RiverBend Brewing Co. Now Open for Business (the Beer is Good)

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The beers are impressive.
  • Impressive.
Yesterday evening, we stopped in and had a few pints at one of Bend's newest brewery's, RiverBend Brewing Company, formerly Rivals on NE Division St. The old poker/sports pub, which reopened as a brewery on Thursday, has remodeled and retooled and now, with a 12-barrel brewing capacity across the parking lot, is cranking out its own beers. They're damn good, too. Brewmaster Dan Olsen has four, unnamed beers on at present—a stout, IPA, blonde and red. The coffee-tasting stout, crisp IPA and easy-drinking blonde were our favorites. A really impressive first go from a new brewery. Olsen honed his craft at Deschutes and Lagunitas before joining RiverBend.

The bar itself looked good. Gone are the carpeted floors and poker tables. More TVs for sports, concrete floors and even a gas fire table on the patio are the new highlights. We were also pleasantly surprised by the revamped menu complete with made-in-house sauces and local ingredients (like the beef for the burger). We'll be going back, like right now, to watch the Oregon vs. Stanford game.

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