Brewer's Picks

This Belgian Beer Is the Real Champagne of Beers


November 22, 2019 Drinks By

Veronica Vega did not come to brewing in the traditional way. When most brewers get their start by homebrewing, Veronica was enamored with the scale of production brewing when she started at Deschutes as a tour guide. Having a degree in biology, she was blown away by the magnitude of the equipment and the delicate balance it required to operate.

Now the Director of Product Development at Deschutes Brewery, Vega’s tastes run the spectrum of fruit beers to the real champagne of beers to porters (she does work at Deschutes remember). Here’s what she’s drinking nowadays.

Best Beer You Drank Recently: Cerveceria Cyprez Saison

ABV: 6%
Beer Style: Farmhouse Ale – Saison
Availability: Local, Year-Round

“I had the pleasure of being a judge at Copa Cerveza, the competition for Mexican Craft Beer. I judged the medal round for saisons, one of my favorite beer styles, and we gave the gold to Saison by Cerverceria Cyprez. It was so magical and memorable.”

Favorite Everyday Beer: New Belgium x Primus Mural Agua Fresca

ABV: 4%
Beer Style: Fruit Beer
Availability: National, Year-Round

“Honest answer: I never drink the same beer every day, which I am annoyed at myself for admitting. I can be very seasonally or situationally inclined when it comes to any beverage really. Fall is my time for CDAs and Bier de Gardes. If it’s just a one-pint situation, I typically go for hoppy. If I’m on a boat, Modelo. Pairing with sushi or Thai food, a saison. With cheese, a beer with brett character. This summer I really dug New Belgium/Primus Mural, a beer I actually purchased twice.”

Grail Beer: Brouwerij Bosteels DeuS

ABV: 11.5%
Beer Style: Brut de Flandres
Availability: International, Year-Round

“Somewhat rare, though more so a beer I find impossible to replicate is DeuS by Brouwerij Bosteels. It’s a Brut de Flandres — the closest thing to champagne that a beer will ever be. They follow the method champenoise, a painstakingly long and tedious bottle conditioning technique that includes riddling (turning the bottle half turns regularly to motivate the yeast down towards the neck) and disgorging (freezing the yeast in the neck, removing it and then corking). It carries beautiful, elegantly light spice notes from the Belgian yeast, but also herbal elderflower, light mint, and lemon. It’s magical. Eleven percent for special occasions, or when you find yourself at a Belgian beer festival and never leave the booth because it’s the best thing there.”

The Beer That Changed Things for You: Sierra Nevada Porter

ABV: 5.6%
Beer Style: Porter
Availability: National, Year-Round

“Sierra Nevada Porter introduced me to craft in general. Brought a feeling of fulfillment and delight to my solo camping adventures in college. I would pack my dog, a stick of salami, a cheese block, crackers and mustard and Sierra Nevada Porter and all was right in the world. Porter comes back full circle in that I ended up at Deschutes, whose Black Butte Porter has defined the category and remains one of my favorite beers today, especially on nitro.”

Beer You’re in Search of (ISO): Odell Brewing Co. Mountain Standard IPA

ABV: 6.5%
Beer Style: IPA
Availability: Local, Year-Round

“This summer I got to try Odell’s Mountain Standard on a trip to Idaho and I’m in search of it in Oregon because it might be the perfect IPA. Yes, I said it. I am also currently working on NA beers. We have a really cool Irish Stout in development and so I’m always keeping an eye out for craft NA to keep my finger on the pulse.”

Evil Twin’s Founder on a Surprisingly Good Carrot Beer

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Jarnit-Bjergsø’s own drinking tastes are heavily-rooted in traditional Belgian styles which is the perfect foundation for American craft beer innovation. Here’s what he’s drinking nowadays. See his picks

Ryan Brower

Ryan Brower serves as Commerce Editor and also writes about beer and surfing for Gear Patrol. He lives in Brooklyn, loves the ocean and almost always has a film camera handy.

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