I immediately envisioned myself swilling every possible ale, lager and stout in the state in a short but oh so sweet project. Then reality set in. Covering Oregon's rapidly expanding craft beer scene would be an effort requiring years not months of research.
So Bartels and I settled on Bend and Central Oregon and got to work with interviews and photo sessions for our book, Bend Brews. For the record, it was a wonderful experience for both of us as the brewery owners, brewpub managers, employees and brewmasters were extremely helpful. Also, the experience opened our eyes to a wonderful variety of beers made locally and places to swill them. Bottom line: buy local and dine and drink local because it's not only cool but a great experience.
As we were into the book's creation, VisitBend's Doug LaPlaca announced the Bend Ale Trail program. Working with LaPlaca and his team, the beer book will be a premium reward for those who complete the Ale Trail and get their Trail passports stamped by all the local brew makers.
So look for Bend Brews to debut later this month. It will be available at local booksellers, breweries, brewpubs and at VisitBend (www.bendbrews.photomotif.com)
This book's creation proved a labor of love. Cheers.