Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Barrel Pub Now Open: First Impressions

10 Barrel Pub officially opened its doors on Wednesday, after its soft opening on Sunday and Monday. And I have to be honest...having watched the slow progress of the pub and missed deadlines for when it was supposed to open, I wasn't terribly optimistic.

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.


  1. I LOVE the place, the food is awesome and so are the beers. I actually love the coffee porter - so have to disagree w/ you there. I can't wait to go back - especially this summer when all the doors are up and the sun is shining! good job 10 barrel!

  2. I was grabbing a late happy-hour beer with a friend at the trendy Portland scotch bar, North 45, located in PDX's Northwest district. My friend, like me, knows 10 Barrel well — but still enjoys the young brewery's owners and staff more than its beer.

    My friend asks the bartender, "Do you have a pale ale on tap?"
    The bartender girl replies, "Yeah, it's from 10 Barrel."
    "Oh great!," my friend exclaims. "I'm from Bend. Those guys are my friends!
    "But what else do you have on tap?"

    There's a ways to go before 10 Barrel is producing a go-to choice for beer lovers outside Bend — let alone inside Bend. But everyone who knows you, 10 Barrel, is cheering for you. And the new pub certainly gives us more to rally around. I'm looking forward saddling up at the new digs with tray of six samples and — from what Dustin writes above — enjoy what is a wild improvement in brew, even from a few months ago.

  3. Glad you like the porter. It wasn't undrinkable, it's just not for me. I just thought the coffee kind of hits you over the head. And when I drink a beer, I am not looking for non-beer flavors to overwhelm me. Unless I am drinking a chili beer at Deschutes. Maybe then. And like Robby says, and I didn't really say this in the post, this is a pretty huge improvement, and a lot more beers, then 10 barrel has produced. This is a huge step forward for them, and I am definitely excited to see where they go from here.

  4. I've been a fan of 10 Barrel since before they were 10 Barrel - wildfire back in the day - and they've come along ways in what 2 or 3 years? so have to agree w/ Dustin that they are moving in the right direction.
    their s1nist0r black ale is absolutely amazing and won the bronze medal at the Great American Beer Fest this year - so I'd say that they are producing beers that will be well known outside Bend - so give them some credit and some time. for just being local guys they are doing a great job.
    oh and can't forget about their IPA and summer ale...great beers!
    haven't been to pub yet, but am looking forward to tasting the other beers on tap.

  5. Yeah you're right Eddie, the curve for 10 barrel has been steep, especially considering this giant leap forward they've made in the last few months. I have to disagree with you on their summer beer...I had that once, and I really didn't enjoy it. Maybe it was just a bad keg. I'll give it a try if it returns this summer.

  6. Went to 10 Barrel Pub with friends and we all agreed the food was great. The Steak Fingers appetizer and Grilled Chicken & prosiutto sandwich were delicious. My friend had a Hippy Pie and loved it. I can't wait to go back and try the Steak Sando as well as other items I can't remember now. Since I like different flavors....I thought the Coffee Porter was tasty. I also liked the American Wheat.

  7. Maybe I need to try to coffee porter again. I dunno...Beau and I both tried it and kind of agreed that it was too much.

    The steak fingers do sound amazing.

  8. dudes-
    the coffee porter is shite. as Dustin says, the coffee hits you over the head. and where's the porter? there is no meat, too thin. no creaminess component. keep trying, 10Barrel...

    10 points on the Belgian though. well done. they have also created a nice, clean inside space...with large public table! genius. we found the crowd to be varied, and not too heavy on the douchy big-truck crowd (to borrow an associate's phrase), which was a fear. going back for sure.