You never know who may walk into the pub and change the direction of a beer.
Some nothing special weekday in Bend, I was asked to come out to meet some enthusiastic fans of our beer, who also happened to be home brewers. When I got to their table, they were happily enjoying a couple classic pub burgers and frosty pints (I was somewhat jealous). It was evident that the enthusiastic one was the son of the father/son pair, Joe Bussmann: a beginning homebrewer and lover of craft beer. As he proclaimed his love for the beers, how they like stopping in on their trips to Bend, and how he is starting to homebrew, his no bullshit father, George Bussmann, was giving him the old “yaaa…yaaaa” look. I asked what brought them over and they said they were cranberry farmers from Sixes, Oregon and they were out here on business.
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….
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…
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for our first official Black Butte to Mirror Bike Ride and 25th Anniversary Party! This past Saturday hundreds of cyclists came together to ride the back roads of Central Oregon. The ride started at Black Butte Ranch, outside of Sisters and ended by crossing Mirror Pond at Drake Park in downtown Bend. We met folks who had come all the way from Arizona and Nevada to ride the race and see the landmarks that inspired our damn tasty beer.
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?
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.
The Cross Crusade Halloween shenanigans returned to Bend this year with two days of racing taking place literally in our backyard. And yes, that is a ferris wheel in the middle of the course, anchoring this year’s Cyclo Du Soleil theme.