Van Henion is Bend's newest brewery. The brewery opened up in the old Boneyard Production facility on the east side of town in 2021. With the amount of brewing experience to be had by the folks who opened this brewery, it's no wonder they came out of the gate strong. It's also no surprise that Portland's Migration Brewing reached out to them to brew a collaboration beer. What a match made in beer heaven! These two great breweries created the Schmetterling German Winter Ale, a unique and freaking delicious dark beer.
Schmetterling is a 6.2% ABV beer that has a rich, dark appearance with a lovely frothy brown head. Take a long sniff and you will pick up strong rye notes, underlying chocolate and a touch of clove. Taking that first sip, you get rye with its signature bitter note, then some light notes of clove and spices, but the underlying brightness is what really takes this beer to another level and balances it out in such a way that it is pretty darn crushable. Yep, I said it. A crushable winter ale. This beer uses Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops which lends to the brightness and spiciness. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but nevertheless this is an easy drinking beer. There is a real complexity to this beer, yet it remains so balanced and clean. Very impressive. The rye varieties give additional complexity and provide a strong base for other flavors to bounce off. I could have spent all day picking up on the variety of flavor notes that presented themselves. In other words, every drink was an experience. I give this beer a solid 4 out of 5 on my drinkability scale. I would recommend this beer to all types of beer drinkers.
When I asked Dana Henion about this beer, she told me that Schmetterling is a twist on a Dunkelweizen, mixed with the Roggenbeir style. A Dunkelweizen is an "all grain" beer, whereas the Roggenbeir style is brewed with a high proportion of rye malts and has fruity notes, adding additional brightness to the beer. Schmetterling was brewed with half wheat and half rye as an addition to the grist and includes pilsner and dark specialty malts. Henion mentioned what a great time it was to collaborate with Migration for this beer.
"The folks at Migration are really cool, down to earth and best of all, great brewers," she said.
Van Henion only has a few kegs left of Schmetterling, so get over there and grab this tasty pint (or really, anything they have on tap). Van Henion does NOT disappoint. The tap room is dog friendly, with green velvet walls and kitschy artwork, a handful of tables and bar seating. The tasting room has an inviting, relaxing vibe that will make you want to stay awhile. Each beer I've had from Van Henion has been so clean, and well thought out. I am excited to see what beers they will make in the future. You can also grab cans to go from their cooler. While there, try the Pesto Chicken flatbread sando from That Guy's Bistro. It's money. Cheers!
Van Henion Brewing Company Tasting Room
Open Tue-Fri 2-8pm, Sat Noon-8
Van Henion Brewing Company
63067 Plateau Drive, Bend