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A New Style of Craft Experimentation Is Born with Armory XPA

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There's a reason why Oregon's Deschutes Brewery has kept its fans on their toes with the new and unexpected for the past 28 years.  Their brewers are encouraged to play around, channel their inner artist, and create brews that defy the norm. With experimental brew houses in the brewery's two Oregon pubs, the team takes full advantage of the opportunity to think outside the box. Many of Deschutes' well-known beers were born within the walls of these brew pubs, tested on enthusiastic patrons, and eventually made their way into bottles across the country.

One of Deschutes Brewery's newer beers is still traveling down its very own experimental road. Armory XPA (that's "eXperimental Pale Ale," by the way) was born and named at the brewery's Portland, OR, pub, which sits across the street from the city's historic Armory building. One of the first beers to ever use the now wildly popular Citra hops, this brew continuously tries out new hops — some of them so new they're just a number without a name.

After a wholehearted thumbs-up from the fans who visited the pubs, the beer eventually made its way into the market as a special draft-only beer that was distributed across the country. In March 2016, it debuted in six-packs. The brewers used a huge array of hops in Armory XPA: a bitter twist from Nugget and Northern Brewer hops, and a pronounced citrus kick from Cascade, Centennial, and Citra hops.

Landing in bottles is usually the ultimate achievement for a brew, but for Armory XPA, the journey continues. Deschutes' brewing team just can't leave this one alone. Just a few weeks ago, the second bottled version of this beer hit shelves across the country. This tropical second-generation XPA takes the hops a step further, highlighting the experimental hop #07270. Who knows what the team has up their sleeves for the next round? One thing is certain -€” the newest XPA will be refreshing, bright, and a showcase for another new hop in all of its glory.

Once again, Deschutes is testing its Armory XPA on its biggest hop enthusiasts. Just like the patrons at the pub when this beer first went on tap, fans are again invited to be part of the process. Just post a photo to Twitter or Instagram using #ArmoryXPA and @DeschutesBeer to enter for a chance to win an exclusive trip for two to the place where it all begins — the experimental hop farm. And if you have an extra minute, share your feedback on the beer, which will help the brewers continue to improve their craft and improve each new version of Armory XPA.

So join the Armory XPA Experiment, and enter today at for your chance to win a trip to the hop farm. It's a journey that's too tasty to be missed.

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