One can't help but wonder if Deschutes can do no wrong, and if this year's Red Chair is anything to go by, the answer is pretty clear. I am fully OK with coming off as a slobbering Deschutes fanboy as long as they make beer like this.
It pours a lovely golden amber color, with a seductive come hither look. The nose, with its suggestive sweet malts, leaves little doubt that this is a pale ale, and a good one at that.
The flavor is really what sets Red Chair apart from its more average little brother, the Mirror Pond. What makes this a Northwestern pale are the hops. It's not insanely crazy, but the hops do balance out the malts nicely, and there are citric undertones that add a level of complexity to the beer.
Yet, with the medium mouthfeel and 6.4% ABV this is instantly drinkable, one that the hardest Corona Man could enjoy. It might feel a bit too early for a spring-like ale, but if our Masters at Deschutes say it is time, who are we to argue?
Vote for Deschutes Red Chair NWPA 2011: It’s your civic duty!