Good Beer Week: Deschutes Masterclass at Carwyn Cellars

Good Beer Week is off and running! On opening weekend we dropped into Carwyn Cellars for an American masterclass with Deschutes Brewery.

Leading the tasting was none other than Assistant Brewmaster, Ryan Schmiege from Bend Oregon. The US brewery started out in 1988 as a small Oregon Brew Pub and has now grown into a major player in the US craft beer industry, with their beers distributed across the Western US and into Canada. Although probably still suffering from jet-lag, Ryan proved to be an affable host and his laid-back West-Coast style added a personable touch. It was an easy-going afternoon, but there was still plenty to get excited about.

We sampled eight different beers, with Carwyn Cellars being one of the only places outside Oregon to serve many of these products. Notably, our group of eager drinkers were the first in Australia to sample both Deschutes’ Passion Fruit IPA and their Red IPA. (The latter of which can be succinctly described as having a lot of hops in it.)

The team also broke out a selection of special bottles for the occasion, with the 2105 Jubelale and The Stoic, a sweet Belgian Style Quad, topping my personal list of favourites. The Jubelale is a yearly winter seasonal and the first beer ever bottled by Deschutes. It’s still much loved by the locals and for good reason – it’s partially aged in Pinot barrels, clocks in at 12.2% ABV (alcohol by volume), and its sweet and spicy flavours scream ‘Christmas season!’

While Pinot and whiskey barrels dominate the barrel program, the brewery has a whopping 4,500 barrels on hand, which includes ‘a little bit of everything’ – such as sea salt, rum, cognac, scotch, and gin to name a few.

Carwyn Cellars serves as the U.S.A. Pint of Origin for Good Beer Week 2017. So in addition to Deschutes, they are also pouring an impressive selection of beers from Sierra Nevada, Stone, Firestone Walker, and Oskar Blues. Hop on a train to Thornbury for a taste of the States.

– Jenny
Jenny S. loves the magic of fermentation and supports local craft beer alchemy.

Carwyn Cellars is running USA events and tap take-overs through 21 May. Check out the American Masterclass Series, Boatrocking the USA, or the U.S. Beer Cocktail Battle.

Read our guide to Good Beer Week for all the best events to go to, and read all our reviews

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Zilla and Brook.
Image credit: Carwyn Cellars.