Food & Drink » Winesipper

Beer Guzzler


New Brews in Big Bottles

Craft breweries always try to offer a product a cut above their industrial counterparts. Occasionally, they like to strut their stuff with special beers, typically offered in a large bottle format. Three new limited release microbrews worthy of your attention should be making their way to your favorite market about now. These brews won't be around for long, so enjoy them while you can.

Deschutes Bond Street Bachelor Bitter has been in the valley for a just few weeks. It's a throwback to the original Bachelor Bitter recipe first offered at their public house on Bond Street in Bend, Oregon. Sweet and sour malt aromas carry through on a palate that's dominated by a smooth but aggressive hop attack. While the hop bitterness is ever present, it isn't overwhelming, and the overall impression is one of balance. Add light mocha flavors from English floor malt, plus a light herbaceousness from Northwest hops, and you've got another winner from Deschutes, priced around $3.50 for a 22-ounce bottle.

New to Boise from Colorado's Hale's Ales, the El Jefe Weizen Ale sports a portrait on the label that looks something like a cross between Paul Newman and Col. Sanders. Must be "the boss" to which the El Jefe refers, but one thing is certain-the brew behind the portrait is as delicious as it is refreshing. Opens with fresh straw and spice aromas that give way to lightly creamy malt flavors backed by crisp citrus and subtle hops. Try it with a wedge of lemon if you like-the El Jefe is all about easy summer quaffing. And it's also packaged in a 22-ounce bottle that's priced under three bucks.

An impressive package houses an impressive ale in Idaho's own Grand Teton Brewing Imperial India Pale Ale. A swing top ceramic cork sealed in wax tops the silk-screened liter bottle. It's a bottle-conditioned brew offering a rich, creamy head and twice the malt and hops as their Sweetgrass IPA. The result is a rich but refreshing ale with sweet citrus and spice flavors that finish with a nicely integrated hop bitterness. This one should arrive in the Boise market any day now-expect to pay around $10.