The first beer the brewery ever bottled, Deschutes Brewery’s festive winter ale celebrates featured local art on the packaging each year.
A work of art in more ways than one, Deschutes Brewery’s winter seasonal, Jubelale, will hit store shelves and tap handles next month to welcome the changing season. To celebrate the 30th bottling, for the first time ever, this year’s packaging will feature not one, but a series of custom snowflake themed illustrations by Bend artist MaryLea Harris.
“I was so honored to be invited to create the label for the 30th anniversary of this beloved beer, and to join the ranks of artists I esteem and admire,” said Harris. “I like to work in series, and landed on creating four snowflake paintings for this project because no two snowflakes are alike just like no two beers are ever exactly alike. It’s exciting to be the first artist to create more than one piece of art for the label and have a mixed and matched set of bottles in each six-pack this year.”
Harris, who specializes in mixed-media and painting, used a complex process to create the Deschutes Snowflake series. She started by layering plaster and acrylic paint applied to a primed canvas with recycled plastic gift cards as scraping tools. As a nod to the history of the brewery and the beer, she tore up Jubelale posters from the past three years along with some local articles about Deschutes Brewery and glued them to the painted background. She then continued to build up layers of paint with brush strokes and liquid acrylic ink drips to achieve the colorful surface. The last step was to paint each snowflake by hand, as she explains, “so each are unique and full of complexity and detail.”
This complexity adorning the bottle’s exterior is mirrored inside the bottle as Jubelale is unique to many of Deschutes Brewery’s other beers in its malty and dried fruit character, along with the use of EKG hops which have a light herbal and spice quality. Jubelale will be available in six-packs and on draft everywhere Deschutes Brewery beer is sold, starting in October.
A special launch event was held at the Deschutes Brewery and Public House in downtown Bend on October 16, where Harris was on hand to meet with fans and sign posters.
Family and employee owned since 1988, Deschutes Brewery — Bend’s original brewpub — has become the cornerstone of Central Oregon’s flourishing craft brew culture. Known for its generous use of whole hops in its defining beers such as Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Fresh Squeezed IPA, the brewery also keeps fans on the edge of their bar stools with the release of small batch experimental beers each season. Now available in 29 states and Washington D.C., Deschutes’ flagship brewpub has been joined by a main brewing facility overlooking the Deschutes River in Bend, a pub in Portland and a tasting room in Roanoke, Virginia where it will build a new east coast brewery.