If you’re a fan of beer, you’ve got to be excited about Anniversary Ales. They are typically big, hoppy brews, loaded with alcohol and malt, and show off a brewers ability to make a decadent brew. In the first part of their 20th Anniversary celebration, Deschutes has gone the opposite direction with their 20th Anniversary Wit.
This one is a bit odd when it comes to appearance. First things first, I love the bottle. It has a very earthy feel and gets me in the mood for some yeasty flavors. The odd stuff starts in the color of the pour. Very pale, almost pilsner-like but only slightly cloudy. Just doesn’t seem like a Wit. On top of this oddly clear wit is the typical fluffy head., full of spicy fruity aromas.
The flavor is very light, slightly watery, but again, full of banana, cloves and spice. Very easy to drink, and not strong at all, this fits the bill for a wit rather well. I could see myself drinking more than a couple of these on a blistering hot summer day.
Initially, my reaction to this beer was that I was underwhelmed. It’s a wit, and not a spectacular one. It’s a good beer, but I just didn’t feel that it met the bar set by so many anniversary ales that have preceeded it. Then, the next day, I had an urge for a beer. I had an urge for that beer. I didn’t have any more so I drank another selection from the frisdge, but I still wanted that Deschutes 20th Anniversary Wit.
This beer isn’t big. It isn’t aggressive. What this beer is, though, is a well crafted, very tasty, refreshing beer. We get so caught up in big malt, big hops and all that is part of modern brewing today that sometimes we forget what quality classic brewing is about. I think this beer does a great job of showing what a brewer who has been in business for 20 years can offer. If you want big, malty, hoppy and aggressive, grab a bottle of Black Butte XX, their other Anniversary Ale, which I will be buying and reviewing in the near future.