Special Sections » The Beer Issue

All About Beer Around Bend

The one-stop guide to breweries in Central Oregon

by

comment
2beer-aroundbend-3ab32beaa2f17982.jpg

Almost no place can claim such a density of brewing activity as Bend and its surrounding county. It's a hive of hops and barley—and with places like Boneyard and Kobold opening new taprooms in 2017, it's still expanding. Grab a ride (could the timing have been better for Uber and Lyft to begin serving Bend?), find an empty seat, and get exploring.

10 Barrel Brewing

1135 NW GALVESTON, BEND. 10BARREL.COM

Why go? It may be an AB InBev-owned brand and one of four (soon to be five) brewpub locations across the Western US, but Bend's 10 Barrel is still a fun, festive neighborhood joint in the middle of beer- and dog-laden Galveston Avenue. It helps that the beer has remained just as good.

What to get? The Crush series of flavored Berliner weisses when it's hot; anything in the barrel-aged "Fancy Beer Series" when it's cold.

The Ale Apothecary

River Rd., mountainbrewery.org

Why go? Well, don't go to that address—it's where Paul Arney lives, up in the forest, and it's where he and his team experiment with all kinds of barrel-aged, wild-fermented, and other off-the-beaten-path delights. Head down to Crow's Feet Commons by the river for a nice selection of their bottles.

What to get? Spencer is a Brettanomyces and black currant-infused ale with a flavor structure as complicated as its oddly mesmerizing label.

Bend Brewing

1019 NW Brooks, Bend. bendbrewingco.com

Why go? What looks like a normal enough pub-n-grub joint at first glance hides one of the most award-winning brewing programs in the whole state. Their secret lies in variety—releasing some pretty avant-garde stuff since early days and having one of Oregon's first successful sour-beer brewing programs.

What to get? The Ching Ching Berliner weisse remains a fan favorite when it's on tap, but try the Lovely cherry Baltic porter—dark, fruity, and exciting.

Boneyard Beer

37 NW Lake Pl., Bend. boneyardbeer.com

Why go? Their reputation speaks for themselves. Boneyard is the IPA king of Oregon (though Barley Brown's ain't far behind), and a Bend resident is rarely more than a few minutes away from the nearest RPM tap. Head to the tasting room to try some of their other stuff; they do some mean dark beers, too.

What to get? RPM for a bit of IPA; Hop Venom for a fair bit more IPA, and Notorious for the most IPA of all (11.5% of it!).

Bridge 99 Brewery

63063 Layton, Bend. bridge99brewery.com

Why go? Located in northeast Bend—home to a lot of production breweries, but not a lot of taprooms yet—Bridge 99 is a low-key taproom that's become a go-to afternoon spot for locals in this rapidly-growing area. Pair their beer with some KC-style barbecue from Wubba's across the parking lot, and it's like a backyard party.

What to get? Rock Crawler Red is a classic amber which goes great with 'cue, sausages, and anything else being cooked up outdoors.

Cascade Lakes Brewing

1441 SW Chandler, Bend. cascadelakes.com

Why go? In business since 1994, Cascade Lakes has always retained a lower profile than the Boneyards of the realm, despite all the skiers and golfers their Lodge location in SW Bend entertain daily. It's a cozy place, especially on bingo nights, and the tap-only offerings have steadily improved as of late.

What to get? Drop the M.I.C. is their latest seasonal, a sessionable IPA made with Mosaic, Idaho 7 and Citra hops for maximum aroma.

Craft Kitchen and Brewery

803 SW Industrial Way, Bend. craftkitchenandbrewery.com

Why go? For the view, one, especially in the summertime whenever concerts take place in the nearby Les Schwab Amphitheater. Food has always been a major focus at this gastropub, from their tapas-style lunch stuff to po-boy sandwiches the likes of which are hard to find elsewhere.

What to get? Beer production's ramped up here as of late, too—try the India Nut Brown for a smart, piney approach to mixing big hops with dark malt.

Crux Fermentation Project

50 SW Division, Bend. cruxfermentation.com

Why go? Larry Sidor, former head brewer at Deschutes, left to co-found this place in the middle of Bend in 2012. His brewery and kitchen's been hitting it out of the park ever since, and the Cascade Mountain view and massive outdoor space make this location a great place to kill a Saturday afternoon.

What to get? It's easy to get distracted by the taproom's experimental IPA and Banished barrel-aged series, but the Prowell Springs lager is one of Bend's most dependable thirst quenchers.

Deschutes Brewery

1044 NW Bond, Bend. deschutesbrewery.com

Why go? If Gary Fish hadn't dared to open this brewery in 1988, back when Bend was a wayward ex-lumber town, this beer guide wouldn't even exist. Deschutes is a national brand now, but the original brewpub's still a homey place, often packed with regulars—and the food goes well above and beyond typical pub fare, too.

What to get? Beer fans can't go wrong with Black Butte, but why not try some of their constantly-rotating pilot system taps? That's how Fresh Squeezed began, after all.

GoodLife Brewing

70 SW Century, Bend. goodlifebrewing.com

Why go? GoodLife was one of the first local breweries to can, and their success with it has made it grown exponentially. Their taproom (conveniently located near a dispensary and The Ale Apothecary's barrel room) is a friendly, high-ceilinged affair, and like Crux, their outdoor area's a great big party in the summer months.

What to get? Comatose is one of the great heavier IPAs this region offers, but the Sweet As ale has a crushable property that's hard to put down.

Immersion Brewing

550 SW Industrial Way, Bend. imbrewing.com

Why go? Bend's newest brewpub offers a friendly atmosphere and hypnotically shiny copper brewing tanks in the middle of the city's newest brewing hub (Crux, Craft and Atlas Cider are all nearby). They're also Bend's only brew-it-yourself place, letting people brew and bottle their own stuff using on-site equipment.

What to get? Bender sticks out the most in their regular lineup; it's an IPA with a wheat base and some Belgian-style spiciness.

McMenamins Old St. Francis School

700 NW Bond, Bend. mcmenamins.com

Why go? The atmosphere's the main reason anyone goes to a McMenamin's location, and Bend's got a grand one. Four bars (one sort-of hidden) are there to explore among all the art and décor, and the sheer selection of libations is amazing in itself—and that's not even counting the brew system in the basement.

What to get? Ask for a Rubinator, a mix of the Ruby raspberry ale with the Terminator stout. Trust us on this one.

North Rim Brewing

20650 NE High Desert Ln, Bend.  North Rim Facebook

Why go? North Rim Brewing is a small craft brewery located in the heart of Oregon. It's tasting room will open sometime in 2017.  But in the meantime go see a grassroots, authentic brewery with a free brewery tour which are available by appointment. 

What to get? The upcoming Lemon Kölsch (available May 1st) and Moon Junky Black Session IPA (available summer 2017) will tantalize your tastebuds.

Rat Hole Brewing

56880 Venture Ln, Sunriver. ratholebrewingatsunriver.com

Why go? Between here, Sunriver Brewing, and the nearby Mountain Jug taproom, Sunriver's become a great afternoon beer destination for Bendites to check out. Rat Hole's also open mornings from Wednesday to Sunday, offering plates like chicken and waffles to go with a morning quaff.

What to get? The Haystack Hazelnut has been a regional favorite since way back at the old location—dark with just the right amount of nuttiness.

RiverBend Brewing

2650 NE Division, Bend. riverbendbrewing.com

Why go? Located in the former Rivals sports bar, RiverBend is slowly increasing production across the state from its brew facility across the parking lot. There's always a dozen or so beers to sample, and the dining space definitely remains sports-oriented—head here for at least one Ducks game this fall.

What to get? Oregonized Love is their classical northwest IPA, but take a look at AshRiver as well, a German-style dark wheat beer.

Silver Moon Brewing

24 NW Greenwood, Bend. silvermoonbrewing.com

Why go? What was once a dive bar (there used to be a disco ball!) is now a beloved brewery and music venue putting out some killer beer in cans. The crowd here is still much more a regular crew than Deschutes and such nearby, but that shouldn't dissuade visitors from coming in and checking out why Silver Moon's slowly taking over the Northwest.

What to get? Mango Daze is their newest offering in cans, a hoppy pale ale that's got exactly the citrus kick its name hints at.

Sunriver Brewing

1005 NW Galveston, Bend. sunriverbrewingcompany.com

Why go? The original brewery and taproom remains at Sunriver's main business park, but the new Bend taproom, a stone's throw from 10 Barrel, has been packing it in for over a year with its beer, food, atmosphere and great views of the Galveston people-watching scene. The outdoor patio out back's just as inviting, too.

What to get? Vicious Mosquito, freshly available in cans, will be more than enough for the IPA crowd. Cocoa Cow, a milk stout, is just as great.

Three Creeks Brewing

721 S Desperado Ct., Sisters. threecreeksbrewing.com

Why go? Like many breweries around the county, Three Creeks has been expanding, opening up a production facility and seeing more and more distribution outside of Bend. Its Sisters restaurant, though, is the same as always—warm, wood-paneled and offering a wide variety of food for the entire family.

What to get? If the Tenpine Chocolate Porter is around in bottles, grab it—it's a turbo-charged dark ale that's a full dessert in itself.

Wild Ride Brewing

332 SW 5th, Redmond. wildridebrew.com

Why go? Wild Ride started big in 2014, and it's remained at the forefront of Redmond beer ever since. That's thanks in no small part to its large taproom, complete with an equally huge patio and the three or four food trucks parked out front, ensuring there's never a lack of decent eats to soak up the dozen or so taps inside.

What to get? Nut Crusher, their peanut butter porter, does exactly what it says on the label and has become Wild Ride's de-facto flagship as of late.

Worthy Brewing

495 NE Bellevue, Bend. worthybrewing.com

Why go? They're one of the few good options on the far east side of Bend, but that doesn't mean it's something to just "settle" for. Worthy launched with a fabulous custom-built location in 2013, and they've expanded on it with an external hop garden and the "Hopservatory" space telescope. Good pizza, too.

What to get? The Worthy IPA and Worthy Imperial IPA are both...well, worthy, but for something new, try the strikingly fruity Stoker Red Ale.


Add a comment