Last month on the 19th we stopped in for lunch and beers at Bend Brewing Company, and I was hoping to find out if they were going to have their Desert Rose on tap sometime soon. I had first heard about this beer on Twitter: the Homebrew Chef Sean Paxton came to Bend to brew a collaborative beer with Tonya Cornett of Bend Brewing, and they posted a YouTube video of the collaboration:
What struck me about the beer is how creative they got with it (I hesitate to say “innovative” as there seems to be a growing backlash against calling beers innovative these days): it’s a Berliner Weisse style of ale, brewed with 50% Pilsner malt and 50% wheat malt, with hops added to the mash. They then added hibiscus and craisins (dried cranberries) for the boil, and after it cooled a bit of sour wort was added (which they acquired from Deschutes Brewing, in another nice collaborative touch).
After sitting overnight, it fermented out to a session-strength 4% alcohol by volume and developed a nice red rose color.
As I said, when I arrived I was simply hoping to find out when it would be available, but I was in luck: Desert Rose was already on tap!
So I ordered one up and made a few notes as I drank it:
Tart nose, crisp with floral berry aromas. Berry tartness right up front with sour floral notes—the hibiscus is prominent and it finishes dry with a touch of hops and cranberry. Not sour with any Brett notes or funkiness—more lactic and straight-up fruit tart.
Overall I found the beer to be extremely interesting and lively, and I think this would be a fantastic summer beer.
Locals: I haven’t checked to see if this is still on tap, but if it is, you definitely need to head in to BBC to try some of this beer.