Deschutes Launches New Seasonal, Luna Jo

Deschutes Brewery releases a brand-new addition to their seasonal portfolio, Luna Jo, a cold brew coffee lager. Dark beer is a pillar of Deschutes Brewery’s origin story. Continuous innovation, along with the quest to partner with like-minded businesses with a passion for craft, led to the release of Luna Jo, a collaboration with Riff Cold Brewed.

The Deschutes and Riff experimental brewing teams collaboratively explored the space of beer and coffee combinations utilizing cold brew, a fast-growing sector in the ready-to-drink beverage category and arrived at an unexpected pairing of a light-bodied, dark Mexican style lager that matched beautifully with vibrant coffee aromas and flavors of Riff’s Off The Cuff cold-brewed coffee.

“We have a long-standing friendship with the team at Riff,” said Veronica Vega, director of new product development at Deschutes. “We’re so excited to join forces with this fellow local craft beverage company to celebrate craftsmanship.”

When Riff co-founder and CEO Paul Evers and his family first moved to Bend thirty years ago, he was introduced to Black Butte Porter, a style he didn’t know well, from a brewery he’d never heard of. Since then, Paul has remained connected to Deschutes over the years, returning to the source of Black Butte Porter to collaborate with Deschutes along with the team at his new venture, Riff Cold Brewed.

Sharing ideas over time, both Deschutes and Riff used their experimental pilot brewing systems for pilot-to-pilot exploration.

“I’m super impressed by Deschutes’ freedom to experiment and their ability to balance innovation with standardization at their size,” said Paul. “Riff is a young, emerging company that is disrupting the coffee category, comparable to Deschutes thirty years ago with beer. We’re loving working with Deschutes as a trusted brand and leader in the broader spectrum of craft beverages.”

Deschutes and Riff share a passion for craft and with Riff’s roots in craft beer, Riff’s Co-founder and Director of Brewing and Innovation, Nate Armburst, was one of Deschutes’ original interns from Oregon State University in the late 90’s, their dedicated teams utilized cold brew’s smooth and well-rounded nature, with less bitterness and acidity than drip coffee, to add rich nuttiness to this surprisingly light bodied lager.

To both local Bend companies, Luna Jo represents more than a beer, it’s about coming together for projects because they’re different, fun and good for building community, it’s about making memories and building relationships.

“Our pubs and people meeting us and connecting with us, that is where I’ve landed on what makes craft, craft,” Veronica said.  “It’s about relationships,” Paul chimed in. “It’s all about relationships,” Veronica agreed.

Luna Jo is 5% ABV and 25 IBUs and is currently on draft at Deschutes locations and Riff’s Tap Room and will begin shipping to distributors this week. Luna Jo will be available in all markets where Deschutes is sold in 12-ounce, six pack bottles and on draft through March. Riff’s Off the Cuff and other cold brewed coffees are available in Northern California, Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming and Arizona, with continued expansion east.

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