Greetings Mavericks, Eric here, back on the blog to bring to you the first of many (elegantly written and insightfully reviewed) beer posts. The King Maverick himself asked me to take on the daunting task of “blog beer guy” but to be honest, this is my first formal beer review, so feel very welcome to comment on this post to give feedback to me on writing, beer infos, or even your impressions of the beverage being reviewed if you’ve tried it. I’m looking to become a better writer and a better drinker, so help me out, why dontcha?! I’ve intro’d enough, here’s the review:

Last night I had the pleasure of enjoying a bottle of Deschutes Brewery: Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale. (A Northwest Pale Ale is just an IPA made with hops that are exclusively grown in the Northwest region of the USA.) I picked up a six pack of this variety at a corner liquor store in Palms, CA about 100 paces from my girlfriend’s apartment. I chose the Red Chair because it was one of the only beers on the shelves I’d never seen before (I go to this liquor store to get beer OFTEN).

Deschutes is a well known and well loved craft brewer based in Bend, OR, a west coast haven of quality beer, and I’ve tried and enjoyed many of their varieties, but this one had escaped me previously because it’s seasonal and is only available January through April. I am generally a fan of darker, more full flavored beers, and I LOVE good IPA’s, so I was immediately very excited for this IPA and my expectations became very high.

The Red Chair poured a beautiful amber color with mild carbonation and a creamy half-inch head of fine, but persistent bubbles. It smelled incredible with heavy citrus on the nose and a good strong hoppy bite in the aroma. I proceeded to dig right in.

My first impression was that of a simple hop-fest and felt the bitterness push to the front of my palate, but a few sips later, the 7 different malts started to shine and the complexity of this beer unfolded. There were hints of caramel and pine from the malts and the citrus I smelled on the nose from the hops was also present in the mouth of this ale. I was very impressed with the Red Chair, it’s extremely drinkable, in fact it may be one of the most balanced and enjoyable IPA’s I’ve had that didn’t accomplish this goal by backing off on the hoppiness.

The head of this beer had excellent retention and there was beautiful lacing down the entire length of the glass; I enjoyed the smell, taste, and sight of this beer down to the last sip. I quickly cracked open a second bottle, and then a third…