All this food can make a person thirsty.
May we invite you to step into some of Downtown's delightful bars while you're in the neighborhood? (You'll start to notice one or two if you look hard enough.) If you know Bend, you're more than familiar with our beer. Pilsners, porters, lagers, stouts, ales and so much more. Please. If you can brew it, it's already here.
But check this out: We're also becoming quite the scene for cocktails and spirits so cast the FOMO aside. (That's "fear of missing out" for us older folks.) The Bite of Bend is already on it. In fact, we have a pair of weekend events dedicated to some serious, hardcore thirst quenching. Both offer a glimpse into Central Oregon's burgeoning cocktail culture.
Celebrate craft drinks at the Bite Mixology Showcase. The two-day event highlights the best of the best, including the top spirits, mixers and latest bartending techniques. It features competitions, tastings, classes, as well as a gathering of industry professionals, cocktail connoisseurs and even at-home mixologists. Best of all, there's no separate entrance fee to just watch.
Have the urge to try some for yourself? A "Deluxe Tasting Package" can be purchased in advance for $15 (or a variety of prices at the door) and include both days of events. Tasting includes over 30 craft spirits and eight craft cocktails from the Northwest. A total of 10 regional distilleries. Enjoy samples of small batch vodka, moonshine, whiskey, tea-distilled spirits and more. Discuss craft secrets with distillers and mixologists during the show.
What's that? Feeling a bit competitive? We've got just the answer: It's the Bartender's Brawl! No actual fighting here (we hope); instead, it's a battle of the best mixologists in Bend competing against each other for the right to be called "Cocktail King."
The Finals, featuring around four to eight bartenders, take place Friday at 6pm on the Mixology Showcase Stage. Once the winner's crowned, feel free to stroll over to their bar and try out the entire menu.
SUNDAY, JUNE 25TH | NOONThree miles. Four beer stops!
That's a pretty good ratio. Look, you've come here for some fun times! We get it. Now, if you're feeling the need to redeem yourself a bit, we've created the perfect activity combining two of Bend's favorite hobbies: beer and fitness.
Not possible, you say? Just watch us! To our knowledge, no one has yet made a rule that you can't run and drink at the same time. Thus, we've decided to take advantage of that little loophole. The Bite of Bend Beer Run sends you on a 5K race loop so, besides sampling some of the area's finest beers, you can get your heart pumping while taking an up-close look at some gorgeous Bend scenery.
First, you'll gather at the courtyard in front of Crow's Feet Commons. Hint: Get there early for some of their delicious Stumptown coffee. Also, each runner will receive drink tickets for each stop—and a full-size beverage of their choice (including cider and cocktails) at any Bite of Bend bar.
Once that's complete, you're off! The first (and longest) leg of this run takes you through Drake Park, along the stunning Deschutes River. Eventually, you'll wind your way to the first beer stop—courtesy of Cascade Lakes. Take some deep breaths, do a little stretching and enjoy! Back on the road, it's just a short hop to Good Life. By now, you're thinking this running and drinking thing is a pretty good idea! Next up, 10 Barrel provides your third rest stop. Soon, you're crossing a charming footbridge on your way back to Drake Park for a taste of Deschutes Brewery beer—and one final dash to the Bite of Bend entrance on the corner of Bond and Franklin.
You made it!
Did we mention that bonus prizes are awarded to runners in the best costumes? Think of it as a Halloween preview. The first 500 racers will also receive a commemorative Bite of Bend Beer Run souvenir. Entry fee is only $20 until June 22nd and $30 to register in person.
And for the kids...
SATURDAY, JUNE 24TH | NOON
Need we remind you that the little ones like to run around too? A lot more than we do, if you get right down to it. That's why we've devised a mini family-friendly race course known as the Little Hopper Root Beer Run. Or as we often refer to it: Root Beer Fun! This activity takes place at Troy Field, where children between three and 10 can get in on the action, while parents await their big chance in the 5K just 24 hours later.
Patience, parents. It's your chance to kick back and watch your kids grab the spotlight.
As the title suggests, this one includes everyone's favorite soft drink (that would be the root beer part) plus a little exercise for all involved. (There's lots of ice cream, too!) The premise? Participants will run the course, while grabbing and building the key components of their root beer float. That's the ultimate reward for all their hard work.
See how we did that? If only all our lives were that simple.
Troy Field's located one block south of the Bite, on the corner of Bond and Louisiana. Races for the three and four-year-olds begin at noon Saturday. The five through seven-year-olds get going at 12:15, with the older kids starting at 12:30. There's an awards ceremony immediately following each distance and age group.
It's just $5 to enter.
Oh, and If your kids are still hungry after all the root beer and ice cream, we happen to know a few spots where you could find some food nearby.
So You Think You Can Cook?
We're sure you know your way around a kitchen. Still, take a look at how some of the local pros do it during the Coldwell Banker Top Chef competition.
Who knows? You might pick up a few tips.
The "Kitchen Stadium" comes alive as some of Central Oregon's most talented chefs work their magic. Two full sized kitchens will be set up for the Top Chef Competition right in the middle of Downtown. Jenn-Air and Standard TV & Appliance provide the equipment, while Bend's Whole Foods kindly supplies the pantry ingredients.
We provide the food and a "secret ingredient" as local chefs compete to show off their culinary expertise. For those unfamiliar with the Top Chef event format, two chefs are presented with a mystery ingredient and must, in one hour, come up with a dish that wows the palettes of the distinguished panel of judges. We will start with eight chefs in a round-robin format with the winners of each round advancing to the next stage.
So, who's cooking?
Among the competitors for the 2017 edition: Anna Witham, who opened 123 Ramen earlier this year; Bethlyn Rider, an Executive Chef by the age of 22 who now has her own restaurant called Bethlyn's Global Fusion; and Ingrid Rohrer, who runs the eclectic kitchen at Broken Top Bottle Shop.
Also expect to see teams from Deschutes Brewery, The French Market, Pronghorn and Rockin' Daves.
An impressive panel of local foodies and culinary experts will serve as judges. They include The Source Weekly's food writer Lisa Sipe, the current president of Central Oregon Locavore Niki Timm and Foxtail Bakeshop's Nickol Hayden-Cady.
You can check out the action on both Saturday and Sunday. The finale's set for Sunday at 3:30pm, when we'll learn which talented chef takes the 2017 title!