I must admit that there are certain beer trends that I just can’t wrap my head around. And, unfortunately, certain styles that I just can’t get into (I’m looking at you, Hefeweizen and Pilsner). And then there are individual bottles that most people love, but I don’t. Deschutes Brewery, makers of fine craft beers up in Bend, Oregon, produces a readily available – and highly popular – brew called “Fresh Squeezed IPA.” I had tried this very fruity IPA a couple months back, and wasn’t impressed. Not that it was terrible, by any means, but I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about. And yet, the beer remains popular amongst IPA fanatics and rates quite highly – consistently – on untappd. I guess I would just be in the minority when it came to this brew.
But Deschutes makes a lot of beer, and to judge the entire operation based on one brew would be incredibly shortsighted. Besides, their “Mirror Pond” Pale Ale is quite tasty. Perhaps I shouldn’t rope together all of their beers based on my one experience with one (of their many) IPA’s. And so I decided to take a chance on another of their IPA’s – this one called “Pinedrops IPA.”
Boy, was I happy to have an open mind atop my head! “Pinedrops” was absolutely delicious, beginning with the aroma that came barreling out of my glass. Scents of pine and a fresh, Spring River came punching out, and as I continued to sniff the beer, I kept thinking it smelled more and more like a rain forest; an entirely unique experience I’ve had, and I’ve had a lot of craft beer! The beautiful scent came with the golden yellow color of the beer, all which created a delight to the senses before even taking a sip!
But what a sip (or two, or three, or four…) it was! “Pinedrops” has a lot of what its name implies – pine. If you don’t like pine, you won’t like this brew. It is an avalanche of pine, from smell to taste and back again. It’s incredibly easy drinking, with a minimum of bitterness. If you’re looking for a quintessential west coast IPA and don’t mind a pummeling of pine, then pick-up a bottle of this! It’s quite the delicious experience.
As for “Fresh Squeezed IPA,” all I can say is that its style just wasn’t for me. It’s very fruit forward, with an overabundance of fruit flavors that makes it too overwhelming for the tongue. What makes the “Pinedrop” superior to the “Fresh Squeezed” for me is that it focuses on one flavor – pine – while incorporating other tastes in the background. “Fresh Squeezed” just feels like they took a fruit basket and put it in a blender, then added hops. Good for a lot of beer drinkers, but just not for me.
So, in the end, I proclaim “Pinedrops” the superior IPA from Deschutes, but don’t take my word for it! Get yourself bottles of both and make your own decision, because that’s what it’s all about! Cheers.