Skyline Forest Ale from Deschutes Brewery in Downtown Bend. The ground work for a “Hop Session” Style Ale?

Posted by on Nov 21st, 2009 and filed under Bend Beer News, On Tap in Bend!, Oregon Beer Reviews, Recent Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

This is the first of what we hope will be a recurring column here at Bend, Wild, on site beer evaluations.  This review won’t be as extensive  as the ones we compile  at the Bend Wild tasting compound( it’s just weird to write notes and wax poetic about the virtues of a given beer in a pub setting.  We’ll save our eccentricities for the compound!)  Instead this will be a more superficial first impression of what’s on tap in the Bend, Oregon Pubs.

Our initial pubside review comes from the Godfather of Central Oregon Breweries, The Deschutes Brewery.  The initial beer….Skyline Forest Ale.  This light and refreshing golden style ale was made in part to support a phenomenal cause, the Skyline forest initiative which is being spearheaded by the good people at the Deschutes Land Trust, one of Our favorite Non-Profits here at Bend Wild.  To read more about why you should support the Deschutes Land Trust and the Skyline Forest initiative, visit this link.  Skyline Forest.

Skyline Forest ale from the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon

Skyline Forest ale from the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon

This very attractive beer is golden in color with orange undertones and a very attractive haze.  An attractive floral aroma with light fruit undertones initiate this taste profile.  Our suspicion is that this beer is some permutation of a previous Deschutes Brewery pub product, Spencer’s Gold.  The hop profile seems different with this one being more floral in our estimation.  This beer is undeniably light at about 4.5% alcohol.  Our guess is that it weigh in at about 35-40 IBU’s on the hopometer.  A pleasant mouthfeel, especially for a light bodied beer begs for a second gulp.  The finish yields a bit too delicately for our palates, but this beer has excellent potential to be a pub classic.

We a Bend Wild have been craving a light bodied and very hoppy session pale ale to be crafted by one of our beloved Bend Breweries for quite some.  With a bit more bittering and perhaps a bit more aroma(more of the same would work quite well for this particular beer) Skyline Forest Ale could very nicely fill this void in the Central Oregon Beer line-up.  Currently there are no Central Oregon beers to challenge outsiders such as Mission Street Pale Ale from Trader Joe’s/Firestone Walker Brewing company or Alesmith X.  Both of these hoppy session beers are of course brewed in California.  This is a painful admission in the Bend Wild Tasting compound as we’d much prefer to drink locally if possible, but there are no local contenders for a “Hop Session” style Beer(Great Name guys!) brewed in Bend.  This is a style of beer we think will explode onto the Craft beer scene in the next couple of years and frankly, we would prefer that our local beers lead the charge rather than follow it.  Skyline Forest Ale is the best local “Hop Session” effort to date and has the potential to be phenomenal with a couple of minor adjustments.  Regardless it is a quaffable ale brewed for a noble purpose.  Request it the next time you are at the Deschutes Bond Street Pub and ask for a little more aroma and bittering hops!

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