Oh, I love my Mirror pond. This pale ale came my way some several to many years ago, and has remained at the top of the short list ever since. A nonoffensive brew, yet hoppy enough to offer a light, rewarding bite, Mirror Pond is suitable as a transition beer, probably after the Widmer Hefeweizen stage. No lemons in this one, folks.
The Deschutes Brewery is in Bend, OR, a very beautiful part of the country. It was founded in 1988 as a brewpub, expanding into a distributing brewery in 1993. There they produce what I feel is the most consistently great line of ales anywhere. Every single beer they produce could be a favorite. Most notable are the Black Butte Porter, one of my first favorite micros, and very popular all around, and their Jubelale seasonal—rarely have I seen such excitement as the first keg of Jubel awakens near the start of winter. The Cinder Cone Red is looking to be a fabulous addition to their line (new to me, at least!) as well.
Deschutes uses a process called Kraeusening in producing their bottled beers, as well as some of their kegged beers. This process involves the blending of the filtered and fermented beer with a quantity of working wort. The purpose of this is to allow the beer to regain flavor lost through filtering, and also has the benefit of consuming extra oxygen from the bottle, which can cause a beer to skunk.
This is a fantastic beer, with a wonderful flavor that makes it right for any event where a beer sounds good….but leave breakfast for Guiness.