Galveston isn’t the sleepy, small-town thoroughfare it used to be. Now one of Bend’s most populated Westside streets, the avenue is a people-watching haven—read, stumbling traffic from 10 Barrel and sun-soaked floaters from Drake Park—and, with the Lot and a few notable restaurants, also a foodie’s paradise. With 10 Barrel’s brew-pub and tons of taps at Brother Jon’s, it’s a beer-lover’s home base, too. Enter Aspect Boards & Brews on the corner of Federal and Galveston—one of the worst places to try and make a left turn in town. The shop is cashing in on the beer tourism boom by adding a 12-tap rotation (beer, kombucha, sangria and cider) to its offerings of ski and snowboard gear and rentals.
“Skiing, snowboarding and drinking beer go hand in hand,” said owner Katie Patterson, who explained that the idea was floated last Labor Day weekend during a sidewalk sale at Aspect. “I sat outside and watched hundreds of people walk by who had no interest in my wares. I thought, how can we capture some of these people?”
The answer was, and always will be, beer.
“The goal is to have the two parts of the business help each other,” said Patterson. “In the winter, we have a really healthy ski and snow rental program, so hopefully we can get some of those people to stay for a beer. And, hopefully some of our beer customers will stay for a snowboard wax.”
The new patio-style beer garden opened in early August and hosted its grand opening last weekend. The tall wood tables are lined with stools in the soft grass patio, and in true Aspect Style, each table is adorned with a Van’s slip-on shoe planter stuffed with a tiny tree. The ambiance is casual and oh-so-Bend with heated lamps for the oncoming winter. The genius of the hybrid-business is that Aspect allows outside food on its patio. Overrun at The Lot? Grab your grub and get a beer across the street. Need pizza and beer? No worries, Versante and Cibelli’s are nearby. You can even test your luck with some gut-busting Doritos Loaded—the gelatinous, sodium-stuffed, cheese flavored pocket bites—from the convenient 7-11 next door; high quality beer, low quality snacks.
Aspect’s street-side, beer-drinking station is another addition to the burgeoning Westside neighborhood and another example of businesses capitalizing on the beer frenzy that is Bend.
“I was talking to someone the other day about how beer tourism has taken over all other tourism in Bend—ski, snowboard, mountain bike—beer tourism has become an actual thing,” said Patterson. “I feel like in Bend if you’re not doing it maybe you should be.”
Aspect Boards & Brews Open Noon-9 pm everyday