Fermented for more than 18 months in isolation from the rest of the beers, The Dissident is a distinctive Oud Bruin, Flanders-style brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor, the first wild yeast beer made by the award-winning Deschutes Brewery.
To give The Dissident its characteristic sour taste the brewery used a wild yeast strain called Brettanomyces (also known as Brett) during fermentation. Known throughout the wine world for creating earthy undertones found in many European wines, Brett is used in the beer fermentation process to create strong flavors typically associated with Belgian beers. Unlike English varieties that use traditional inoculated yeasts in the fermentation process, beers made with Brett take much longer to ferment and require additional barrel finishing time to balance the sour flavoring. In the Dissident’s case, this meant aging a portion of it in pinot and cabernet barrels for over 3 months. Another key flavor component comes from the Central Washington cherries that were added twelve months ago.
Due to the wild yeast , The Dissident required special treatment and was held in isolation under lock and key apart from the rest of the brewery’s beers to avoid any cross-contamination. A secondary bottling line was also brought in from an outside contractor to facilitate The Dissident’s bottling and insure the beer and wild yeast never touched the brewery’s machinery. With a beer this wild and truly unique, Deschutes needed a special label to alert consumers to what lay inside. The resulting image immediately sets The Dissident apart from the other Deschutes Brewery beers, even the Reserve Series beers.
The fruit and acidity in The Dissident make it ideal for pairing with a wide variety of dishes – the high acidity is perfect for cutting creamy dishes or cooling spicy ones. Because of the fruity characteristics derived from the cherries, the beer also pairs well with chocolate. Deschutes Brewery President and Founder Gary Fish recommends pairing the Dissident with “anything chocolate, the darker the better, soft cheeses like Brie and creamy dishes like spaghetti carbonara, or macaroni and cheese.