This month City Beer Store has special collaboration ales on tap. Among them is Deschutes and Boulevard Brewing Conflux No.2 Belgian style IPA. Combining the former’s expertise at making hoppy ales and the latter’s expertise at making Belgian style Witbiers, what results is an ale all their own.
This beer was poured for me on tap, but the bartender was suspicious of its murky character and opened a bottled one just to compare. The bottled beer was much cleaner, although the yeast particles where still abundant. It has a sweet fruity smell with the tickling spice of the coriander and hops. This makes the beer really appear more like a Witbier than an IPA, but the taste is rich with grassy hops. The coriander and the orange flavor go well together and the relatively light body feel coupled with medium carbonation add to the refreshing crisp character. The 7.5% ABV makes it drink more like an IPA than a Witbier, but the Witbier characteristics offer balance in a way that make it a unique fusion. Try pairing this with aged, nutty goats milk cheeses and dry cured meats, or if you’re craving something sweet, flambéed bananas can bring out the sweet yeast in the beer.
Belgian IPAs are still relatively new and because of that they tend to vary greatly in characteristics. For me, this beer really worked with the hops in the forefront backed by the sweet and fruity Belgian yeasts. Overall, it’s a pleasing combination with good complexity and definitely a must try.
Photo credit: oregonbeerproject.com