In the Source Weekly's Best Of 2021 edition, Central Oregonians ranked their favorite beers in five categories: Dark, hazy, light, IPA and seasonal. Being relatively new to the area, I decided to try all the winners and runners up I could find to get a better understanding of the local beer scene. Being relatively new to beer reporting, I decided to drink them all in one sitting, writing as I go.
As a news guy the act of reporting on a vice is foreign to me. Writing why a beer is good is, to me, like writing about why puppies are cute. I've never had a beer I didn't like and to date my favorite type of beer is: free. So, without further ado, let's drink.
- Jack Harvel
- Sometimes, the job can drive you to drink. Don't believe me? Check out the story I covered on page 9.
Light BeersSentimental for the Miller Lites I stole from my father as a teenager, I decide to start with the Crux Pilsner, the light beer runner-up. The German-style beer doesn't disappoint, and reminds me of those Millers had they been thoughtfully brewed by hand and not the cold corporate fist of the Miller Brewing Company.
Next up is Good Life's Sweet As, a pale ale with fruitier notes than the pilsner, and retaining an easy light beer drinkability. In fact, it's so drinkable I'm drinking another.
Dark BeersThree beers in and I'm craving something a little darker, so I pop open our Dark Beer runner-up, 10 Barrel's S1nist0r Black Ale. Being the (now tipsy) grammar guy that I am, I ignore the strange spelling and take a swig; surprisingly the dark beer doesn't have the liquid bread characteristics of a Guinness. It tastes a bit like chocolate and it makes you dizzy, that's a good thing.
My fifth beer is one of Bend's finest, Deschutes Brewery's flagship Black Butte Porter. I try to focus on the tastes, aromas and mouthfeel, but five beers deep and I am unable to think about anything besides having a cigarette. I go smoke, temporarily destroying my palate and therefore my ability to judge how delicious it was. Having had this one before, I'll assume it was great.
IPAsAhh, the India Pale Ale, the most maligned of all beers. People say IPAs are just for hipsters, but that's impossible because I like them, too. I start with Sunriver Brewing's Vicious Mosquito IPA, our runner-up in the IPA category. Earlier I said my favorite beer is free, but I'm changing my mind. Now, my favorite beer is: Sixth.
Next up we've got RPM IPA, which has won this award nine times. Nine awards speak for themselves, at least better than I can; my speech is slurred and I'm fergitting I'm supposed to be doing serious beer journalism.
HazyHazy's how I'm feeling and hazy's what I'm drinking, starting with Good Life Sippy Cup Hazy Pale. Tastes a bit like fruits and beer, and goddamn I'm wasted. 10/10. New favorite Beer: Eight!
The winner of the hazy catergory is Deschutes Brewery's Fresh Haze, spuriously named as it comes in a can. Despite the false advertising, the beer's good, and I'm good and really, I'm OK.
SeasonalIt feels like Christmas but it aren't, and our winners for seasonal are both Winter beers. Deschutes Brewery's Jubelale and Red Chair eevade me for now, but I'm determined to drink my 10th and 11th beer. To archieve thus, I'm maintaining my current blood alcohol lever until it available.