Picture it: Phoenix, 2016.
A few of my colleagues and I step into a downtown beer bar. A loud, unintelligible cover band plays inside, so we grab an outdoor table next to the bouncers stand to hold court. The bar has a wall of about 70 taps and I’m itching to try stuff I cannot find back in Upstate New York. Immediately, I latch onto my first beer: Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA. I figure that I will start there and work my way through the list. It’s the last night of our conference and I am looking to go out in style.
Except that I never order anything else. The Fresh Squeezed is not like anything I’ve drank before. It’s so utterly juicy and addicting that I abandon my plan to go around the world and focus in on this Oregonian delight. One after another, I knock them back, until the bartender lets our table know that we missed last call.
I bid adieu to the newfound glory of this beer, figuring that it would be years before I tasted it again. Deschutes gets as far east as Ohio, but that’s still eight hours away from my driveway.
Until it appeared on Tavour, the beer delivery service that has supplemented my consumption and driven my wife nuts (because the boxes are so heavy when they arrive) for months. I bought the limit and waited impatiently for them to arrive. In the fridge they went and I impatiently awaited as they reached a proper temperature.
This time, I remembered to pace myself and savour the beer.
It’s a formula that grabs you from the first taste and says, “You will not drink anything else but me tonight.””
The aroma is subtle. Hints of bready malt, citrus, and pine are present but nothing overpowers. That first sip is everything I remember. Sweet malts appear upfront to balance off the blast of Citra hops that deliver flavors of lemon peel, orange, and grapefruit. There’s a thirst quenching quality to this beer that triggers your salivary glands and revs them up. It’s as if your mouth is getting ready for the next sip before you even swallow the previous one.
The beer pours as amber as the bottle in which it came. Almost transparent, it has a fluffy cap with a sticky lacing that hangs on the glass like legs from red wine. The mouthfeel is pretty neutral, though there is a moderate amount of carbonation to tickle your tongue.
It’s a formula that grabs you from the first taste and says, “You will not drink anything else but me tonight.” While Fresh Squeezed is not the best tasting beer or most aromatic beer you will ever drink, it is superbly balanced and calls you back to the glass for the next sip before you ever set it down.