Roanoke, So Far, So Good: Deschutes Carvin’s Cove XPA with Cashmere from Bend Oregon @ Deschutes Tasting Room, Roanoke, Va.
Date: May 13 , 2019
The Story— Deschutes’s Roanoke location our third satellite brewery in as many days. Virginia law requires brewery owned taphouses to produce at least 20% of the beer they sell on premise and it went into effect this January– with one exception, Here’s the exception:
“The provisions of this act shall become effective on April 30, 2022, for a brewery which has entered into: 1) a Performance Agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia Development Opportunity Fund, on or about April 20, 2016; 2) a Performance Agreement entitled “Regarding Operation Period Economic Development Grant”, on or about April 20, 2016, and 3) a commercial lease agreement, on or about April 14, 2017.”
There just happened to be exactly one brewery that met all these specific conditions — Deschutes. Deschutes had indeed entered into an agreement with the state to build a large production brewery in the Roanoke area (specifically Salem, the location of our next two Beers of the Day). But alarmed by shifting market conditions and, we suppose, the failure of Green Flash to successfully recreate its West Coast success on the opposite coast, Deschutes pulled back and has “delayed” its building date. So for the next few years it can continue to operate its downtown Roanoke taphouse even though it produces far less than the 20% requirement.
In fact, although the brewery claims to brew about 6% of its beers there, we saw no evidence of house-brewed beers on our March visit. It was a good bar in a great location, but if it brewed it certainly didn’t brag about it. It is a nice part of a Roanoke crawl, though, even if the beer you’re drinking comes from Bend, Oregon.
We’ve had a soft spot in our hearts since one of their beers became our 15,000th beer note. They’ve rarely disappointed us in the years since then. We had not seen the carvin’s Cove XPA before and we happy to snag it at the Roanoke taproom no matter where it was brewed. (It was brewed in Bend).
The Beer— XPA often stands for “extra pale ale” which looks more or less as described. In this case though the X stands for “experimental,” specifically the new and experimental Cashmere hop. The beer itself was a amber ale of 6% abv with a decidedly west coast fruit accent. It had a creamy smooth feel, but buckets of pineapple flavor that tasted real-enough, fresh and ripe and sort of sweet. I thought that although it was creamy rich and pleasant it was more of a fruit drink than a beer. Ellie disagreed and found an “exquisite” balance in a “super smooth velvety” beer. In any event, it was quite a Cashmere showcase.
Value — Good. $5.50 for a third of a liter is OK, but you pay for the shipping from Oregon.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.