Regular readers know that I write a lot already about Deschutes—and why not? They’re local, they’ve been around since 1988, and they produce fantastic beer. I consider Deschutes one of the "old guard" of American (and Northwest in particular) microbreweries—along with those like Sierra Nevada, BridgePort, Widmer, Samuel Adams, Full Sail, and Brooklyn Brewery.
In fact, there’s a great history of the Brewery online at (of all places) FundingUniverse.com.
The new brewpub hit a low spot in December of its first year, when ten straight batches of beer went bad due to a flaw in the brewery’s design and had to be dumped. The grain mill was located directly over the mash tun, and airborne bacteria on the grain dust kept infecting the beer. Once the problem was solved, Deschutes beer began selling in Portland and Fish’s dark, flavorful beer caught on. The brewery sold 310 barrels of beer its first year, far exceeding Fish’s expectations of a few kegs of excess capacity to nearby central Oregon resorts.
Deschutes’ first brewmaster, incidentally, was John Harris, who is working magic these days at Full Sail Brewing.
So stick around, I’ve got a lot more to write about Bend, Oregon’s first microbrewery.