It’s a wide open room with chalkboards behind the full bar and a small stage overlooking a spacious dance floor. Brothers Aaron and John Gumm are new to the bar business, but old hats at finding good music. Their passion is bringing fun live acts together with an extravaganza of quality beer and fresh-juiced cocktails.
The BrewVersity featured former production brewer and current Northern California Deschutes representative Casey Carhart in an intimate setting – the pinball room to the side of the main floor. There, he gathered with twenty or so enthusiasts eager to learn more of the craft. Casey provided instruction and more, regaling the crowd with tales of accidents, some good, some not so much.
There was that time a night shift guy put standard malt in a carefully made all organic batch and tried to cover it up. The result was a finished beer they had no use for, so it sat in barrels with bacteria for two years before anyone tried it again…at which point it was awesome. That’s how Green Monster sour was born, a happy accident.
Less happy was that time a seasoned brewer mistook a full tank of Black Butte for an empty one. He meticulously went about removing a spigot clamp of some kind, which promptly shot off, followed by a jet stream of black beer flowing straight across the room. Casey rushed in to help his counterpart; they were able to stem the leak, but ended up with beer in their boots and in their pockets. A true beer shower.
Patrons tasted several beers, ranging from the best selling Fresh Squeezed IPA (a golden amber, light bodied version whose name feels accurate; it offers a fresh aroma followed by pine resin, OJ flavors and a tinge of grassy hops at the finish)…to the more rare Pinot Suave, an 11.8% smooth operator, aged for 18 months in Pinot Noir barrels. It’s a slightly clouded rose color, smelling of cherry tart and tasting like port, with overtones of vanilla. The lineup is polished, delicious from start to finish.
Deshcutes aims to ply its way slowly and steadily across the years, as it already has, an independent craft brewer from the beginning. They strive for sustainability as well, sitting as the industry low in ratio of gallons of beer produced vs. gallons of water used. Pondering the importance of saving water, we turned philosophical.
In life, Casey mused, we all have our socio-economic standings. In the pub, however, the guy from the million dollar house sits next to the guy living in his travel trailer. Differences are erased over a pint, as each gets a chance to share his honest story. Deschutes hopes to further the idea that what happens in the pub doesn’t have to stay there. We can bring it out to the everyday world.