Top 5 Beers of the Week

1. Patient Angler Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery

2. Crowdpleaser IPA from Three Creeks Brewing

3. Backroad Vanilla Porter from Klamath Basin Brewing

4. F* Cancer IPA from Silver Moon Brewing

5. Bière de Garde from Ferment Brewing

Boss Rambler Beer Club quietly appeared on the scene last year, founded by alums of the Central Oregon brewing community. Matt ­Molletta and Jacob Bansmer met while working at Crux Fermentation Project, and Molletta’s wife, Kate, worked at Boneyard Beer in marketing before launching her own business, Swig Rig, a mobile bar service.

The trio (along with Molletta’s sister and brother in-law, Karen and Mike Altman) launched the brewery without an actual operating brewery of its own — yet. Bansmer brews the beers at Silver Moon Brewing in downtown Bend, an arrangement Silver Moon has offered to other breweries in the past when it has excess capacity.

“Typically we brew two to four times a month, depending on style and capacity,” Matt Molletta said via email.

Boss Rambler plans to build its own brewery on a small piece of farm property in Tumalo, on U.S. Highway 20 near Bendistillery.

The company does have a pub location in the former Aspect Boards & Brews shop on Galveston Avenue, next door to Sunriver Brewing Company’s Bend pub.

Over the winter, the owners closed the location for a full remodel, and opened in mid-April. The updated space has a minimalist, ultramodern look with ample whitewash and soft wood, and is light and airy.

The beers span a variety of styles, though the prominent feature is hops, with a number of hazy pales and IPA that are heavily dry-hopped. “We brew beers that excite us and that we think our customers will be stoked on,” Molletta said. “We aim to keep our beers approachable across the board, drinkable yet progressive with a focus on quality.”

On a recent visit to the Galveston pub, I sampled four of the beers on tap: two lagers, and two hazy New England-style IPAs.

 Cold Beer — Patio Lager (4.1% ABV)

This aptly named beer is an American-style light lager, and it looks the part: a light gold color that is bright and clear.

It has a neutral aroma and is a good clean drinker with a crisp minerality. There’s a light grainy flavor that finishes refreshing. For the summer months, the designation of “patio lager” is perfectly appropriate as I foresee many a pint served on Boss Rambler’s patio.

Laga Fresca — Tropical Lager (4.1% ABV)

This is the brewery’s take on an aguas fresca, a nonalcoholic beverage typically made with fruits blended with sugar and water. In this case, a light lager has been infused with pineapple and mango for a tropical twist. My first impression was almost lemony and then the mango became the defining fruit flavor. I found it to be a bit muddled in the juice flavor, quite mellow, and ultimately it reminded me of fruited water or even light canned fruit cocktail.

Boss Sauce — Double dry-hopped (DDH) Hazy IPA (6.7% ABV)

This opaque, muddy gold-colored IPA is brewed with Citra, Simcoe and Falconer’s Flight hops.

The aroma is pungent with spicy, pithy citrus hop notes that are both savory and tropical with pineapple and yuzu fruit.

The flavor to my palate was full of spicy, savory hops melding with Cream of Wheat cereal, with a bit of green stem and bitter fruit peel character, bordering on garlic greens. The haze has a tangible mouthfeel, thick and slightly gritty or chalky.

Norwegian Cowboy — DDH Nordic Hazy IPA (7.7% ABV)

What makes a “Nordic” beer? The brewery fermented this IPA with Norwegian Kveik yeast typically found in farmhouse ales. Like the Boss Sauce, this is completely opaque in appearance, with a darker muddy orange color. The aroma is fruitier, with notes of under ripe currant, gooseberry, a touch of citrus and a hint of tart that could almost be lactic acid. I found the taste to be a bit bready, herbal and spicy, with some fruit and green onion from the Mosaic hops and a raw wheat bite. To me, this was the more interesting of these two hazy IPAs.

And the rest

There was also a coffee-infused stout on tap when I visited with additions of coconut and cocoa, as well as a dry-hopped amber lager.

All in all, Boss Rambler is an interesting, dynamic addition to the Central Oregon beer scene, and I predict it will be a popular destination as the summer heats up.

— Jon Abernathy is a beer writer and blogger and launched The Brew Site ( in 2004. He can be reached at .