Moving towards the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the season of summer brew is in full sswing. Take for example Twilight Summer Ale from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. This is a rather lively, bottle conditioned ale. It reveals that a brewery started over 25 years ago, knows something about the use of hops that many hop-slaming upstarts do not seem to grasp. The careful use of Northern Brewer, Cascade,Tettnang. and most importantly, Amarillo hops, make this a very pleasant tasting experience. Well balanced with the malts, the hops selection collaborates in a refreshing dry finish.
Drink this fresh as possible, the bottle conditioning is for keeping the delicious flavor intact, not designed for cellaring.
One of the more unsual contributions to this season is Southern Tier Brewing’s Compass A spring into summer seasonal, Compass is a 9% ale that uses rose hips in the brew kettle and is bottle conditioned. I was given this undecanted, so brewers yeast was floating about. No matter. Despite its so-called very big bitterness, I found this tasty and elegant, with nothing boozy in the palate. Listed as a sparkling ale, I was reminded slightly of Thos. Cooper & Sons Sparkling Ale from Australia. Unusual, but quite good.