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Hop-Knobbing

Alert: Fresh Hops Ahead!If you've never been to the Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room, an event space with a stunning view of the Cascades on the

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Alert: Fresh Hops Ahead!
  • Alert: Fresh Hops Ahead!
Alert: Fresh Hops Ahead!If you've never been to the Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room, an event space with a stunning view of the Cascades on the top floor of the brewing facility, it's worth a visit.

Several times a year, the Brewery puts on dinners that are open to the public, often high-end, sit-down meals including beer pairings with a steep price tag to match the fare. But there are some more reasonably priced events, like the recent Fresh Hop Tasting dinner, featuring seven Deschutes brews made with fresh hops straight from the farm- a $35 all-you-can-eat-and-drink affair for those who care about both quality and quantity. The room, a little corporate in the details but warm enough, was configured like a bar with tall standing tables, a party atmosphere, and beer stations for each of the specialty ales. Hop Trip, the most celebrated of the bunch made with seven pounds of hops per barrel, and the fresh hop version of Mirror Pond Pale Ale lived up to their reputations. Another standout was the Mt. Angel Fresh Hop Stock Ale, a lighter option, and much more sustainable if you're going for volume. And there was volume to be had. Because the star of the show was clearly the beer, the regularly replenished assortment of breads, cheeses, and crudités might have sufficed as the buffet dinner, but that was just the beginning.

The menu-albeit a somewhat predictable tribute to the fall harvest-was well executed and matched the beers nicely: scalloped sweet potatoes with ham, roasted root vegetables, braised beef short ribs with pumpkin puree, and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. So keep an eye out for the next tasting. Gorge on a top-notch spread and drink a truckload of limited edition beers with Bend's finest scenery as a backdrop, all for a price that won't break your budget. - Alice Finer


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