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Food & Drink » Beer & Drink

X is for Xcellent

Deschutes Brewery takes liberties with pale ale...and the alphabet

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According to Armory XPA's legend, Deschutes chose not to brew a known recipe for the first run of their new equipment in the Portland pub. The reason behind the decision was consistency. New equipment has a learning curve if the goal is matching an existing flavor profile. Why not try something brand new instead?

The brewers came up with an experimental pale ale recipe, and Armory XPA was born. What's striking about this beer is that it bridges the gap between softer English pale ales and sharper American versions without losing that Northwest style. It has plenty of hops, but it's not a bitter-bomb (58 IBUs). They are balanced well against the malt sweetness.

There is complexity in the hop aroma and flavor with citrus up front and across the mid-palate. Then it gives way to a medium-length, mild piney finish. The texture is nice and smooth with a moderately creamy head.

XPA will make a fine addition to the summer beer rotation. The bold citrus and slight sweetness will allow it to pair beautifully with spicy dishes—especially fish tacos. If none are available try pairing XPA with a firepit and good conversation.

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