Fermented Photo: Chainbreaker White IPA from Deschutes Brewery
The "White IPA" style on the label should be a giveaway: this is not your normal IPA. But don't let that scare you: this is an excellent beer. As with every other Deschutes Brewery beer, this ale has gone through many iterations and tests at the Deschutes Proving Grounds (DPG)—aka the Deschutes brewpubs. Deschutes Brewery is not afraid to ask consumers for their opinions on new recipes and they are not afraid to change these recipes over time.
The challenge in this beer is to balance all of the ingredients. It's not just about hops and malt in this beer. This malt bill includes wheat, which not only contributes to the smooth mouthfeel, but also adds a soft, subtle bready character to this straw colored beer. The other grain is a light pilsner malt, light enough to keep some of the wheat flavors in the front. The unobtrusive grain bill leaves a lot of space for other flavors in the beer to shine: fruity esters from the Belgian yeast strain come through and pair very nicely with the addition of earthy, citrusy coriander and sweet orange peel.
The final result is an all-too-drinkable blend of Wit and IPA styles. This beer presents as whole final beer though, rather than two competing styles in one glass. Is it a hoppy, assertive Wit, or a more subtle spiced IPA? It is hard to tell where one style begins and the other ends. It's a great exercise in balance and a great addition to Deschutes' year round line up.
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