The Pacific Wonderland Lager, presented in a recently introduced 12oz can format, catches the eye with its timeless yet contemporary design. The can’s large font and vertical lettering for the brand name, paired with top-to-bottom original artwork, give off an outdoorsy vibe fitting for Bend, OR. The crystal-clear pale straw color and dense, bleach-white foam create an inviting visual experience. Despite a slight surprise of yeast sediment at the can’s bottom, the overall presentation is aesthetically pleasing.


The aroma of Pacific Wonderland is a delightful experience, featuring notes of candied lemon, orange blossom, and wet sourdough. As the beer warms, the fragrance evolves, showcasing fresh bread and orange blossom honey. The German-inspired recipe is well-represented, with higher carbonation and mineral notes offering a sparkling water-like refreshing character. The tangerine citrus and fresh sourdough provide a balanced sweet and sour interplay, contributing to a clean and enjoyable olfactory experience.


Pacific Wonderland impresses with its adherence to the German-inspired recipe, delivering a clean body from start to finish. The higher carbonation and mineral qualities create a sparkling water effect, enhancing the overall refreshing character. The tangerine citrus and fresh sourdough contribute to a harmonious sweet and sour balance on the palate. The bitterness, rated at 5 out of 10 in intensity, remains medium but firm throughout the drinking experience. Notably, the pilsner malt avoids overpowering the flavor profile, steering clear of the creamed corn notes found in some American pale lagers.


With a light yet substantial body, Pacific Wonderland avoids the pitfalls of watery consistency. The bitterness, while firm, is well-calibrated, ensuring it doesn’t overwhelm the palate. The dry finish is devoid of any undesirable papery or chalky textures. The sugar content strikes a perfect balance, allowing the flavors to shine without becoming sticky or cloying. The alcohol presence remains unobtrusive, contributing to an overall well-rounded mouthfeel.


Pacific Wonderland emerges as a masterpiece of balance and subtlety. While craft beer enthusiasts may initially lean towards Deschutes’ darker offerings and IPAs, this lager proves to be one of their finest creations. The beer’s refinement sets it apart, with a level of sophistication rarely found in distributed lagers. Despite initial skepticism, even devoted imperial stout enthusiasts find themselves drawn to the allure of Pacific Wonderland. It stands as one of the most pleasant surprises of the year, earning its place as a go-to choice for post-work relaxation or a refreshing break on a warm day.