As anyone who's been to college (or just has some ribald co-workers) knows, the only thing more exciting than going out to a bar for some beers is going out to several bars at once for some beers.
The idea of a pub crawl is nothing new. People have been doing them around New York and London's subway systems for centuries. Locally, the Cycle Pub will even let groups pedal their way to a couple breweries and bars in one go, earning waves and/or "You go, ladies!" shouts from passersby as they do. But in a town with several times more breweries than grocery stores, one doesn't need to rent a novelty 14-seat cruiser to enjoy a pub crawl. There are multiple options that are walkable for anyone in decent shape—or less than, depending on one's beer gut.
The breweries dotted around NE Empire Boulevard., as covered elsewhere in this guide, are just the latest neighborhood to draw attention among locals. Here are three more jaunts that anyone can easily tackle over an afternoon or evening—and be guaranteed to enjoy some of the best the entire region has to offer.
A small set of blocks just south of downtown is packed with options, all centered around the original 10 Barrel Brewing (1153 NW Galveston), which reopened last week after a quick facelift.
From the intersection with 13th Street, start at Primal Cuts Market (1244 NW Galveston), a full-service butcher with excellent sandwich deals and 37 taps of beer, cider and kombucha for drink-in or take-out. Brother Jon's Public House (1227 NW Galveston) is another local institution, offering a small but well-curated set of taps and some excellent (and enormous!) meals.
A block over is Aspect Boards & Brews (1009 NW Galveston), a skate/snowboard shop that also has lots of Bend beers, an inviting outdoor space facing the street, and an on-site food cart. Next door is Sunriver Brewing's Galveston pub, whose award-winning beers are rivaling 10 Barrel's in quality these days, and which backs it up with another great food menu.
Thanks to the Box Factory's official opening two years ago, the Old Mill District now has a bunch of worthy drinking holes and some worthy mountain views to back them up.
Crux Fermentation Project (50 SW Division) is the natural place to start. It's where everyone starts, it seems, especially on the usually-packed evenings and weekends. And who can blame them? The patio, the food trucks, the in-house beer and food... few other places in Bend nail the whole package so perfectly.
From Crux, proceed westward to Spoken Moto (310 SW Industrial), Bend's only coffee shop, beer bar, and motorcycle repair shop. There's not that much beer selection, but it's a nice one, and there are more food trucks to the side. It's a short walk from there to the Box Factory proper, featuring Atlas Cider, Immersion Brewing and The Brown Owl in one complex. All are worth a visit—Atlas for the seasonals; Immersion for the solid regular selection (and shiny tanks) and The Brown Owl for the awe-inspiring décor and the massive bottle and tap selection—plus a food truck that earned the status of the Source's Food Cart of the Year in our 2017 Restaurant Guide.
After all that, round out the day at Market of Choice (115 NW Sisemore), a supermarket with a great take-home food selection and an equally superb in-house bar, often filled with beer that can't be found anywhere else in town.
The lazy drinker's choice, considering the short walking distances, and still one of the most exciting and crowd-laden in the summer.
If the weather's nice, start at the patio of Bend Brewing Company (1019 NW Brooks) for killer views of the river and a wonderful variety of ever-changing IPAs and darker ales. Deschutes Brewery (1044 NW Bond) should require no introduction at this point, and it's also a killer place for a fancy (and filling) dinner. But where to round out? The Commons (875 NW Brooks) is a relaxing cafe with an eclectic selection from pFriem and other Oregon favorites, while White Water Taphouse (1043 NW Bond) offers a much wider selection of everything the state has to offer.