Bend , OR
Available: AK, AZ, BC, CA, CO, HI, ID, MN, MT, ND, NM, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY
Rarely do two rivers converge in nature without some degree of turbulence. Fortunately, for everyone with taste buds, two esteemed brewmasters have pioneered a never-before-seen style with practiced composure and sure vision. Conflux #2, a true collaboration ale, pairs the best of the best – Boulevard Brewing’s Belgian and wheat expertise with Deschutes Brewery’s hop mastery – while conjuring a White IPA into existence, full of smooth currents and unexpected eddies.
Original gravity: 1068
Conflux 2 could be one of the best examples of the result when two great brewers, each with a different expertise, collaborate. Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwel is a wit wonder and Deschutes brewmaster Larry Sidor is a Northwest hops ninja. Conflux—Deschutes’ version—is a perfect example of 1+1=3; the sum is more than its parts. (Boulevard’s version is equally tasty.) Conflux 2 comes on strong, with clove, orange peel and coriander leading the way before crisp, lemony hops take the lead. Sage and lemongrass join the party, and, yet, with all this complexity, Conflux 2 somehow feels almost ethereal in the mouth.
This collaboration beer with Boulevard Brewing is an experiment in combining the U.S. IPA and witbier styles. Can they work together? On this evidence, most definitely. Sweet cereals lead the way on the palate, quickly cut across by crisp, herbal hop resins. Pine, perfume, lemon, orange and a peppery warmth add more complexity yet it’s all so deftly handled that there’s a welcome delicacy behind the boldness of the flavors. And, of course, the added coriander works wonderfully well with the citrus notes of the hops, too. A big, satisfying, tasty beer with a light touch.