Touring The Deschutes Brewery

I’ve always been a fan of beer made by Deschutes Brewery. So when I was visiting family in La Pine and my dad asked if I wanted to tour the brewery with him I jumped at the chance.

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The Deschutes Brewery is surrounded by some of the most amazing scenery. Not far away the Deschutes winds it’s way through Bend, and the snowy mountains in the distance just add to the beauty of the place. If I could choose any place to live out the rest of my life it would be in the high desert of Central Oregon. If I’d been thinking at the time I would have gotten a picture of how lovely it was, but my mind was on beer at the moment.

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The first stop on the tour is the tasting room and gift shop to await the moment of the next tour. While your there though you are allowed up to 4 free tastings of the beer on tap. Whoever chose the music that we were listening to gets props form me. Flogging Molly just seems to go well with beer tasting. Since we came in right at the spring transition time they had both their spring seasonal Buzzsaw and their Jubelale on tap, as well as Oregon 150. The only beer available that I hadn’t tried was their Oregon 150, and it was the first sample I ordered. The 150 is a fruit beer brewed with marion berries. This beer was doomed to fall flat for me since I dislike fruity beers, but overall it wasn’t that bad.

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After we’d finished our first two samples we were directed out of the tasting room and into the actual brewery. At first I was amazed at the production capacity of their plant since all I saw were two boiling kettles and a handful of fermentors. After the guide gave a very basic rundown of the brewing process, and the Reinheitsgebot he took us to a small hop storage area where he explained how hops worked and passed out whole cascade hop cones for us to examine.

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When all the usual “our brewery is better because” mumbo jumbo was finished we went back into the newer brewing area. I was right to think that the initial area we saw was to small. Sadly the kettles weren’t in use that day so while it was pretty it lacked the aroma that I love breweries for. After hearing about their shiny new kettles we walked into a warehouse full of fermentation tanks. Is there a prettier sight then a room full of big stainless steel fermentors?

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After viewing the fermentors and hearing about the fermenting process and some more “why we’re better” crap we walked through to the bottling line. This was definitely my favorite part of the tour. I’m always fascinated these kinds of machines. After a few minutes in this room we entered the Jubelale hall of fame. Basically it’s a hallway full of all the original paintings that were used for the Jubelale labels, as well as a copy of the labels themselves. A flight of stairs later and we were back in the tasting room and the tour was over. We drank our last few samples, bought a sixer, and went to meet the girls so we could head to the Three Creeks Brewpub for lunch. More on that tomorrow though.

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