Photo by Tammy Tuck
Photo by Tammy Tuck

Where in Town: Metro Wine & Spirits, 1726 Columbia Road NW

Price: $11.99/six-pack

Schute That’s Good

In 1988, Deschutes Brewery opened as a small brewpub in Bend, Oregon, producing only about 300 barrels in its first year. Several expansions later, that number rose to nearly 350,000 barrels last year, making it one of the largest independent craft breweries in the country. The company, which distributes to 28 states and the District, is best known for its Black Butte Porter. The popular brew was one of the first dark beers to win over the craft beer world. It’s so revered that, as a tribute, every year the brewery creates a new barrel-aged Imperial version with special ingredients like figs or chiles.

A True Beaut

Much like the extinct volcano it’s named after, Black Butte Porter is captivating. The 5.2-percent alcohol brew is light in body yet rich and complex. Aromas of cocoa powder, toffee, and medium-roast coffee give way to layers of flavor derived from the beer’s English ale yeast and five malts: pale, Carapils, chocolate, crystal, and wheat. Notes of burnt sugar and molasses are followed by chocolate, biscuit, and hints of banana and caramel. The darker malt’s roast character—along with Cascade, Bravo and Tettnang hops—adds bite and bitterness to the beer’s finish and make it great to sip during the first cold days of fall. Finding some is easy since Deschutes hit Washington-area bars and bottle shops two years ago. Soon it will be even easier thanks to the brewery’s new production facility in Roanoke, Virginia, set to open in 2020.