On the Deschutes Brewery blog, find out what's happening at Deschutes Brewery and learn more about craft beer, food and local events. Deschutes Brewery award winning craft beer and hand crafted ales in Oregon with breweries, restaurants and brew pubs in Bend and Portland Oregon.
The Halloween Cross Crusades bike races and warehouse party shenanigans return to Bend once again.
This is the one weekend a year where our brewery campus turns into an interactive CX race course and we move mass amounts of beer pallets around in our warehouse to make room for live music, DJs, and performers who hang upside down from the ceiling rafters.
The stoke factor has been high for this event since we started back in 2010. Here are some stats that may blow your mind! Over the last 7 years:
14,886 raving fans in attendance
397 kegs kicked
And $61,500 raised for local non-profits
So this year, we had to raise the bar even higher! On the CX course, expect a new sandpit, a tricky off-camber section on a side hill, and a tight course with lots of cornering, a steep railroad tie run-up, and the lively and raucous atmosphere that can only happen on a course held at the largest brewery in Oregon!
Come for the races, stay for the PARTIES!
Yes, we said p-a-r-t-i-e-s! We’ve got 2 nights of heart pumpin’ music and eye-poppin’ entertainment to wow you, Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd. The theme this year: INSTINCT… think animals in the wild, blending with your surroundings, and enjoying beer in its natural habitat. As always, “you do you” on the costume front!
A giant fusion of hip-hop inspiration from the past 30 years! Be sure to check out Digable Planets jazz-hip-hop fusion, Landon Wordswell solo artist with intricate rhyme, God-Des inspiring, yet fierce singer/rapper, and Central Oregon DJ, bPollen.
An electronic lineup of sexy, soulful infectious groove brought to you by the best from the west. The DJs are incredible including beats from El Papachango & Dakini Star, JoaqoPelli, Sweet Anomaly, OCTABÄN, and Motorhome.
It all started with a “how can I help?”
One team, one dream, right?
Little did I know Assistant Brewmaster of the Portland Pub Jake Harper would take me up on my offer. He said, “…well…actually…I need someone to pick-up some fresh hops for me in Yakima. I can’t grab the hops and have the brew ready for them at the same time.”
“Twist my arm, please!” A fresh hop trip to the center of the American hop universe during harvest season? That really just sounds like something I’ve been wanting to do for over a decade. (I continue to love my job.)
My mission: Drive from Bend to Yakima. Collect 200 pounds of some nearly-exclusive fresh Sabro hops. Drive from Yakima to the Portland Pub. Deliver those fresh Sabro hops to Jake, all before 1 PM on a gorgeous Wednesday in September. Extra credit: help Jake brew Black By Hopular Demand, a fresh hop Cascadian Dark Ale.
The trip from Bend to Yakima is always a startling one. It begins with rocks, rolling hills, few trees, and less water. A handful of small towns. Lots of farms. Repeat. With a sense of solitude and time for contemplation on the side. Contrast this scene with the dramatic transition you experience as you descend into the Yakima Valley. The air literally changes from dry to moist. It feels heavier, full of life. You can smell the plants. There’s more stuff here. And people. And activity. Fecundity is precisely the right word for it. If you’ve ever been in the middle of the temperate rain forest that is the Olympic National Park, you know exactly what I mean.
The land of plenty – apples, grapes, peaches, pears, apricots, corn, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, huckleberries for days, and hops. Lots of hops. Oh my!
Needless to say…I arrived at the John I Haas hop farm in a state of child-like wonder. And it only compounded as hop farmer-breeder-scientist Scott showed me around the farm. Harvest season was in full swing. The color vibrant green painted everywhere you look. A pungent spicy-sweet aroma to flavor every in-take of breath. Truckloads of hops from the fields delivered every fifteen minutes to the people and machines that would separate hop from vine. The whole operation brought out the twelve-year-old kid in me, much like the bottling line at the Brewery does every time I witness it do what it does.
Yet what captured my imagination most was the future. The future of hops – the experimental hop plots. Hop farmer-breeder-scientist Scott shared that of the sixty-or-so experimental hops he’s working with, probably only three or four varieties will make it to “market”. And it takes years. The experimental hops on the vine this year may not make it into most brewers’ kettles for five to ten years. (Unless you’re lucky, like us, and get to trial experimental hops every year – like Citras, before they were called Citras ten years ago.) He literally works in the future. Visionary, artist, scientist, statistician, and part-prognosticator, all rolled into one. The fresh Sabro hop I was charged with collecting took ten to twelve years to develop; while Jake has been brewing with it for several years, it’s just now beginning to interest the rest of the brewing community.
200 pounds of fresh Sabro hops converted the mini-van I was driving to the Portland Public House into a rioting bus of flavors and aromas. While the word on Sabros suggested distinct tangerine, coconut, tropical fruit, and stone fruit aromas, what really knocked my nose around was fresh-cut cedar and mint. Holy moly. Three delicious hours later Jake greeted me at the side door of the Portland Public House, with that glee in his eyes I always imagined St. Nick would possess on Christmas Eve. He couldn’t wait to get his hands on those Sabro gems.
We moved the fresh Sabro hops into position to add into the hop back as soon as the time was right. In they went. The heat and steam of the brewhouse punctuated the intense aromas I had just been surrounded with in the riot bus; and introduced some of those lovely coconut and tropical fruit notes I had been daydreaming about. Heady.
Afterwards…Jake pulled some cooled wort for us to taste, this soon to be Cascadian Dark Ale, Black By Hopular Demand, featuring nearly-exclusive, fresh Sabro hops. This exercise always requires a crystal ball, a little imagination, and a grand sense of possibility, as the wort merely reflects a glimmer of what a finished beer might taste like. OMG. Roasty, chocolatey, mint, coconut, a little citrus here, a little licorice there. And vibrant. Intense.
The power of fresh hops, supplied by the vision of a master hop grower, combined with the unrestrained creativity of Assistant Brewmaster Jake Harper, have constructed an incomparable brew that makes all of our futures a little brighter, and far more delicious.
If you’re a left-hander you know, not all objects are created equal. In the 40 years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve learned to live in a right handered world. If you’re not a “lefty” you may think, there’s really no difference, but if you are, you will understand that the struggle is real.
Here’s a list of items that favor the “righty.” After reading them, you may better understand our plight…
The Ladle – some of them have a spout on the left side. Soup pours perfectly for right-handers, but give a ladle to a lefty and “no soup for you” as it spills abruptly into your bowl and onto the table and possibly onto the floor.
Scissors – we’ve all heard about this one. Don’t run with them and don’t cut anything with your left hand. There are never any left-handed scissors available when you need them, so we do have to learn to cut with our right hand and that never turns out well.
Sitting at a Restaurant Booth – please have the lefty sit on the wall side of the booth on the left, or next to another lefty as elbows will be battling in an epic fork and spoon war to the mouth.
Manual Transmission – working that stick shift with your right hand and left brain isn’t easy. I tried it once. #EpicFail #AutoTransFromHereOnOut
Stringed Instruments – No. we can’t just turn it upside down and play, silly. You’ve gotta restring that baby for us…
The Ink Smudge – as a left-hander, you can spot another lefty a mile away when they begin to write. Back in the day before computer keyboards, we had to use writing utensils. Lefties go from left to right dragging the side of their hand through the pen’s fresh ink or chalk or whiteboard words on causing a beautiful art piece to emerge on the hand that is difficult to wash off. I was actually given a metal contraption in the 3rd grade (by Mrs. Harris, you know who you are…) that held a pencil in my right hand and was meant to smoothly guide me to the “right-side.” Yeah, that didn’t happen and my teacher gave up because she couldn’t even read my name. And while we’re on this topic, we are also not for spiral notepads. Try to take notes comfortably with a piece of metal jabbing your hand…
The Coffee and Beer Mug – If you want your logo to be read by the drinker, consider putting it on both sides of the glass. In our eyes, all we see is a blank canvas.
We do have one hero, a man who tried to change the world for us and spread the gospel of the left-hander. That man was Ned Flanders from The Simpsons. If you remember his store, the Leftorium, it gave us all hope that the world would soon be different. Well, not long after, the store saw its demise and according to Simpsons Wiki, Ned had to downsize to a simple kiosk, the Leftorium Express, due to the success of a nearby full-sized competitor, Southpaw Superstore. However, in the episode “Opposites A-Frack”, Ned was seen working in his full-sized store once again without a continuity explanation. Finally, the Leftorium went out of business due to being unable to compete with online shopping, and Ned struggled to maintain a job until he joined Springfield Elementary School as the new fourth-grade teacher, he was our voice, our rock, and he will never be forgotten.
We do seem to go unnoticed in most parts of the world keeping a low profile and trying not to complain, and believe it or not, we are rare at only about 12% of the world’s population. All we are asking is for a little recognition and some more uni-hand objects but until then, be sure to reach out, help us cut those papers, pour soup, or volunteer to drive around every once in a while. Then the world will be al”right.” Haha!!! And if you know one, wish us a happy left-handers day today, August 13th, 2018. Cheers!
Featured photo courtesy of The Simpsons
Blog by: Gina Schauland, Associative Marketing Manager, Social Media
We are excited to introduce, Brooke Weeber, one of our can-do partners who took a risk and went for it. We sat down with Brooke to hear the story behind her photos and sense of adventure. What we learned captivated us and has us praying for snow again! Check it out…
“I Was Hooked”
“I hit the ski slopes for the first time on New Year’s Day, 2017. You could say, I was shaking in my boots. I didn’t know how my body would react to having two long flat sticks strapped to my feet for the first time. I took a quick lesson and was pointed downhill. I gained speed and made a few funky turns as a huge grin spread across my face. I was hooked.
My intention for learning how to ski was to find a quicker way down the mountains I climb each spring and summer. Walking down a mountain for hours with exhausted legs has always been my least favorite part of the climb. But skiers always make it look so easy and exciting, whooping and hollering as they quickly make graceful lines in the snow. I thought, “that’s going to be me someday.”
Fast forward to May 2018. I’ve spent some time learning the ropes, but I’m far from an expert. I can handle myself on the groomed routes, but I’ve had zero backcountry experience. One day, out of the blue, I get an invite from a friend to join her and some other women on a ski summit of Mt. St. Helens. I tossed the options around in my mind for awhile before responding. “Would I have enough skills to ski this terrain? Am I in shape for a climb? What would happen if I lost control and skied off a cliff?” Despite all the doubt swirling around my brain, I answered “Yes.” I often approach situations like this. I blindly agree and hope for the best. I suppose I would consider this my can-do attitude. I try to believe in myself until moments of failure arrive, then I handle those problems as they come (sometimes with tears and a few expletives).
It was a beautiful day on Mt. St. Helens and I felt strong. Skinning up the mountain was a dream. There were tough moments when the terrain got steep and the wind picked up, tossing us around like rag dolls. But overall, I enjoyed the slow and steady 5,000 foot ascent. I was relieved when we reached the top. My legs were tired and the snow was getting soft under the bright midday sun. I was looking forward to the descent with a little trepidation and a lot of fear. I put my skis in ski-mode and practiced a couple turns. No problem. Then I pointed downward and lost control of everything. It only took a few sloppy turns before I fell. And then I fell again. And again. And again. I fell so many times that my body turned into a rigid, clunky mess. All of my confidence flew out the window. I took my skis off a few times when I felt too afraid to continue. I skied through the trees only after my friends coerced me into submission. It wasn’t pretty, but I made it. Despite the struggle and the long hours, the challenge felt good and the minute we were back at the car I was elated. Maybe I didn’t look like the most skilled skier out there. Maybe I looked downright horrible. But I took the risk and went for it, and I’m so glad I did. I hope it’s just a first of many ski summits in my climbing career. Time will tell!”
So many of us cast risk aside saying it is “too hard” or “there is no way I can do that.” But you can! And although you may not be an expert your first time, you try and try again, and may find something new and exciting out there that you’ve never experienced before.
We love @brooke_weeber ‘s feed on Instagram. Check it out and maybe her story and imagery will inspire you to take up skiing or something else you’d always wanted to try. Life is short, get outside! Cheers!