Here is some interesting commentary from Deschutes Brewery Founder and CEO, Gary Fish. He sounds intent on blurring the lines between beer, wine, mead, cider…you name it.
With wine, blending is everything. I think that is the next frontier for beer.
Our growth rate over the last five years is probably behind the marketplace but we’ve been spending a lot of time preparing ourselves for the next wave of craft brewing which is not just barrel aged beers, not just- we’ve done the hoppy thing. We’ve demonstrated that we know hops.
What we are internally interested in are the various yeasts, the various bacterias, the various barrel aging and as I mentioned earlier, I think we’re really focused on how blending can create the next wave of adult beverage. I think, personally, we can create a Burgandy to rival the best that anything France has ever come up with without ever using a single grape. I think that’s the future.
All of that said, Deschutes’ latest foray on the bleeding edge, The Stoic, is getting mixed reviews. The beer is partially aged in both oak wine barrels and oak rye whiskey barrels.
Deschutes also has a blending project with Hair of the Dog that may finally be completed this winter.