Best Family Brewpub | Best of the Nest | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Bend Nest » Best of the Nest

Best Family Brewpub

A chat with Larry Sidor, founder and brewmaster of Crux Fermentation Project


There’s a very good reason that Crux has become known as the best family-friendly pub – it was by design. Founder and Brewmaster, Larry Sidor, describes how a family-oriented philosophy steered the direction of the space.
  • Maile Mason

Crux has a family-friendly vibe, even as you’re walking up to the lot. Is it the open-space seating in the food court that makes it so inviting for people with kids?

The lawn space is kind of the main draw for families. I think we have an acre-plus. Kids have a lot of energy, and there’s plenty of space to run around. I visited beer gardens in Europe and saw all the wonderful things they do – the kids running around, the dogs – that’s what I modeled Crux after.

Is the food menu also kid-friendly?

Oh, yeah. The pizzas, the quesadilla – the big pretzel is a favorite.

Does Crux feature any low-alcohol beverages?

Yes, people have been very happy with NO MO, our non-alcohol beer. We started with an IPA and recently added a hazy IPA. The new one seems to be knocking it dead in the tasting room. That’s only been available since June, so we’re just starting to get placement. We were happy and surprised to find it came out with only 30 calories in a can.

Did Crux start out offering food, or was that added later?

We had very limited food choices when we first opened: the big pretzel and finger foods. Then when people started tapping at my window at six, seven in the morning asking for a tour, we got the clue that we should expand our food offerings.

Was the pub always geared toward families?

That was the design from the very get-go. To me, social, moderate drinking and exposing children to that at a young age, that’s huge. I don’t like the concept of making things absolutely forbidden. It’s great to have your kids experience alcohol being consumed in moderation and responsibly, in a bright, open, friendly atmosphere. We set out to have a beer garden. That’s just what we do.

Crux Fermentation Project
50 SW Division St., Bend

Add a comment

More by Elizabeth Warnimont

Latest in Best of the Nest