- Episode 147 Of The 40cast - Double Eric Weekend May 20, 2013
- Episode 146 Of The 40cast - Unlock the GloveBox May 5, 2013
- Episode 145 Of The 40cast - Talk Dirty to Me April 28, 2013
- Episode 144 Of The 40cast - NW Roadshow April 21, 2013
- Episode 143 Of The 40cast - Marketing 101 40cast Style April 12, 2013
The 40cast YouTube Channel
GloveBox shows off The Cave
The 40cast Schwag
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Tag Archives: Deschutes Brewery
Over the Memorial Day weekend I took my family on a road trip to Oregon to visit family and friends. We stayed in Portland and visited family and friends in Salem and Beaverton. It was a great trip as it was but I wanted to finally stop in Bend, OR to visit one of my favorite breweries, Deschutes Brewery and tour their facilities. So we decided to take the long route back home (added about 3 hours travel time to the trip back to Boise) and stop at the brewery.
We found our way into the brewery just before 1pm and was able to get into the first tour of the day without even having to reserve a spot (BTW you can call ahead and reserve spots). The tours run on the hour from 1pm to 4pm everyday and are FREE.
We started off the tour outside the very first brew house and receive a nice history lesson about how the brewery got started. The weather was absolutely beautiful so it worked out great. We then went inside and talked about the oldest and smallest brewhouse they use. The aroma of fresh citrus whole hops as we entered the building was wonderful. I could have stood at that door all day. This brewhouse is a gravity-flow 50-barrel system in which most the system was hidden above us.
We then walked into the employee lunchroom where our tour guide discussed the ingredients found in beer. All the fans of the 40cast should know they are water, malted barley, hops and yeast. A couple interesting facts I learned about Deschutes beers…they try to mimic flavors of beer found in an area of England (I believe she said in the River Trent area) so they must harden the fresh mountain water with gypsum in order to get a water close to the English water. They also solely use whole hop flowers in their beer and are the largest purchaser of this type of hop. BTW, the hop cellar smelled wonderful. All the grain byproducts from the brewing process are reused in a number of ways. They use some of them in their food at the downtown Public House for their veggie burger and pizza doughs. They also feed the grains to cattle and then use the meat in the burgers they serve at the Public House. So nothing goes to waste.
We next ventured into their second brewhouse which is much larger and was state of the art technology for its time. This brewhouse was manufactured by Huppman and processes 131 barrels at a time. All the tanks are made from a single sheet of stainless steel and nearly seamless construction. This system has an automatic cleaning system so prep for the next batch of beer is not as labor intensive. A new batch of beer can be brewed in about 6-8 hours so thats about 393-533 barrels a day or 12000-16000 gallons of beer a day. I was nice to see all the tanks on a single level.
Next on the tour was the cellar or fermentation area. This is where the yeast is added to the wort and the concoction begins to become beer. They had a lot of primary fermentation vessels and secondary vessels. The fresh hopping process was explained in detail as well as the centrifuge process to make the beer clear. We also learned about the quality assurance program and the laboratory they have on site to test the beer at various stages of the process. There is even a “sensory” panel where people go through a year long program to learn how to describe flavors so they can explain what is wrong with a taste of a beer or whether or not the beer tastes as it should.
The bottling plant was impressive on its own. It reminded me of old Laverne and Shirley sitcoms seeing all the bottles move through the conveyor system and finally into the boxes. It was loud and dusty but it ran like a well oiled machine.
The last stop of our tour was in the tasting room. I was able to sample up to four 2oz samples of beers they currently had on tap. I tasted the Green Lakes Organic Ale which was a very tasty beer. Also tried the Chainbreaker White IPA which had a very unique lemony flavor that is ok for a small dose but not something I would drink in quantity. The last beer I sampled was the Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale. This was very tasty too. They had a bottle of a special Conflux Series No.1 called the Collage that blends fours beers from Deschutes and Hair of the Dog breweries and aged them all in various barrel types. It was a 12oz bottle with a cost of $12 a bottle. Price point a bit steep for me, so I passed on it.
When you are done with your tour be sure to go down the street to the Deschutes Brewery Public House and try some experimental brews. They have 24 beers on tap and I believe at least six of them are Brewers Creations.
I had a pint of the Bale Out IRA (India Red Ale) that was fantastic. The food was good but a bit pricey, so I suggest sitting at the bar and ordering bar food and sampling all the great beer. I had a great time at the brewery and all the people we met were very friendly. I recommend if you find yourself driving through Bend, OR one day that you stop and visit the Deschutes Brewery.
Big thanks to the employees of Deschutes Brewery for making my visit and tour a great experience!!
Thanks to my wonderful daughter Haley for taking all the great photos for the article.