Review: Chainbreaker White IPA, Deschutes

Chainbreaker White IPA
Deschutes Brewing Co. — Bend, OR

  • Style:  White IPA
  • Bitterness:  55 IBU
  • ABV: 5.6%
  • Malts:  Pilsner, Wheat, Unmalted Wheat
  • Hops:  Bravo, Citra, Centennial, Cascade
  • Special Ingredient:  Sweet Orange, Coriander
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle  
  • Calories: 180 per 12 oz.

Description: "Deschutes is taking you into the next beer frontier. Brewed with wheat and pilsner malt; this IPA displays beautiful citrus aromas from Cascade and Citra hops that meld with the esters of Belgian yeast. Think thirst quenching hopped-up wit beer with enough IBUs to warrant the IPA name." — Deschutes Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts:  For the last few years, the Black IPA (or CDA) was among the hottest trends in craft beer. Looks like we're now headed to the other side of the color spectrum with White IPAs! Chainbreaker is a new year-round release from Deschutes. Last summer, I tasted a different version of this beer (simply named White IPA) at the Portland International Beer Festival. I'm tasting Chainbreaker as part of my IPA Diversity series.

The tasting:  Pale yellow in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates fairly slowly. Aroma of bright lemon citrus, hay, coriander, and light notes of musty yeast. Flavor starts with lemon, grapefruit, and tangy wheat. In the middle, the Belgian yeast kicks in and adds notes of pepper, coriander, and mild clove. Overall bitterness is fairly mild for an IPA and alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or flavor. Chainbreaker is light bodied, has lively carbonation, and finishes with lingering grapefruit hops, pepper, and coriander.

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  If I didn't know this was a White IPA, I would have called it a Wit based on it's appearance, aroma, and flavor. That said, if you like the spicy flavors of Belgian-styled beers, this is a beer you should definitely try. Chainbreaker is light, refreshing and an ideal choice for the warm summer months. It's a great example of diversity within the IPA style, and I expect I'll be revisiting it again soon.

Have you tried Chainbreaker or any other White IPAs?

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  1. I really like this! I had it at the Portland Pub last summer. I might have had a fresh-hop version if there was such a thing. FYI, last time I was at Mellow Mushroom they had Boulavards Conflux No 2. If Deschutes has their version you could try them both on tap. Kinda cool I think.

    Isn't there something out on the interwebs about an albino porter?

  2. Tis a great beer indeed. I had a very similar review as this.

  3. Refreshing, crisp, hoppy... what more can I say? Wish we had it down here in socal


  5. Sort of an "IPA Lite." It's not going to satisfy a big IPA craving, but I really like it, and I am going to buy some more. I also like Bitter American for an "IPA Lite" experience.


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