Monday, May 3, 2010
Wow, the BBB gets a little lazy and what happens? A new brewery opens.
While the tap room is still a work in progress, Boneyard Beer Co. in Bend is up and running. I swung by for sample last week and was able to enjoy a nice porter.
The plan, says Boneyard's events coordinator Melodee Storey, is to have a tap room on site at the brewing facility on NW. Lake Place, while really focusing on getting on taps around the state. According to Storey, Boneyard will also bottle and can its beers. (Hence the old-school logo.)
Right now Boneyard is brewing the tasty porter I mentioned before, a pale ale and a hefeweizen.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
- Ride your bike to the bar, drink at the bar, then ride and drink at the bar. That's the idea behind the Silver Moon's Roller Rumble event. The Bulletin's Heather Clark has the story here.
- The new kid on the block, 10 Barrel is trying to name its new pale ale, which will replace Code 24. I had it earlier this week and was not impressed. Thoughts? In all honesty, I'd rather see Code 24 stay if it's going to be replaced by this.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Man, I go out of town and the blog shuts down shop. I guess we know who the MVP of the BBB is.
Anyway, I was in Eugene last weekend and made sure to sample some of the local treats. Only 2 1/2 hours from Bend, Eugene's not a bad drive at all if you're in the mood for a microbrew vacation.
The first night I was in town I headed over to Ninkasi Brewing. Arguably the fastest-growing brewing company in Oregon, Ninkasi doesn't have brewpub, but a cool little tasting room on site at their brewing facility. In addition to recent favorites like the Otis Oatmeal Stout and Total Domination IPA, Ninkasi had on hand a few beers that don't often make it over the mountains. Cool environment where there's plenty of beer geeks on hand to chat microbrews with.
Day No. 2 was all about Oakshire Brewing, a great-tasting brewery in its own right which at least around here in Central Oregon is overlooked because of all the great things Ninkasi is doing. Hunkering down at Cornucopia, I had the Oakshire Frog's Wort Pale Ale and O'Dark:30 Cascade Dark Ale, both winners. Dare I say I enjoyed Oakshire's Cascade Dark even more than Deschutes' Hop in the Dark CDA? I do. In Bend, the Abbey Pub, Jackson's Corner, Nature's, Whole Foods, Ray's and The Brew Shop all carry Oakshire brews. It's definitely worth a try.
My final Eugene-area brewery experience was completely by chance. Having dinner with friends from Portland, the bar we were at told us that all the Hop Valley Brewing beer was free for a limited amount of time. FREE. A rep from the Springfield brewery was at the bar buying rounds for everyone for about two hours. I'll admit, the name of the brewery didn't knock me out, but their Alphaholic IPA - another regrettable marketing choice - was great. The double IPA the brewery rep recommended was forgettable, but the regular IPA was something I'd pay for next time. It looks like they've got a brewpub not too far off I-5 just north of the Gateway Mall. I'm not sure I'd make it a destination, but I wouldn't shy away from their IPA if I saw it on tap somewhere.
Quasi-beer related notes:
- Cornucopia rocked both times I ate there. Homemade chicken pot pie one night and a reuben the next in which they make their own corn beef. And they've got great beers on tap.
- College towns are happy-hour heavens. Renni's Landing, a great pub right off the University of Oregon campus had microbrew pitchers for $7.50 from 4 to 7 p.m. Taylor's had a $6 burger and beer special. Life is good and cheap in Eugene.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Here's what we got: Lagunitas Imperial Stout, Ninkasi's Believer Double Red Ale, and Widmer Brother's Reserve Cherry Oak Doppelbock.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Some of the early reviews of it weren't so favorable, but the fluorescent lights of the past have replaced, and it honestly felt like a comfortable place to have a beer. There's a lot of natural light in there, for a bar, but it's really not that bad.
Monday, March 8, 2010
And sorry if you got a goofy feed from us...I was trying to post from my mobile earlier, and that ended up being a lot of gibberish. We're still trying to work out the kinks.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
It was standing room only (as you can see in the pic) when we got to Brother Jon's. While it's usually busy there from 5 to 7 p.m., this was the busiest I've seen it, obviously due to the release party.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Not bad for a Eugene, Oregon brewery that's just shy of it's fourth anniversary.
7.5% alc/vol. 45 ibus
P.S. Who has a better beer selection: Whole Foods or Newport Market?
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Hop In The Dark C.D.A., Deschutes Brewery's trendy Black India Pale Ale has passed the tap test. It will soon be served in bottles, too.
It's the first Black I.P.A. I know of to make the expansion into retail refrigerators and yet another style of beer Deschutes seems to have invented — and reinvented. (C.D.A. stands for Cascadian Dark Ale)
And yes, that's correct, "Black" and "I.P.A." in the same title. Hops with roasted. Bitter yet decadent.
It's been on tap at Deschutes Bend and Portland pubs for more than a year. It started as a polarizing beer, either way too weird or intensely invigorating, that was most palatable in a 4 oz. sampler, maybe a half pint. But after continuous and innumerable improvements, this liquid has become a go-to pint for people who appreciate original character. Your mouth won't be bored.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
From the web site:
Irish eyes will be smiling all March long with the arrival of McMenamins Irish Stout. This is our Saint Patrick's Day Seasonal and will pour exclusively on our ‘Nitro' taps the entire month of March. McMenamins Irish Stout is our interpretation of the internationally renowned beer style that originated in Ireland and was popularized by legendary brewing institutions, such as Guinness, Murphy's and Beamish. Historically speaking, the style emerged early in the 19th century from attempts by Irish brewers to capitalize on the success of London porters. To cut costs, unmalted (and therefore, untaxed at the time) roasted barley was used, which imparted a unique and distinctively different coffee-like bitterness to the flavor and aroma of the ale. Thus, a new beer style was born.
Join us for an evening of Deschutes brews paired perfectly with five courses of chocolate-themed menu items. Brewer Jimmy Seifrit will be on hand to explain each beer, its chocolate notes and its specific brewing process. In fact, all the beers AND food at this delectable event are made with chocolate.
We've been pretty heavy on the Brother Jon's news, but this one is pretty cool.
Double Mountain Brewery, out of Hood River, is having a release party for its newest beer, the Empire Strikes Back All-English IPA in Bend. It'll be from 5-9 p.m this Friday (March 3) at Brother Jon's (1227 NW Galveston Ave.).
Most of you are probably familiar with their After Mountain Special during the week, but it's worth repeating.
From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. you can get any two slices of pizza and a beer on tap for $6.50. It's one of my favorite deals in town. Right now they've got 10 Barrel Apocalypse, Deschutes Black Butte Porter and Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale on tap.
If you don't want the beer (I'm not sure why you're reading this blog then), it's only $5.50 with a soda.
Eat, drink and enjoy,
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
This weekend I went over the hill for work in Portland - unfortunately the Bend Beer Blog isn't quite turning a profit yet - but made sure to sample the local brew scene as much as possible.
If there's a better beer town in the world than Portland, I'd like to know where it is. That being said, here are some thoughts from the final weekend in February:
Sunday, February 28, 2010
So, as some of you who have been following the Bend Beer Blog are aware, I just started to do a tap list for bars in Central Oregon.
Luckily, someone at The Blacksmith came across our blog and saw our project, and e-mailed us. I'm embarrassed to admit I've never been to The Blacksmith, although I'll be going there soon, I hope. Here's why:
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Check it out here, although it's still under construction (it's also the top link of our sidebar). But we've got a pretty good start. For now, we're trying to do the brewpubs, and we've thrown in Brother Jon's and Summit Saloon, which both have a unique and often changing tap list. Abbey Pub is on the to-do list, as is Cascade West. We're not sure how expansive the list is going to get, but that's where we're starting.
Friday, February 26, 2010
You can read more here, at the downtownbend.org Appetizers will be half price. Live music from 7 till 10. And a 'garage sale' from 5 to 10 p.m., where you can get BBC merch at a discount.
They're also unveiling a new brew that night, the Desert Rose, described as an effervescent and tart ale made with craisins and hibiscus." Sounds a little scary, but we'll try it. I tried a beer at Deschutes on X-tap that was described by a waitress like "drinking perfume," so I have to be able to get a glass of this down, right?
Thanks to hackbend.com for spotting it. I would have been unaware otherwise.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
On the food front, I had the pulled pork sandwich with fries. The sandwich was great. Good sized and soaked in a BBQ sauce made from the Sinistor, it's a keeper. The fries were of the skinny variety, which I'm not a huge fan of. But they were still pretty good.
Bottom line, I'll be back.
Fast forward to Wednesday, and I think all the Bend beer bloggers were pleasantly surprised with the pub at 12th and Galveston. The pub itself is very cool, has a great atmosphere. I walked in and I was impressed immediately with how squared away it was, and how simple and functional the design was. It looks like what it claims -- a Bend pub -- which is certainly a good start.
Two-thirds of the BBB just had time to drink a quick beer at lunch time, so Beau and I went after the lunch rush to check things out. We ended up getting the samplers, since neither of us have been huge 10 Barrel drinkers in the past. They currently have 12 beers on tap, and you can get 3 oz. samples of each for $12 (or six for $6). 20 Pretty good deal, especially if you are unfamiliar with the beer. Here's what you get (Beau is on the right)
So, I would say we were far from overwhelmed by the entire roster of beers, but most were drinkable. We weren't thrilled with the Red Ale, the Coffee Porter or the Bourbon Barrel RIPA. The latter two just tasted a bit too much like their names. For instance, Beau and I both like a good porter with coffee notes, but we thought the coffee flavor was a bit too much. The Pray for Snow Strong Ale, the American Wheat, and the Belgian Blonde Ale were all winners, in our books, as was the Sinistor Black Ale on nitro. 20 oz. glasses will cost you $4.
We didn't actually eat lunch, but the menu looked good on paper, with a lot of pub fare in the $10 range, and pizzas that will set you back a bit more. Beau and the third BBBer, James, went for dinner and had a nice meal.
Here's a few more pictures of inside, including the blackboard where they list the beers and the bar area.
We also learned a few other nuggets:
-- A locals night is likely on the horizon. We had been hearing Sunday as a possibility, but apparently a date isn't in place yet.
-- The pub is going to be open til 11 p.m. for now. They said they would be seeing how things go in the first few weeks before settling on hours.
Anyway, it was a good first impression. I'm excited to go back.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
About 11 p.m. last Saturday night, Deschutues Brewery, Portland, Ore.:
“Would you like another?” said the bartender to a soft-spoken pleasant young guy, who was seated on a tall chair, relaxed at the bar with a glint in his eye and a smile painted on his face. His even-more-soft-spoken lady friend was by his side, half seated on her own chair and half seated on his, resting against his shoulder and holding his hand. The two looked inseparably happy and were dressed up — dressed up, that is, by Oregon standards — and probably were keeping the night going by unplanned beers after a date that went better than either expected. They both were drinking the last ounces of their pints of Green Lakes Organic Ale — Deschutes’s only amber-style offering.
“I don't know yet,” said the guy, answering the bartender’s question. The guy was visibly impressed both because the bartender’s ask was perfectly timed in sync with his final gulp and because the pub staff was more welcoming to patrons at this late hour than ever.
The guy turned to his lady friend on his shoulder, practically whispering to her, and asked her, “What do you think, babe?”
She blushed and smiled and curled up, hugging against him tighter. She avoided answering his question with words, but her expressions said it all: she was thoroughly enjoying being with him tonight, and if being with him longer meant having another pint at Deschutes, then she was having another pint. He read her perfectly. And he and took it with honor, the task of getting his lady another beer.
“I’m from Minnesota,” said the guy as he turned back to the bartender. “So I’m not very used to beers like this.
“What would you recommend?” he asked.
“Well,” the bartender said, “Do you like hops?”
“Um … Sure. I think so.”
The guy picked up the beer menu and began the exciting elimination process. But before he had time to consider even three of the roughly 20 choices, the bartender had already grabbed, filled and slung in front of him a four-ounce sample of something a bit more red-colored and a bit more frothy than the Green Lakes amber he had just enjoyed.
“Hop Henge I.P.A.” the bartender declared. “It might be the best beer in your life.”
The adorable couple went on to split a 10 oz. snifter of Hop Henge, and while they did, even though I would have said it wasn't possible, their night appeared to get even better. It looked like something I've heard of before. It looked like love.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
At least according to their latest tweet, a few days ago: "The countdown is on at the pub!!" We think that means it's opening soon, anyway. If they had an exact date, we guess they would have tweeted that, so apparently opening day is still a bit of a moving target.
We've heard that February 21st is the date they're shooting for, and looking at the progress they've made on the exterior, it at least seems possible. Here's a shot from yesterday when I walked by:
There's now windows instead of plywood, the patio area (to the left of the picture, on the corner of Galveston and 12th) is getting pretty close to done. I haven't been able to see much of the inside from the sidewalk. 18 days still seems a little ambitious, with how much work it appears still needs to be done, but it's not impossible. I would guess March is a better bet (as I've made a friendly wager that it won't open in February), and I hope they take their time and have everything squared away before they open. After all, let's look at the dates that have already come and gone:
--Their Web site still says it's opening in late October, of last year. (They should probably fix that.)
--Some buzz in the fall had the brewpub opening in December or "early winter."
Obviously neither of those happened, and we're sure it's not easy opening a start-up brewpub. But it does seem like they are actually close this time, barring setbacks.
I live just a couple of blocks away, so having another place to go without schlepping to downtown will be nice.
Galveston is definitely coming into its own, it seems. Brother Jon's opened last year and has been doing brisk business ever since thanks to a solid, inexpensive menu, a lot of good beer on tap and in bottles, and a friendly staff. Mother's already had its niche carved out and does a ton of business serving smoothies and lite fare. Ida's Cupcake Cafe opening last year and gives locals a place to get some coffee in the absence of Di Lusso's (where 10 Barrel is now). And there's already Ariana, which is just about the best place in Bend to get a meal if you are looking to spend a little bit of money. And of course there's Victorian Cafe, Parilla Grill and Taco Salsa on the 14th St. roundabout.
10 Barrel could be a great addition to an already solid and growing district
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Anyway, Beau already posted about my encounters with Deschutes (both grocery stores I went to had Mirror Pond available in six-pack form. The Twilight Ale I saw had expired in November (mmmmm, delicious...no, I didn't buy it). I never did see Deschutes on tap, though.
Anyway, my experiences with Hawaiaan beers, briefly:
-- I had Kona's Longboard Lager, Fire Rock Pale Ale and Big Wave Golden Ale in bottles and on tap. I know these are available pretty easily mainland side, but I had never had them. I wasn't really excited about the pale, but I enjoyed the lager and the Golden Ale. I wouldn't really trade any of them for a Deschutes. I also just picked up some Pipeline Porter by Kona at the store when I got back...excited to try that. Interestingly, the brewmaster for 10 Barrel Brewing here in Bend came from Kona. Below is a pic of some Golden Ale from Poipu, south shore of Kauai:
--While on Kauai I also had Hawai’i Nui Brewing Kaua’i Golden Ale (better known as Keoki Gold, from my research?), which, for me, was kind of like the Konas -- drinkable but not something I'd really seek out.
--By far the best part of my Hawaii trip (beer-wise) was a trip to Waimea Brewing Company in Kaua'i, billed as the westernmost brewpub in the world:
We found out later that they apparently have gone through a lot of different owners and have had some problems over the years. but I couldn't tell by the pleasant afternoon my wife and I spent sampling their beers:
(I took a sip out of the first one before I remembered to take a picture). Anyway, the beers are, from left: Lilikoi Ale, Wai'ale'ale Ale, Captain Cook's IPA, Na Pali Ale, Pakala Porter, Cane Fire Red, Westwide Wheat and Uli Uli Brown. I definitely preferred the darker beers (from this post you probably think I hate any light-colored beer, although that's definitely not the case). The Porter was a a classic version of the beer, smoky and heavy and really enjoyable. Reds aren't usually my favorite style of beer, but I really enjoyed that as well. Anyway, if you ever find yourself on the western side of Kauai, check it out.
--On non-beer-related drinking, we also checked out Kauai Coffee Company not too far down the road. This is actually what you get when you buy coffee at Trader Joe's. Anyway, that was a blast, too, you could sample any all of the coffees they currently have in production. And that was a fun way to wait out a rainstorm.
-- Also, Hawaii was awesome, and Bend is cold. I miss wearing shorts every day.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Here's the link from The Oregonian's John Foyston.
According to Ratebeer.com's press release, the list was based on more than 2 million reviews. Imperial Stouts dominate the list, taking 18 of the top 20 spots.
Portland's Hair of the Dog Brewery placed four beers on the top 100. The only other Northwest brewery to make the list was Alaska's Midnight Sun Brewing Company.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Beer at the barber shop isn’t a revolutionary idea. Multiple barbers in Bend offer a complimentary tasty beverage with a hair cut. But bless the boys downtown at the Bond Street Barber Shop, they’ve brought in pony kegs to give you a nice Central Oregon microbrew on tap.
For $17, you get a haircut and a glass of 10 Barrel Brewing. (As of Wednesday, Jan. 27, Bond Street was serving up 10 Barrel’s Apocalypse IPA, Pray For Snow Strong Ale and the company’s Summer Seasonal.)
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Metropolitan Barber Shop gives you a can of PBR and Element 909 Aveda Men salon offers bottles of Cascade Lakes Brewing, both of which are also downtown. Also, Jay T’s Parlor for Men in the Old Mill has fridge full of micros . Not bad options, but it certainly isn’t the same as a drink fresh off the tap.
Let’s hope the keg in the barber shop is a trend that keeps growing here in Bend.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Bend Beer Blog's better third is living the good life in Hawaii this week and found some Central Oregon brew in one of the local grocery stores.
Good to know the islands are well stocked.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I had the Outback X at BBC tonight. I wasn't sure if the "X" stood for "eXperimental", "eXtreme" or the number ten, so I asked and the guy who said, "It's just an X." It's served in a tiny snifter and has a sweet malt tone. A nice beer to compliment the heavy pub food and without so many hops that your tongue is left burning till bedtime. BBC doesn't change their beers that often so trying their seasonals is always a good choice.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Here's a rundown of what the local establishments have on nitro today:
- Bend Brewing Company: Vanilla Porter
- Deschutes Brewing: Obisidian Stout and Theo's Super Seven Nitro Sessions Chocolate Stout
- McMenamins: Old English Ale? (I'm not sure about the name but I've had it several times over the past week. One of their better seasonals.)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Then go out and get a fresh pint from one of our many fine local purveyors.
see a Beer Advocate review and picture
I'm not sure if it's the best-kept secret in Bend or not, but free 4 oz. beer samples are available at Deschutes' brewing facility on SW Simpson. I'll be honest, whenever I have to buy a birthday or wedding present for someone, I swing by the gift shop there and have a few beer samples before buying my gift.
It's the greatest shopping experience ever.
In addition to all of Deschutes' classic beers, the brewing facility also has a handful of seasonals on tap. When I was there on Thursday, Jan. 21, they had Hop Henge and The Abyss.
As of Jan. 21, here's what is on tap at the Deschutes Brewery brewing facility:
- The Abyss
- Hop Henge IPA
- Cinder Cone Red
- Obsidian Stout
- Black Butte Porter
- Inversion IPA
- Green Lakes Organic Ale
- Mirror Pond Pale Ale
You can read more about it at Deschutes' Web site here.
Its a tremendous beer. I would stop short of saying I enjoy it more than Hop Henge or Hop Trip, but it's definitely a solid offering. And if you need a change of pace from the regular rotation you find in stores, you should give it a try.
Gah, I just read that, and it really sounded like I was a shill for Deschutes. I promise that's not the case.
And, I just created an e-mail address for the site. Itemail@example.com. If you're a brewery, a beer fan, a Bendite, a sasquatch, etc., and you want to get in touch with us, or send some info our way, e-mail away.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Our apologies if there is a blog already. If there is, we've never heard of it. And, if there is, I think there's room enough for more than one, considering there's a lot of beer to cover.
Anyway, we started this on a lark. We think it could be a great resource for what's on tap and what's going on at the local breweries and brewpubs, and a great opportunity for us to drink (more) great local beer.
So, cheers. Let's hope we're not too lazy to actually post on this blog!