A Lager that drinks like an Ale.
I’m a fan of Deschutes Brewery from Bend and Portland, Oregon. I’ve been to the brewhouse in the Pearl District (I think that’s still considered Pearl District — help me out, Oregonians), and I have yet to be disappointed by a beer sporting their label. If you’re ever in Portland, visit Deschutes on 11th Avenue, South of NW Everett. Try the elk burger – for real. Elk is tough to cook without drying it out, and they fucking nail it.
Deschutes is also mostly known for their ales, porters and stouts. The Mirror Pond Pale, the Red Chair Red IPA and the Black Butte Porter are in regular rotation here at The Second Draft. So, when a Lager popped back into their rotation – namely, the Pacific Wonderland – I definitely wanted to check out a beer outside both my comfort zone, and possibly theirs.
The Pacific Wonderland Lager is a very accessible beer.
Poured into a rastal pint glass from a bottle, the Pacific Wonderland produces a clear wheat color with about a finger of clean, white head. The nose of the beer is very unassuming and with light citrus and floral hoppiness, and just a little bit of toasty notes. If I had to give the initial presentation a numerical score out of 100, it would likely top off at a respectable 80.
So, how does this floral lager taste?
Right away, the Pacific Wonderland reminds of a light ale. If you’re familiar with Pilsner beers, you’ll still recognize that signature bite from the malt, but only in very minor notes on the finish. Otherwise, the Hallertau Herkules and Hallertau Mittlefruh hops are front and center, more floral than bitter and playful in their subtlety. Complimenting them well is the soft citrus flavoring from the Tettnang Mandarina hops. The beer drinks with average amount of lacing left on the glass. Out of a possible 100 in terms of taste, the Pacific Wonderland earns a solid 85. It’s a delicate beer that’s accessible and approachable to those accustomed to more mainstream Pilsners, but nuanced enough to interest veteran drinkers. And at 5.5% ABU, it’s definitely sessionable and a very solid, refreshing beer in the Summer weather.
Final thoughts on the Pacific Wonderland Lager.
I’m a believer. Overall, the beer earns a very respectable 82.5 out of a possible 100. Deschutes does many things well (including excellent elk burgers), and now I’m certain Lagers are comfortably on that list. It’s available all over, so do yourself a favor and give it a go or two.
Have you tried the Pacific Wonderland Lager? Tell us what you think in the comments below, or go nuts on our FORUMS!