A few weeks back the American Hop Convention came to Bend, and as befitting the host city and to help commemorate the occasion, a number of Central Oregon Brewers Guild breweries came together to collaborate on a special IPA for the conference: The Oregon Tr’Ale IPA.
The participating breweries were Boneyard Beer, Crux Fermentation Project, Deschutes Brewery, GoodLife Brewing, McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Silver Moon Brewing, Sunriver Brewing, Three Creeks Brewing, Wild Ride Brewing, and Worthy Brewing. Malt was locally grown at Mecca Grade Estate Malt, and I understand the hops were all Oregon-sourced from USA Hops.
Here’s the text on the side of the bottle:
With the 2017 Hop Growers of America convention coming to Bend, the Central Oregon Brewers Guild was excited to work together to produce a beer that would showcase the amazing bounty of raw materials that Oregon has to offer. 100% of the ingredients used are grown, produced or found here in our home state including Mecca Grade Estate malt and experimental hop varieties 033 and 331.
I scored a couple of bottles, and really enjoyed the IPA inside. This isn’t a beer you’ll find on the shelves anywhere—perhaps you know someone who knows someone who has a bottle?—but you can find it on tap in Bend: right now Boneyard Beer is pouring it at their tasting room. It’s a terrific beer of the week showcasing Central Oregon’s brewing chops. It’s 6.5% abv and 60 IBUs.
Appearance: Honey golden color, with a touch of haze but a nice clarity. Whipped egg white head.
Smell: Earthy and catty hops, a bit of Nelson Sauvin sweatiness and tropical fruits with papaya, guava, and grapefruit. Green and bright with a bit of dank, and solid hop presence.
Taste: Nicely hoppy without being bitter—very much a modern IPA in that sense. An oniony/Mosaic hop kind of note to it, along with similar green and tropical fruit qualities I get from the aroma. Fruity, catty, herbal. Malt is a great canvas, clean, crisp, and entirely in the background to let the hops shine.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a lingering herbal finish. Well attenuated and clean.
Overall: Tight. A great hop showcase from the local breweries and very nicely drinkable.