We had 2 items on the agenda for our Bend Oregon trip: go to the local craft breweries and hike. The weather turned out beautiful so we did both!
Today’s topic is beer.
Let me start out by saying this: before taking the beer brewing class almost 2 weeks ago, beer was just another drink to me. Not even my favorite. After learning about how to actually make it and trying new beers in the small sample form, I’ve really enjoyed tasting and trying more beers. Dare I say I’ve become more adventurous? Yes, I have.
There were a total of 6 breweries we ventured to in Bend, so here they are, going from the bottom of the list to top, ending with our all time favorite brewery.
Cool sampler huh? We split the 10 samples at 10 Barrel Brewing. While the beer was tasty, and they included a nitro-type beer (my new favorite because it’s not very carbonated), the atmosphere was not our favorite. It didn’t seem very unique. It was a cool looking place, and extremely packed, but just not our style. We’re into smaller spots that are one of a kind.
Deschutes isn’t a small unique spot, but what’s cool about this pub is that it’s the original one they opened when they started brewing beers back in 1988. We stopped there for an afternoon beer on our first day, then went back for dinner the following night.
Not only does Deschutes have a pub in Bend, their huge brewing facility is located there too. We took the tour which I highly recommend for anyone to do if visiting Bend. Not only is it free (great for budget friendly trips), you get to sample their beer and see how beer is made form start to finish, even to bottling and packaging.
We’re big fans of McMenamins. There is one not too far from our house that we’ve gone to a ton of times. Old St. Francis School has a couple small pubs, a restaurant, movie theater and hotel rooms on their campus. We ate at the restaurant then ventured to the fireside pub. I wish we would have found that small pub first. It was very intimate and relaxed. After coffee at the fireside we watched Hall Pass. Movies at McMenamins are just $3 a person, which is again great for budgets! Hall Pass was hilarious if you haven’t seen it, just not the kind of movie I’d tell my parents to see.
Bend Brewing was the first place we got a sampler. It was my genius idea too. You know what I realized? Samplers are good deals! This one was just $10 and came with ten 5 ounce samples. That adds up to quite a bit of beer split between 2. With pints coming in at $4.50, you’re paying for $0.20 an ounce with the sampler compared to $0.28 an ounce. Yes, I like numbers. It’s not too much of a difference but I just thought I’d point out that tid bit of info.
The hefeweizen was my number one pick here. Very lemony and refreshing. The following night we returned for dinner and $2.50 pints. A locals deal we snuck in one.
Silver Moon was a smaller operation with a dive bar kind of feel to it. A round of samplers were tried there, then we split a pint of the IPA while we played a few games of pool. I won the first 2, then Jacob won the last. I was pretty proud of myself.
Again, the atmosphere + a couple tasty beers made us enjoy our time there. Free pool was an awesome throw in.
Boneyard was quite a hike from our hotel (we walked to all the breweries and all over town). The hike was worth it though. Boneyard was the only brewery not serving food. They have a small taproom right inside a warehouse. When we got there the place was packed. It was Wednesday which is their local’s night – $2 off growler fills.
Jacob and I both got the full flight, a sample of all 6 beers. I was amazed that I liked every single beer. They were the best I’d ever had. Smooth finishes without bitterness. Sneaky higher alcohol percentages. If I had to pick my top beers it would be the IPA, pale ale, diablo rojo (red ale) and girl beer.. yeah that’s 4 out of 6. I can’t pick them all can I?
They haven’t even been open for 1 year and they’re already creating the best beer both of us had ever tasted. Lucky for us their on tap in about 50 placed in Portland. Not that we go to Portland often, but it’s a shorted drive than Bend.
What’s your favorite brewery, if you have one?
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