Bailed Out By The Backup Plan

Jeffrey Wiser, July 11, 2013

The best part of traveling home is visiting loved ones. Not far behind is the second best part of traveling back home: enjoying your beer snobbery. Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, there is no shortage of beer to drink. Don’t believe me? Check out the budding craft beer scene that still flies a little under the radar: Eugene Breweries.

My youngest sister happened to graduate from high school this June and it gave me a great opportunity to travel home and drink some beer... while spending time with friends and family. I took full advantage of the situation and drank up. After all, I’d have been stupid not to and one thing’s for sure: I’m not stupid.

Well, at least when it comes to maximizing my beer drinking opportunities.

The Beer Stein is a great place to sample some local brews and also have access to beers from around the world. When the graduation ceremony ended, a couple friends and I quickly finalized plans to drop in and see what was on tap. It was a typical hoppin’ Friday night at ‘The Stein’ and the line nearly went to the door. Given the quality of beers available and the food on the menu, one can easily understand why.

When I know I’m going to have more than one beer but want to drink something to review, I make sure I order the beer for review first. This makes game-planning essential as you don’t want to order a clunker, get buzzed, then order the beer of the night and try to review it after you’ve already had a beer or two and eaten food. The purer the pallet, the better, especially when it comes to reviewing. If you’ve ever had concern about this, read Michael Donato’s piece on this exact topic.

I straight up turned into a little kid in a candy shop when I saw that they had Dogfish Head 120-Minute IPA on the menu. Seriously, I’ve heard the legends and never had a chance to try it. Now, imagine my feeling when I found out that they ran out of the mythical brew about five customers before I got to order. Not only was I epically disappointed, but my game plan was shattered.

Quick! Scan the menu and find the next best beer for a review! I had spent so much time in line gabbing with my friend about how mind-blowing the 120-Minute was going to be that I completely neglected the rest of the 20+ beers on tap. Rookie mistake and note to self: always have a back up plan.

Fortunately, I was bailed out by something I’d never seen before: Deschutes Brewery’s Saison de Perle. I had been thinking about branching out and getting myself more exposure to some classical styles of beer and this one was perfect just for that reason. Farmhouse ales have long been a favorite of mine and siasons are in the same family, plus Deschutes is a brewery that I’ve long trusted to make a quality beer. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

  • Appearance: cloudy yellow, light, thin foam head (4)
  • Smell: clove, banana and yeast (4.25)
  • Taste: banana, spice and grain; very earthy (4.5)
  • Mouthfeel: light and smooth on the front end with a small kick on the back end (4)
  • Overall: simply delicious, enjoyable to drink and a real treat. Even if you haven’t really drank farmhouse ales in the past, this gem is worth a try if you can find it. (4.25)

Getting a chance to see my friends and family was awesome. Several months apart had been more than enough and I couldn’t have been happier to spend some time with everyone. Enjoying the Eugene craft beer scene made it all the better, though. I really enjoyed the Saison de Perle and it helped me forget about the lost opportunity to experience the legendary 120-Minute IPA.

*Note: the Saison de Perle is only available on tap through a few select venues, so if you really want to experience it, I suggest making the trip to Bend, Oregon and visiting the Deschutes Brew Pubs in Bend or Portland.

You can follow me on twitter @outfieldgrass24 and friend me on Untappd at jwise224. Cheers!