Bend's beer scene is growing up. And with age comes grace, or at least a full weekend of beer-centric events.
Thursday, June 20: Fermentation Celebration 5-10 pm at the Old Mill District. $20 (includes silipint and drink tickets).
A beer walk (wobble) through the Old Mill featuring EVERY area brewery, as well as the new cider and mead companies and even a winery. We recommend stopping in Vanilla Urban Threads to try Crux Fermentation Project's Off Leash, and definitely don't miss the offerings from Deschutes—Class of '88 Imperial Smoked Porter, Fresh Squeezed IPA and Employees Pilsner—available at the center plaza.
Friday, June 21-Sunday, June 23: GoodLife Brewing's Second Anniversary Party, starts 6pm Friday at GoodLife. Free.
The westside brewery and pub is celebrating its second anniversary in fine style this weekend. Using its already spacious yard area to double down on outdoor rec, GoodLife is bringing in lawn games like cornhole, bocce and ladder ball. The improved bocce courts—not just one but two of them!—are now "official size" and will feature the same crushed granite used by bocce pros (yes, pros; Olympic sport?). The GoodLife lawn-game specialists also have added "regulation" cornhole platforms and built a dedicated ladder ball court. (Is there really a national governing body for cornhole?)
On Friday Torrey Newhart and his funky five-piece jazz band provide the soundtrack to the backyard action (6-9 pm) and food carts, like The Pizza Cart, will be on hand to satisfy hungry lawn Olympians. Saturday GoodLife is rolling out a new oak-aged Scotch ale, a pinot noir barrel-aged version of Sweet As and a small batch of a Special Belgian (name TBD)—all perfect bocce companions.
Saturday, June 22: Deschutes Brewery 25th Anniversary Party, 1-9 pm at Drake Park. Free, all ages (no dogs).
In 1988, Deschutes opened its doors in Bend and became Central Oregon's first production brewery. The grandmasters are now celebrating a quarter-century of awesomeness with music (Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and others) and favorite food vendors (Real Food Bistro, Baldy's BBQ, Dump City Dumplings and more) and, beer (duh). To work up an appetite, register for the Deschutes-sponsored group bike ride from Black Butte to Mirror Pond ($95, blackbuttetomirrorpond.com), a fitting way to commemorate two iconic brews. Next week, head to the Deschutes back alley for a birthday jam with Boxcar Stringband and a special release of Black Butte XXV (5-10 pm).