Light: Deschutes River Ale
Deschutes needed this beer. At 4% and 28 IBUs, this is clearly a light session ale—a "cool-down beer," if you will. Normally Pabst, Hamm's, Rainier, Olympia et al. fills this role, but, man, they don't have Oly on tap at Deschutes. And if you're there sucking down My Abey Weiss, a delicious 7.3% Trappist-style beer, you may need to move to something more mellow as the night wears on. Hence "cool-down beer."
But Deschutes needed the River Ale for greater market power, too. I talked to Deschutes CEO Gary Fish after a recent City Club meeting and he said that the lower-alcohol beer will allow Deschutes to distribute to areas in Colorado and Utah, where the alcohol laws make zero sense. It's not Deschutes' most flavorful beer, but it's not supposed to be.