Talk about starting 2012 off with a bang. If you’re looking for some more from the west coast, well today’s the day that you’ll start seeing Deschutes Brewery all around the St. Louis area.

Out of Bend, OR, Deschutes is one of the largest craft breweries in the United States. As they’ve moved east, Deschutes has been very deliberate about moving their beer into area where they see tremendous growth and potential. As we’ve all seen, Missouri has been an absolute hotbed for craft beer over the past few years.

So, starting today you’ll begin seeing Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter 22oz bottles on store shelves and on draft around the area. As we move throughout the year, we’ll begin seeing more of the year-round and limited release items available in the area.

But that doesn’t mean we’ll miss out on all of the fun big beers that came out in 2011. We may see Double Black Butte XXIII, Abyss, Hop Henge, and The Stoic as early as the end of this week. So, be on the look out for those.

If you’re looking to get down with the Deschutes crew, they’ll be in town next week with two big events (and a couple of small releases) going on. Starting on Tuesday, January 19th, Bridge will put on the first keg of Abyss to come into St. Louis. The time this is going on is still TBD.

On Wednesday, January 18th, Deschutes will be doing Beer School at Cicero’s. Brewmaster Brian Faivre will be talking about all of the great beers Deschutes has to offer. I’m sure they will have some goodies to drink as well. If you can’t make it out to Cicero’s, 33 Wine Bar will have a keg of Hop Henge for all of you that love some hoppy goodness.

On Thursday, January 19th there will be a launch party at the International Tap House in Soulard featuring Double Black Butte XXIII, Abyss, and Hop Henge all on draught.

Exciting stuff for an exciting brewery. These may be the dog days of winter, but Deschutes make it much, much more tolerable.