Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (My Favorite Beer of 2014)
By: Chasse Gunter
It’s about that time of the year, when our stomachs are big from stuffing things into them and are souls feel empty and lost from buying and receiving so much random crap. But something necessary happens at some point during this gluttonous celebration of Santa or Moses or Jesus or whoever: while we lay in a food coma, in a nest of shredded wrapping paper and sticky candy canes…and our minds drift away from thoughts of sugar plumbs, previous failed New Years resolutions and how we’ll efficiently dispose of old Xmas trees and Bradley Cooper movies… and then we reflect on the good stuff. I go out of my way to reserve plenty of space in which to throw an imaginary “Best of 2014” Award show. You know—complete with lights and famous people and carpets and trophies—the whole shabang.
While I typically think this is a pointless disclaimer to make, It is worth making for a best beer claim such as this: The claims in this article do not necessarily represent Chasse Gunter or his estate (if he had one) andor his subsidiaries (whatever those are). I have absolutely no idea what the best beer I’ve had this year. Not saying my mind isn’t easily blown, but when it is, I can’t say with certainty what blew it and why. But I do remember one I tried it at the Hopscotch Beer and Scotch festival. I also know which beer I always bring up in any drunken conversation about IPAs I’ve ever had. And I also know for a fact what dreams would look and taste like in liquid form. Liquid dreams taste like Deschutes Brewery‘s Fresh squeezed IPA.
First impression: I first tried this Bend, Oregon beauty at Fremont Hopscotch Beer and Scotch festival in Seattle, Washington. Upon reading the laminated stats of the Fresh Squeezed IPA, I was immediately intrigued—in the way any dream moves you in simultaneously fun and scary ways. I don’t really care for citrus-y beers. As the lil’ beer tasting hillbilly hiding in my head (who sometimes controls my tongue) often says “something ain’t right ’bout beer with fruit in it.” That same hillbilly beer taster appreciates high alcohol content and is on the dense about hoppy-ness. And boy was he about to be in for a treat!
Pour: Much more delicious poured from a keg. Everything is, right? The difference was noticeable enough that I felt awkward hyping it up to friends, and finally finding a six pack of it. I hated to change my woohoo to a “meh.” So if you must buy a sixer, pour it into an icey cold pint glass!
Taste: Give it a whiff first! According to the American Academy of Something I cannot pronounce, 75 to 95% of what we taste comes from what we smell. This thing tastes like straight oranges and lemons were zested into it yesterday (and notes of mango, grapefruit and tangerine). This actually comes from the generous use of citra and mosaic hops. That’s right, no fruit lost it’s life for this brew. After you whiff until you can whiff no more, take a sip and slather your mouth sides with it. The citrus and the hops do not fight. They are one! Its fully bodied but so refreshing and crisp. Creeping in at the end is a bite of bitter, biscuit, and subtle pine–reminding you that that is indeed an India Pale Ale.
Final impression: You already know I love it. It’s my little reminder of summer that doesn’t feel weird to drink when it’s cold outside. I was surprised to stumble on more than a few negative reviews. I guess some folks just think all babies are ugly—I don’t know. Based in experience, I am curious how much this beer differs batch to batch or container to container. Or maybe everything tastes worst the closer we get to 2015. All I know is I love it and I recommend you give it a taste.
And two, what’s your favorite beer of 2014?