Bend’s a laid-back Central Oregon city that’s long been a destination for outdoor sports, thanks to its ample rafting, skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and fishing locales... all activities that pair well with beer. Thankfully, Bend also has one of the most booming brewing scenes for a small city in the country, and we’re not talking small-scale brewers either.
Big dogs like Deschutes, 10 Barrel, and Boneyard all call Bend home, bringing attention to the smaller operations that have turned the place into a beer destination. During the fall, joints like the Crux Fermentation Project brew up some of the best fresh-hop brews in the NW, while Bend Brewing just took a gold at GABF for its Salmonberry Sour. The tiny Rat Hole nanobrewery is constantly evolving its small batches, while some of the joints are changing perceptions of what a brewery can be: the Old St. Francis School brews in a converted Catholic schoolhouse. Finish your beer or a nun might come out of nowhere and whack you in the knuckles.
Essential beers: Deschutes’ Black Butte Porter, Boneyard’s Suge Knite imperial stout, Crux’s Better Off Red
Essential event: The Little Woody Barrel Aged Beer and Whiskey Festival (August)