Deschutes Twilight (5% ABV and 35 IBU) is a summer seasonal Golden or Blonde Ale. This is not one of my favorite beer styles, but I wanted to try it since it was from Deschutes. Twilight pours golden amber with a lacey two-finger head. Twilight has good flavor and it is mellower than some of Deschutes other varieties – it has a good malt base with light hop bitterness to balance the beer. I am also thinking they tried to tweak the color to match what it would look like at twilight across the Deschutes river as captured on the label. The web site description of Twilight is, “A lighter, yet full-flavored, aromatic Ale for the long days of summer. Twilight’s solid malt foundation pairs with distinctive Amarillo hops for flavors every bit as intriguing as bigger, heavier ales. A back porch, lingering sunset wonder.” This is a nice summer beer.
New Belgium is best known for Fat Tire but they make many other styles. One of my favorites is Abbey (7% ABV and 20 IBU). Abbey pours cloudy dark tan with a two-finger head and has an aroma of a Belgian-style ale. The aroma comes from the yeast used by the brewer and Abbey smells really good. New Belgium describes Abbey as, “Winner of four World Beer Cup medals and eight medals at the Great American Beer Fest, Abbey Belgian Ale is the Mark Spitz of New Belgium s lineup - but it didn’t start out that way. When Jeff and Kim first sampled the beer at the Lyons Folks Fest, reviews were mixed at best. One of founder Jeff’s first two Belgian style homebrews (along with Fat Tire), Abbey is a Belgian dubbel (or double) brewed with six different malts and an authentic Belgian yeast strain. Abbey is bottle-conditioned, weighs in at 7.0% alcohol by volume, and pairs well with chocolate (or boldly served by itself) for dessert.” Abbey tastes great and I understand why it has won the number of medals it has garnered over the years. This is one of my favorites from New Belgium and my list from New Belgium is Abbey, 1554 and Ranger. These are all very good.