to do and all I can think about is getting some rest. Oh well, no one asked me to be here. I guess I’ll keep going and look for things to improve. We got our beer to the Mountain (Bachelor) and they seem to be happy. I haven’t skied yet, but, then again, don’t think I’ll have time this winter. We have a city league team that I’m on and I think I can get to the race, then come right back to the pub, if I time it right. It’ll be nice to ski, but I’d sure like a warm up run, or two….
For the 8th release of The Abyss, we interviewed Deschutes Brewery founder, Gary Fish, and assistant brewmaster, Ryan Schmiege, and had them talk about the history, ingredients and motivation surrounding our beloved imperial stout. We hope you learn something new and that it helps you enjoy The Abyss even more whether this is your first year trying it or if you are an old pro and have conducted your fair share of vertical tastings. Cheers!
A couple of weeks ago our team made the annual trek out to Denver, Colorado for the granddaddy of beer fests, the Great American Beer Festival, otherwise known simply as GABF. We joined over 600 breweries on the Colorado Convention Center floor, pouring 20 of our damn tasty beers for around 49,000 craft beer fanatics. The Brewers Association folks who put on the festival say over 3,100 different beers were poured, one ounce at a time, for thirsty festival goers. But that’s not all…
With fall quickly approaching, now is the time to fit in that one last summer activity you’ve been itching for. Be it camping in your favorite spot, hitting the beach, or enjoying the last few summer days on your porch, Mirror Pond Pale Ale is a perfect companion. Mirror Pond’s perfectly balanced hops and malts make for an extremely damn tasty beer that doesn't overpower the taste buds.
Just because summer’s ending doesn’t mean the fun has to follow. We’ve teamed up with our friends at Untappd to bring you the “Sip on Mirror Pond” badge. This badge can be yours up until September 20th so don't delay! To unlock it simply check-in to a Mirror Pond Pale Ale and share a photo of your beer so all of your friends can see! Be sure to add the photo when you check-in, though, to get the badge. We would love to hear about your Mirror Pond experience so please include #MirrorPond when tweeting and posting photos on Twitter & Instagram!
Needless to say, we're pretty stoked to make Outside Magazine's 2013 list of the 100 Best Places to Work in the United States for the first time. We are honored to be recognized alongside an elite list of great companies, including fellow brewer, New Belgium Brewing Co., and local friend, Hydro Flask. We love what we do and strive to deliver damn tasty beer and extraordinary experiences to fans like you each and every day, so we hope you'll raise a pint with us for a toast next time you have one of our beers in your hand!
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.
photo caption: Brewer Brent Baughman hates dust and Summer Shandy's
A random sampling could also reveal a day like this:
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.
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?
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.