Deschutes Red Chair NWPA Review

Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon has a solid line of year round beers and many times an even better line-up of seasonal ans special release beer. The spring seasonal beer from Deschutes in 2010 is the Red Chair NWPA (Northwest Pale Ale). I thought it would be heard to beat Cinder Cone Red from 2009 but they did it.

This beer has a nice balance between hoppy and malty and I found it to be an excellent beer to accompany a long day of snowboarding. When I saw this beer at Northstar-at-Tahoe during lunch, there was no doubt that I was going to pick some up. Although, this beer worked well in cold weather, I think it would be great anytime of the year.

Deschutes named this beer after the oldest operating lift at Mt. Bachelor and they describe this Northwest Pale Ale as follows:

What makes this copper colored beauty so wildly popular?  As a debut Northwest Pale Ale, it’s an adventure all its own.  It has a plush body with satiny caramel flavors derived from seven varieties of malt.  Yet, despite it all, it remains a hop-forward ale with that distinctive citrusy punch.  Just minus any mouth-puckering bitterness.

Date Reviewed. April 5, 2010

Where I Found It. Draeger’s in San Mateo, CA.

Serving Type. 12 oz bottle to pint glass.

Appearance. Red Chair has a creamy meringue-colored head with average retention and a crystal clear orange-brown color.

Smell. The aroma of this beer is a little toasty, bisquity, syrupy, and malty. The hop nose is very noticeable with a hint of citrus, like orange and grapefruit, Squirt comes to mind. The hops are not earthy and certainly not grassy. It includes a hint of pine, a dash of cedar, and some citrus. The bouquet of fresh green hops predominates.

Taste. The bitterness of Red Chair is very apparent and a bit spicy but it contributes to the crisp drinkable nature of this beer. It is balanced by just enough roasted malt sweetness to smooth out the bitterness without having being too sweet. This is a very enjoyable and delicious beer.

Mouthfeel. Red Chiar is a medium bodied beer with an average amount of carbonation and it goes down smoothly.

Drinkability. I find the balance of this beer makes it highly drinkable and easy to quaff several. It has just enough sweetness to counter the bitterness of the hops. It has a crisp nature to the bitterness that make it quenching and quaffable. I find that there are aspects of this beer than can adapt to nearly any beer craving. I wish it was offered all year round.

Rating. My ratings below are on a five point scale with five being the best score.

  • Appearance (20%): 4.5
  • Smell (20%): 4.5
  • Taste (40%): 4.5
  • Mouthfeel (10%): 4.0
  • Drinkability (10%): 5.0
  • Overall: 4.50


  • Style: IPA
  • Brewery: Deschutes Brewery [more info]
  • Alcohol by volume: 6.4%
  • Bitterness: 60 IBU
  • Beer Advocate rating: 3.92 (as of May 1, 2010)

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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5 Responses to Deschutes Red Chair NWPA Review

  1. You gotta try Hop Henge from Deschutes!

  2. Pingback: Meet the Expert: David Jensen of Beer 47 | The Menuism Blog

  3. Pingback: Pale Ale Blind Tasting Party | Beer 47

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