I’d been sitting on the bottles of Red Chair NWPA that Deschutes Brewery sent me last month (hey, what can I say, there’s just too much beer around the holidays!), and figured honestly there’s not much I could say that I haven’t said already—it’s a great beer to be sure, but at some point I’m just repeating the same stuff I’ve written before.
And then I remembered that Red Chair was declared the “World’s Best Beer” for 2012 at the World Beer Awards (again) last year, so I cracked open a bottle with that in mind.
Is Red Chair the world’s best beer?
I guess that depends. Interestingly enough I wrote something about “best beers” recently, and I think there’s a point worth repeating:
I tend to subscribe to the philosophy that the best beer is the one currently in your glass.
It’s a good philosophy to have, and while I have a glass full of Red Chair in front of me, I see no problem with that World Beer Cup accolade.
The beer itself is incredibly juicy with restrained hops and pillowy, luscious malts that have a creamy, soft mouthfeel. The hops give a juicy, crisp bitterness that’s on the subdued side and folds into the malty body really well; and at the end is where they shine, drawing out the bright, slightly spicy, citrus fruit flavors in that way that Deschutes does so well.
Objectively, I don’t know that it’s the World’s Best Beer. (The same with any beer, really.) But it’s hard to say it isn’t when you’re drinking it!