Thursday, November 17, 2011
The popular Bend Ale Trail, developed by the lovely folks over at Visit Bend, have added a pair of stops to the local brewery expedition. The Ale Trail now includes Good Life Brewing and Brew Werks, which join local brewery stalwarts Deschutes, Cascade Lakes, 10 Barrel, Bend Brewing Company, Boneyard, McMenamins, Silver Moon, and from up the road in Sisters, Three Creeks Brewing.
I just pulled out my smart phone and checked the Ale Trail app and it doesn't look like it's been updated yet, but hopefully that'll come soon. For now, users can download the existing version from visitbend.com/apps or at the iTunes store. If you prefer to shun technology and are more of a rotary kinda person (if you are, please send in a picture of it as I'm convinced they cease to exist), you can grab a Bend Discovery Map at a handful of locations. Once completed, swing on over to the Bend Visitor Center with your stamped passport and you'll get a big pat on the back (trust me, this sounds better when you've had a few pints under your belt) and your choice of a very cool commemorative Bend Silipint or Bend Brews book.
Ready to hit the trail? Yeah, me too. Looks like I have a couple more stamps to get!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A book signing tour is hitting the Deschutes Brewery pub in Bend, for "Brewed Awakening: Behind The Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution."
You can get the details on tonight's event, which takes place with author Joshua Bernstein from 5 to 8 p.m., here, or check out the book website here.
The recently released Abyss will be available. There will also be a tasting of a "Brewed Awakening beer" —a dry-hopped cask ale IPA.
Here's a quick rundown of what's in the book, as written by the author:
Why Brewed Awakening? Concerning beer, the last decade has witnessed more seismic changes than any time since Prohibition. There are more than 1,700 craft breweries in America, from community-based nanobreweries to the new breed of national brands such as Dogfish Head and Stone. Untethered from stodgy tradition, and driven by unbridled creativity, American and international brewers are leading a boundary-less charge into the global future of beer.
And here's a look at the book, in video form:
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
If you're not familiar with Primal Cuts Meat Market on Galveston St., they offer some pretty incredible tasting (albeit awfully pricey) meats. If I'm not mistaken, Good Life Brewing uses Primal Cuts exclusively for their meats. I've had a few of their sandwiches at the pub and I must say they're pretty darn tasty. So that being said, I'm sure the sliders will be good as well.
If you happen to get there too late for the snacks, however, and prefer to keep your midweek indulging on the cheaper side, don't forget it's $6 growler night at Boneyard Brewing off Colorado at 37 Northwest Lake Pl # B. It's also locals night at Cascade Lakes with $2.75 pints from 4-6pm - a great deal if you can make it there from work in time.
Happy humpday everyone and enjoy your Wednesday suds in Bend!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Of course, we're interested in the beer-related categories. In case you want to just skip to those, they are "Best brewpub," "Best Brewery" and "Best Happy Hour." You can do your voting here.
Let us know who you put on your ballot, and why!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Home Brew Shop and Platypus Pub in Bend is hosting another "Meet the Brewer" night on Thursday. Following up on the meet-n-greet with Hopworks Urban Brewery's Jaime Rodriquez last week, the newly minted basement pub will be talking with a brewer from Eugene's Oakshire Brewing this go-round.
Oakshire seems to be gaining some steam in the past 6-12 months and definitely has a presence here in Bend, both in selling bottles in stores and on tap in pubs. A quick glance online on their website shows that they are currently selling their beers at places like Whole Foods, Nature's, Brother Jon's Public House, The Blacksmith, Jackson's Corner, Newport Ave. Market and a handful of others (including the Brew Shop, of course). They were also here a couple times this summer at beer festivals if you got a chance to sample their wares at the Bend Brewfest and the Little Woody Barrel-Aged Brew Festival on Labor Day weekend. Personally, I'm more of a fan of their darker beers like the Overcast Espresso Stout and the O'Dark: 30 Cascadian Dark Ale, but they seem to do well distributing their Watershed IPA and Oakshire Amber as well.
Event starts at 7pm on Thursday at the Platypus Pub, which is located in the basement of The Home Brew Shop on the corner of 3rd and NE Lafayette Ave. in the old church. If you get there a bit early, you can still catch happy hour too (runs till 6:30pm), which features $.75 off beers and some food specials.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
After taking in some free music at McMenamin's, I headed over to GoodLife to check out their Locals Night for the first time. They have $2.50 pints all day, and $7 growlers too. Anyway, our party made sure to have one of each of GoodLife's three offerings (truth be told, we tried almost everything they had on tap, as well). Right now they have a pale (Mountain Rescue), an IPA (Descender) and a wheat (Sweet as Pale). All of them were fine beers, although we all agreed that none of them truly distinguished themselves. The wheat was good, and didn't have the aftertaste that can plague some wheats. And the IPA was very hoppy (in a good way), checking in at 70 IBUs. Below, from left, is the pale, the IPA, and the wheat.
You can read more about all their beers here.
For a nightcap, we went over to 10 Barrel, pretty much to try their Ping Pong Pumpkin Ale. And it was worth the trip. It strikes the perfect note of how much pumpkin flavor you want in a beer -- earthy and a hint of sweetness. We suggest you check it out before fall is over.
Friday, October 28, 2011
The site drills down on each local brewery in town, as well as lists out some of the happy hour specials and locals nights throughout the week. Though it looks like no blog is attached, he does highlight some of the local beer blogs (including the good folks bringing you this news) and has some nice social interactivity with Twitter streams and Facebook updates. He also provides some nice resources for tours, homebrewing supplies and good places around Bend to buy craft beer. In the end, Beer Me Bend! looks to be a great site designed by a local Bendite who loves good beer. And for that, we say cheers!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Deschutes stayed in-house for two newly formed brewmaster positions, according to a press release on the promotions of Cam O’Connor and Brian Faivre:
The two, who have been instrumental in the development of such game-changing brews as Hop in the Dark, Red Chair NWPA, Gluten Free Ale, the soon to be released Chainbreaker White IPA, and others, were chosen for their abilities to both innovate and lead.
Whole thing here.
“Pushing boundaries and experimenting with new beers is what defines us as a company,” said Gary Fish, president and founder of Deschutes Brewery. “Brian and Cam have been instrumental in creating many of the new beers that have been brought to our fans over the last few years. The fact that we were able to promote from within the brewing department is a testament to the strong team of brewers we have here at Deschutes, and we are looking forward to seeing their creativity continue in their expanded roles as brewmasters.”
Seeing as Deschutes has a pretty good thing going, a hire outside of the company wouldn't seem to make much sense. Why look for talent elsewhere when you are already making some of the best beer on the planet? We look forward to seeing the beer coming from Deschutes moving forward.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
While it waits for federal approval to start brewing its own beer, the brewpub is serving an impressive list of Northwest micros.
As of Wednesday, Oct. 26, the pubs tap list included: Silver Moon's Snakebite Porter, Terminal Gravity's IPA, Boneyard's Black 13, Fearless Brewing Company's Loki Red Ale, Everybody's Brewing Cash Stout Oatmeal Stout, and the Bend Brewing Company's Howling Hef, to name a few.
Prices for pints range from $3.50 to $4.25 and all micos are $3.25 from 4 to 6 p.m. during Happy Hour. There's also a full food menu.
None of us at the BBB have been out there yet, but just based on the beer list it sounds like it'd be worth the drive. Just a heads up, the pub is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
If you've stopped in at Solstice, let us know what you thought.
If you don't know what the inn is, it's a homeless shelter on the north side. Any time I have warm clothes I don't need or would otherwise get rid of, I try to make sure it goes there, as I know it gets put to good use. You can learn more about the inn here.
Anyway, onto the beer part of this post. For $80, you get a five-course meal with beer pairings (only four different beers, though, it appears). Beau and I highly recommend the Afterschool Special, a chocolate milk stout. It tasted more milk-y than chocolate-y when we had it at the Bend pub, but it was still excellent. And I am sure it's awesome with dessert. You'll also get Fresh Hop Mirror Pond, The Stoic (a Belgian quad) and Conflux No. 2 (a white IPA).
More on the event here.
Monday, October 24, 2011
A triple collaboration has occurred! Swing by Soupçon for their Boneyard Backbone Stout Irish Stew. Great beer, coffee and soup combined!Photo from Backporch's Facebook site: here.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Beau and I would have a hard time quibbling with two of their choices -- Deschutes and Boneyard. Based on the quality of the beer, and nothing else, it's hard to touch Deschutes. And pretty much since they've come online a couple of years ago, Boneyard has been in the conversation for the second best brewery in Bend. That idea was further cemented by the fact that they just teamed up with swanky Pronghorn Club for a beer and small plate menu earlier this month.
After that, we could go a lot of different directions. A lot of people swear by 10 Barrel, as evidenced by the fact that they are at capacity on a lot of nights. And they have upgraded their brewers and beer quality and creativity this year. After a couple of trips to Silver Moon of late, I think they might be the most underrated brewery in town. They just won some medals at the Great American Beer Festival, and they are making some excellent beers right now. And Bend Brewing Company makes some excellent brew as well. We're not quite ready to put Good Life, a new brewery that opened on Century Drive this summer, in the conversation with the rest of these yet, like the blog post above did.
Anyway, how would you rank Bend's breweries? Comment on the blog, send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), tweet us (@bendbeerblog), or just find us at a local watering hole.
Anyway, we came across this video on the creation of this year's artwork, and we thought we would share.
You can also check out the Central Oregon artists responsible for this year's art, Cara Thayer and Louie Van Patten, here.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Please join us Wednesday, October 19th from 4:00 to 6:00 for our second annual Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Tasting. For those of you that didn't make it last year, what the tasting consists of is tasting the beers that we carry that won a medal at this years GABF. We also could be lucky enough to have the local brewers who won medals but do not bottle let us sample their winners.Here's a link to this year's GABF winners.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Just popped a Slippery Slope tasty winter ale. Maybe the best beer we have ever made. SNAPYou obviously can't break out the "best beer we have ever made" line all the time, or else you risk looking pretty silly. So we imagine Cascade Lakes isn't pulling our chain.
Here's what they have to say about Slippery Slope (6.4%, 50 IBUs):
Our full-bodied ale uses crystal malt and generous amounts of cascade hops to produce a well-balanced seasonal ale. So, whether your slippery slope is a mountain or your sidewalk, this ale makes an excellent companion.
Sounds like a trip the Lodge is in order. We'll report back when we have tried this out.
Friday, October 14, 2011
According to the Deschutes Web Site, you'll actually be able to get Fresh Hop Mirror Pond all the way through December. Unless people drink it really fast. Amazingly, there are already a few dozen reviews of FHMP at Beer Advocate; it's currently graded at B+.
And a couple days ago I had Double Mountain's Fresh Hop Killer Red ... I think that was the first red fresh hop variant I had. It was good, although other than the color I would have had a hard time distinguishing as a red beer. Like most fresh hop beers, you get the aroma immediately, and while it's hoppy, it does so without being overly bitter.
Any fresh hop beers that you really like and think we should try? Let us know before Beau and I move on to dark beers for the fall/winter.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Held at the Mountain Room at the Deschutes facility on Simpson Ave. on Saturday, Oct. 22, the event features tapas paired with a variety of fresh hop beers.
The beers served include (all fresh hop versions) Oktoberfest, Chainbreaker White IPA, Inversion IPA, Mirror Pond, Spencer's Gold, Twilight Summer Ale, and Hop Trip. You can get more details on the event and the full menu here.
I am not a math whiz, but that's a lot of beer and food for $40.
Monday, October 10, 2011
We at the BBB are excited to try a new beer that's on the way at 10 Barrel. If we deciphered this Facebook post correctly, it's called "Ping Pong." Or it's called something else, and Ping Pong is a mysterious brewing term we've never heard of:
Bobby drove out to the farm this morning and picked up his Pumpkins and 100 lbs of brown sugar for the "Ping Pong" this morning!And this one really whetted our appetite:
I like good fruity beers that aren't overpoweringly fruity (i.e. Sam Adams' Cherry Wheat; they actually make a pumpkin ale occasionally, but I've never had it.). And I love desserts with pumpkin. Here's hoping 10 Barrel's effort is a winner.
Had to go into the brewery yesterday to pickup some kegs and when I opened the door the whole brewery smelled like pumpkin pie..Can't wait to try the beer! Good Job boy's, proud of ya!
There's no reason for that with a couple of the ridiculous growler fill-up deals you can find in Bend. First, the newer one. Silver Moon, if you haven't heard the radio ads or if you haven't seen the promotion at the pub, has a "Growler Power Hour." You can fill your growler for just five bucks if you go Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. You can follow them @SilverMoonBeer on Twitter to learn what beers you can get for $5.
Then, there is the old standby. Boneyard Beer, despite its success selling beer in Bend and beyond, continues to fill growlers for just six bucks on Wednesdays during their hours (usually 11 to 7). If you haven't tried Boneyard, yet, do yourself a favor and get a growler or try a pint in a local drinking/eating establishment. They make some of the best beer in town, in our estimation.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
--Deschutes won three medals. It won gold for Bourbon Murder (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Stout category) and bronze for its Pinot Jubel (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer) and its Down 'n' Dirty IPA (English-Style India Pale Ale)
--Silver Moon won a gold medal, too, for Dark Side Stout (Foreign-Style Stout). It also won bronze for its Legacy Lager in the American-Style or International-Style Pilsener category.
--Bend Brewing Co. won bronze for Ching Ching in the American-Style Sour Ale division.
I've clearly not drunk enough beer this year, because I've only had the Legacy out of that group. Shame on me.
Rogue Ales was the only Oregon brewer to win a pair of gold medals.
Here's a video look at the festivities:
You can check out all the Oregon winners here, if you'd like. And here's a press release on the whole shooting match.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
That's a perfectly good selection of beer, don't get me wrong. And I know Deschutes is a sponsor, and all. But it seems like Fall Fest is a perfect opportunity to get the beer community together and offer fall/Oktoberfest inspired beer, a la the Little Woody. I know there are a bazillion winter beers, but the fall beers are generally my favorite. And Fall Fest plays up the Oktoberfest theme, already. It just seems like a missed opportunity to me. Maybe someone just needs to steal my idea and put on an independent Oktoberfest beer festival in Bend.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Anyway, instead of going home, being lame and sleeping off your hangover, go out and support a local-ish band.
Website, with some music you can listen too here.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
And the beer mile:
I wish I could get paid to write about games involving beer.
I was hoping to show you a video of beer hunter from youtube, but I was unsuccessful. All I could find was these people shooting cans of PBR for no apparent reason. I am guessing they wouldn't last long in Bend.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Read more here.
We didn't even read the foods, we just skipped to the beer selections, which include Cherryweiss, an unnamed Irish Chocolate Stout on nitro (I haven't had this yet, but I would probably want to be submerged in this when I die, and I may put it in my will), Aphrodite (a chocolate fig stout) and Black Butte XXII. Sounds like an amazing lineup to us.
$70 gets you in to eat and drink. Enjoy if you go!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
First we had to collect enough bottles to put the beer in:
Bottling took place a few weeks ago. And, to be honest, that was a bit of a debacle. We ended up probably spilling like 4 to 5 beers on the floor using the siphon that gets the beer into the bottles. Anyway, live and learn...we'll know better next time. Here's some pics or transferring the beer to bottles, and capping:
So, three weeks later, after bottle conditioning, the beer was carbonated. And, it certainly wasn't the greatest beer I've ever made, but drinking beer you made definitely makes it taste better. The finished product:
Bottom line? Making beer was a blast, and I highly recommend it if you've thought about trying it. It's really not that hard, and it's fun to go through the process.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
After we got dumped on today, it feels like winter again, that's for sure.
Anyway, we figured we'd pick out some highlights (for us) of WinterFest, which is Friday through Sunday in the Old Mill District. A WinterFest button to get in to the festivities is $6 in advance and $7 at the gate.
Cycle Pub debuts
The Cycle Pub has its website up and running, and the bar on wheels will make its debut at WinterFest. (Cliff notes on what Cycle Pub is: You pedal a trolley-looking thing, drink beer, and someone drives you around town.) The only question for Cycle Pub will be if the roads will be clear enough to run, since there's snow in the forecast tonight and the next two days.
No word on if any of the Bend Beer Bloggers -- or anyone else, for that matter -- won the T-Shirt slogan contest that results in a free ride for the winners.
The rail jamGenerally the coolest part of WinterFest (other than drinking beer). The WinterFest website says 50 dump truckloads of snow are hauled down from Bachelor. After today, we're guessing they'll need less.
WinterFringeThis at least sounds cool...fire dancers? We're in. Other street performers are also included...and apparently they are just hanging out in downtown, and you don't actually need a WinterFest button to see them. The whole thing sounds kind of amorphous, random, and hopefully cool. To see the music from Larry and His Flask and Wosley Motta at Century Center, you'll need a button, though. More on WinterFringe here.
Check out the official website to learn more.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
The Galveston pub is now offering take-home beer...if you put it in a mason jar. Why in a mason jar? Apparently, it produces less wasted beer than pouring it in a growler. And since Brother Jon's isn't making its own beer, and is instead reselling it, we can see why they wouldn't want to waste much beer in the pour.
Here are the prices to fill a mason jar:
16 oz.: $3.75
32 oz.: $7.50
32 oz. with deposit: $10
64 oz: $15
64 oz. with deposit: $17.50
A standard growler is a half gallon (64 ounces).
These prices obviously aren't cheaper than anything you can get in town. But, as I mentioned, they're basically reselling beer they already bought, so they don't have the same margins that the breweries in town have when they sell growlers.
But, price aside, this does offer Bendites the opportunity to buy tap beer that is nearly impossible to get otherwise. The beer selection at Bro Jo's is constantly changing. And we're certainly not going to be buying mason jars of Deschutes, Boneyard, or Guinness. But there are cool beers that come through that would be worth getting, like offerings from Double Mountain, Great Divide, Abita, etc.
Anyway, it's definitely cool that this is an option. I go to Brother Jon's often, I'll try to let you know if I see something cool on tap. Right now I can suggest Everybody’s Local Logger Lager (Everybody's Brewing in Washington) just for no other reason than you don't see lagers on tap every day in Central Oregon.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Old Mill Brew Werks, which started serving its own IPA at the end of January, is set to take over 10 Barrel Brewing Company's brewing facility in northeast Bend this fall when 10 Barrel moves its beer production to a larger, 50 barrel system. While the OMBW, which is located on 384 SW Upper Terrace just above the Old Mill Shopping District, has been operating as a restaurant and tap house since October, the plan was always to brew its own beer.
Right now, OMBW is renting space from Silver Moon Brewery to brew OMBW beers. (Love says OMBW is currently brewing an alt-style beer which they hope to have on tap in two to three weeks.) According to Love, in September or October, once 10 Barrel has moved, OMBW hopes to be in the brewing facility on High Desert Lane, just off Empire. That's eight breweries and counting in Bend, nine when/if Noble Brewing takes off in the Century Center.
Reviews at Beer Advocate go back to March of last year, so apparently some places have been getting 10 Barrel bottles for about a year, if not longer. Read reviews of S1nist0r here at BA.
At Newport you can buy S1nist0r (black ale) and Apocalypse (IPA), Of course, you can go the pub and fill up a growler, too.
Monday, February 7, 2011
We're not sure how we feel about magnets at the bottoms of the beer. And what effect this has on a head if the technique were used with a real beer (i.e. not Bud Light). But it does look cool.
We'll be waiting for one of the local breweries to figure out how to do this with non-plastic, non-crappy beers.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
What you get from Deschutes that you might not get from every other brewery everywhere? Owning up to problems and mistakes.
Most of the time, a company pretty much toots its own horn and sweeps problems/mistakes under the rug as best they can. In a review of 2010 (in a blog post you can read here), Deschutes tells us what they did well. But the majority of the post deals with the missteps in 2010 (namely Black Butte XXII and the 2009 Abyss).
I wouldn't expect most companies to even mention that stuff in a review of the past year's operations on their own blog. But they do so in detail, and make you believe that they hate making mistakes.
Anyway, cheers to Deschutes for some refreshing honesty that you see very little of in corporate America.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Read the promotion/contest based on Red Chair NW Pale Ale here.
Free to enter, and it's still a pretty good prize, even if you live in Bend. Grand prize is three days of lift tickets at Bachelor, plus equipment rental. And $1,000 in money for expenses. Can we spend it all on Deschutes beers?
And if you don't win the grand prize, you can still pick up some Red Chair goodies via the contest.
Get your entry in by the end of the month to qualify.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Anyway, totally random Twitter sighting...if you use Twitter, you probably know that if you go to the home page, it scrolls through recent interesting tweets. So I saw one by Wil that was pretty funny, so I clicked on his Twitter feed. And lo and behold I saw this tweet:
Black Butte XXII. Proof that, if god exists, she wants us to be happy.
With this pic:
We agree, Wil. Stop by Deschutes' pub in Bend sometime and buy us one.
So, after a bit of confusion about whether the beer was available (it was on the chalkboard, but crossed out), and whether or not we could buy a pitcher of it (we could), we got to enjoy the beer.
Here's Beau and James unsuccessfully trying to look sophisticated while drinking Hop Junkie.
And we did enjoy it. Evidenced by the fact that Beau, James and I, and a friend of James, polished off the pitcher in about no time. We all agreed that the beer was tremendous. The smell of it alone was great...smelled like a fresh hop beer, really. And despite a high ABV (8.5) and pretty strong IBUs (90) it was surprisingly easy to drink.
We also had the stout later in our session, and we all thought that was really good, as well.
Bottom line? After not always being super excited about 10 Barrel's beer in the past, we're all on board now. And with the new brewers set to really make their mark, 10 Barrel might be poised to explode. As if they weren't doing well already.
Another nice note...Jon from the bar came over and just chatted us up, apparently since I asked about the stats on the Hop Junkie. After hearing from our waitress that we were interested in beer, he came over unprompted and answered questions. Not sure if everything he told me was for mass publicity, so I won't repeat it all here. Suffice it to say even more cool stuff coming down the road for 10 Barrel.
Monday, January 24, 2011
According to the site for Zwickelmania, five Bend breweries are taking part, Cascade Lakes in Redmond and Three Creeks in Sisters.
You can get the full list, including hours for the tours, here.
So far, Deschutes, Bend Brewing Company, 10 Barrel, McMenamins, and Silver Moon are in. Boneyard is not currently on the list.
More on the Deschutes event here. Of particular interest to homebrewers is a recipe book for cloning Deschutes beers, and some hops for your next batch. Count me in.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
As an Oregon beer geek, I really want to like BridgePort Brewing.
The state's oldest craft brewery, BridgePort has some great history. Originally named Columbia River Brewing, BridgePort was the first Portland microbrewer to bottle its own beer. They've got a great brewpub in the the Pearl District, a spot which when they moved there in the late 1980s was surrounded by industrial wasteland. And their name and logo might be one of the sweetest in the country.
But how often do you buy a six-pack of BridgePort? What's the go-to beer in their lineup?
I ask these questions because the brewery has released a trio of new beers in what is what seems to be another rebranding of the company. (For more details, Beervana blogger Jeff Alworth has a nice recap of the company's history and constant reshuffling of beer lineups.)
Cafe Negro (coffee porter), Kingpin (double red ale) and Nightcap (seasonal winter ale) are all new brews by BridgePort. The brewery is aggressively marketing Cafe Negro, which was available for $5.99 a six-pack a couple of days ago at Safeway.
Wanting to try some new beer, I put together a mix-and-match pack of BridgePort beers, grabbing a couple of Cafe Negros, a pair of Hop Czars (the company's imperial IPA, which came out in 2008) and one each of BridgePort's old standbys, its Blue Heron Pale Ale and the BridgePort IPA. It pains me to say it, but nothing really knocked my socks off. The Cafe Negro was decent, but I'm not sure I'd have more than one in a sitting. It wasn't as smooth as some of the better coffee porter/stouts other breweries in the state are making.
The Blue Heron and BridgePort IPA were OK, but rather bland. I made me think of some of the gateway beers I drank when I first started getting into microbrews. Both just seemed like really low-risk, low-reward beers.
Of all the BridgePort offerings I had, I enjoyed the Hop Czar the most. Yes, big IPAs in Oregon are as plentiful as bank-owned homes in Bend, but the Hop Czar seemed like the one beer in my variety pack that was brewed without a safety net.
Just my thoughts. I'd love to hear from some die-hard BridgePort fans who can show me the error in my ways. Because, like I said, I love everything about the brewery except for the actual beer.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Most interesting part was the list of beers they were working on. Here's the list, with some thoughts (read the newsletter for more info on the beers):
- ISA Prototype beer. An Indian session ale, we guess? Anything that would have come from 10 Barrel labeled as experimental would have scared us previously. Now we're intrigued.
- Imperial red. You had us at "imperial."
- Bourbon-aged Sinister: I think they misspelled their own beer. Isn't it S1nist0r? Regardless, we approve of playing around with it. The nitro is a solid beer, adding bourbon barrels to the process sounds promising.
- Cab Belgian Blonde: Personally, I've never had a beer that tried to play with wine flavors that I liked. Hopefully this one will be different.
- Bourbon-aged English Style IPA: English IPAs are generally tasty; see Empire Strikes Back from Double Mountain. Bourbon aging with a non-dark beer sounds out of the box, to us...at least I have never seen it. There's a first time for everything, though.
- Hop Junkie: Calling anything "Hop" brings instant comparisons to the all the awesome Deschutes offerings. Tough mountain to climb, even for a former Deschutes brewer.
- NW Style Red: More red beers being brewed locally can't be a bad thing.
We'll be excited to check these out in the near future...and we'll let you know how they are!
Friday, January 21, 2011
A cooler which spans one wall, sectioned out by region. From Belgians (stocking the likes of Duchesse De Bourgogne) to Germans, Eastern Europe (I got a Pils, a great Czech beer for $1.65) and on. The North American wall is broken down into states/regions. Genius.
Don't tell anybody, but the side room might be our new favorite hangout. Couple tables, peanuts, a fireplace and a small tv to watch the game. And with a huge selection of reasonably priced brews a few steps away? Perfect.
And of course they stock all manner of brewing supplies and even have a couple beers on tap.
From that video, we also learn that the Bend Ale Trail is putting together a free app for the iPhone. That sounds cool. If we had an iPhone. Hopefully those of you with one can enjoy it!
Now you can win a free ride, for you and 15 others. Just come up with the Cycle Pub's slogan for their T-shirts. Here's a link to the Facebook page where they are taking suggestions.
The BBBers have already entered some slogans, so excuse us if we're rooting for ourselves to win.
And if you don't win the free ride, they are still planning to launch at WinterFest next month.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
When I sign up for an e-mail list using my personal e-mail address, I figure I am going to get useful e-mails. And I think Rogue's have at least been that in the past. But this month they seem to just send out e-mails that are supposed to be clever, I guess, and have no other purpose.
That's all there was in the e-mail. No other information. And I have gotten several more like that in the last couple of weeks.
I know, I know, I can always just unsubscribe. Wouldn't it just be better if they reserved the e-mails they sent me for actually important/relevant information? Or, if in addition to the "funny" note they would send me some information about some new beer, or something happening at a pub? If I was subscribing to a blog (i.e. like ours), I would be fine with it. But when I am signing up for an e-mail from a business, I guess I expect more. Am I just being too nitpicky?
I do love a lot of the Rogue beers, and the wife and I usually make a point of hitting the pub in Portland. So, send me an awesome deal, or some free beer, and all is forgiven!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Well, duh. It was determined in a very scientific contest, detailed here.
Cool idea, for sure. But it seems like it should be taken to the next level. Like the Bend breweries head to Portland for a beer vs. beer challenge, or vice versa. With a little more pub and a little more effort put into the ground rules, it could be really big and pretty cool.
Anyway, we missed the first version of the Beer Olympics, but we plan to be there the next time it happens.
In related news, here's what you come up with when you do a Google image search for Beer Olympics.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
The beers are great as well, but they've been hard to come by on this side of the Cascades. Until now.
Pelican announced on its twitter site that Newport Market, Whole Foods and The Brew Shop all will be stocking Pelican brews. Even better, the Good Drop Wine Shoppe in downtown Bend has the brewery's flagship beer, Kiwanda Cream Ale on draft.
Grab some and let us know what you think.
Friday, January 14, 2011
In Friday's Bulletin, former Deschutes brewer/new 10 Barrel brewmaster Jimmy Seifrit says he is working on a beer that tastes like .. .wait for it... beef chili. Not chili peppers. Chili, like the thing with sauce and beans.
I have had several chili (pepper) beers over the years, because, let's be honest, what guy can resist trying a drink that tastes like chili peppers, just for kicks?
Beef chili, though? I am filled with trepidation.
Does that mean I won't try it? Of course not. Draw me a pint when it's ready.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
My only complaint?
They're all on the westside
Maybe I'm overlooking a place - please let us know if I am - but I can't think of anywhere on the eastside that routinely has a solid lineup of microbrews. I'd kill for a Brother Jon's, Riverside Market or Jackson's Corner type of place on the east side of Third Street. Any thoughts from the legion of Bend Beer Blog readers?
Regardless, the BBB trio went to lunch at Taylor's Sausage (on Third, near Franklin) for the first time. We weren't disappointed. Excellent sausage at good prices. Beau and James both had the hot mustard on their sausages, and lived to regret it. And the breakfast menu looked awesome, as well, with very good prices.
They had a pretty solid tap selection, as well, and although we love a good lunchbeer (copyright 2011, trademark pending), we didn't partake in any adult beverages. Picture of the taps:
They have a solid local selection...a Deschutes tap, a 10 Barrel, a Silver Moon. The most interesting find, for us, though was two taps from Wild River from Southern Oregon. Website here. We have no idea what their beer is like, but we'll probably go back.
They also have a pretty awesome deal, if we read it right. Sunday-Thursday, from 4-close, they have a special where you buy a micro ($3.50), you get a sausage for $1.50. Beer and sausage? How can you go wrong?
- Just and add on to Dustin's thoughts. Taylor's also had Caldera's IPA on draft. I'm not aware of any other place in town that has the Ashland brewery's beer on tap. Again, we're looking forward to trying out the beers of southern Oregon. - Beau
We'll credit The Brew Site, since we read it there first. Story here about how 10 Barrel has snagged a couple of brewers -- one from Bend Brewing, the other from Deschutes. The Brew Site was citing this article from The Source Weekly. According to The Source, 10 Barrel has hired Tonya Cornett, brewmaster at BBC, and Jimmy Seifert, who amounts to the No. 2 brewer at Deschutes.
Seifert is already on board as the brewmaster, while Cornett is set to join 10 Barrel this summer.
Another juicy nugget for Bendites who love beer (cut+paste from TSW):
At the moment the brewery is still negotiating the purchase of a property that would allow 10 Barrel to increase its commercial production from the current ten-barrel system to a 50-barrel system, Wales said. In the meantime, Cornett will continue to brew for BBC, he said.Random thoughts/observations/questions on all this news (just thinking out loud):
--What happens to the people that 10 Barrel brought in in 2009, when the brewpub launched? Bulletin story here (cut+paste). "Soon thereafter, the 10 Barrel team hired Thom Tash, previously head brewer at Kona Brewing in Hawaii, as its brewmaster to work with head brewer Dan Olson, who had previously been with Deschutes Brewery." Is everyone still in the mix since they're making more beer?
--Personally, I've felt 10 Barrel's beer has lagged behind much of the rest of the Bend beer scene. I think Boneyard passed them up in quality of beer almost from the day they launched (no, I don't get paid to say nice things about Boneyard, I just happen to think their beer rocks). I didn't really care for the beers they produced pre-brewpub, and although the quality has gotten better since the brewpub, I still don't love it. I enjoy the S1NIST0R Black Ale ( I am pretty sure this predates the brewpub?), especially on nitro, and the Pray for Snow Strong Ale. And my wife likes the Summer Ale (even in winter). And that's about it (and I think I've tried most of their beers). I go to 10 Barrel, when I go, for the food, not for the beer. Or for the atmosphere...it's definitely a fun place to hang out, especially in the summer. I live near Brother Jon's and 10 Barrel, and I go to Bro Jo's all the time, 10 Barrel only on occasion. Anyway, I've rambled. While the moves are apparently tied to the expansion, I have to imagine the moves are meant to address the beer, and get it up to a level where it can compete with the rest of the town. Because right now I don't think too many people would rank the quality of 10 Barrel's beer among the best in Bend. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
--Is 10 Barrel going to change its name to 50 Barrel? I kid.
--How does this affect BBC? It's doubtful Deschutes is hurt by one person leaving, as important as he might be. But Deschutes is a giant, and we're guessing there's someone who's ready to fill his shoes. How will BBC cope with losing its brewmaster?
Anyway, if you have any answers to my questions, or just want to agree or disagree with our thoughts, write us, comment on the blog, etc. Regardless, we're excited to see what the new-look 10 Barrel starts producing this year.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Yesterday, we reported on a horse-drawn carriage that does the Bend Ale Trail. Soon, you will be able to drink on a bike.
Story here from The Bulletin about the planned "Cycle Pub," which is based on the Holland Bier Bike, according to the article. Link to Cycle Pub's website here, they are on facebook here.
Picture of said "bierbike" from across the pond:
While I am not sure any of the BBBers will do the horse-drawn carriage, I am fairly certain we will try this at some point. You pedal the contraption, someone else drives, you drink beer. Sounds like a blast to us. And given the area's love of 1. beer and 2. cycling, this sounds like it can't miss, to be honest.
They are planning on launching at WinterFest on Feb. 18. We'll keep you posted.
Now, if only a monkey could be the driver of the bike...
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Pretty kitschy, and a touristy thing/something you do if you have friends or relatives in town. Maybe. I don't think I'll be doing this with anyone I know. But to each his own!
Anyway, here's the Cowboy Carriage website. According to the map, it looks like you hit all the Bend breweries, even Cascade Lakes on Century. More on the Bend Ale Trail here.
For our money, we'd rather drink beers on bicycles with monkeys.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
So, I picked up Terminal Gravity's Festivale ($1.69 for a regular-sized bottle, I believe) and Ninkasi's Sleigh'r Dark Double Alt ($3.99 for a 22 oz.).
I really enjoyed the Festivale, and I have to say I usually enjoy everything TG puts out. I even made a pilgrimage to their place in Enterprise while vacationing this summer...it's exactly what I picture when I think of a winter beer. Flavorful, warming, etc. I would definitely have a six-pack of that.
Beau and I weren't big fans of the Ninkasi. It's a fine beer, it gets a B+ at Beer Advocate. It just didn't really hit home for me as a great winter beer. Maybe I am just picky.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The Bend Beer Blog is back with a vengeance, but we sure did miss a heck of year. Here’s some highlights from Bend’s 2010 year in beer:
Rise of Boneyard
Opening last spring with three beers – Black 13, Bonafided Pale Ale and Girl Beer – Boneyard eschewed the brewpub business model and focused all its energies on beer, ala Ninkasi. The plan worked, as Boneyard, the creation of Tony Lawrence and Clay and Melodee Storey, has taken off in Central Oregon and beyond.
Boneyard is on more than 20 taps in Bend alone, and has expanded its original offerings to include a coffee stout (Backbone), a Cascadian Dark (Armored Fist) and sour (Femme Fatale), to name just a few.
Best of all – other than the beer of course - you can actually afford to drink Boneyard. Wednesdays there are $6 growler fills at their production site. (It’s $8 on other days.)
10 Barrel opens brew pub
Four years after it first started producing beer, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. opened its first brewpub at the end of February. Housed on Galveston in a former Di Lusso coffeehouse, 10 Barrel’s patio and outside bar seating were an immediate hit. If there’s a better place to have a beer outside In Bend, we haven’t found it.
After a one-year hiatus, the Bend Brewfest returned last August. Over 30 breweries participated in the 2010 brewfest at the Les Schwab Amphitheatre.
Deschutes’ Miss Spelt Hefeweizen (which is rumored to replace Cascade Ale in Deschutes’ regular lineup), Double Mountain’s Vaporizer, Everybody’s Brewing Country Boy IPA, Laurelwood’s Free Range Red and the Trumer Pils were some of the BBB’s favorites.
Little Woody gets bigger, better
Formed in part in 2009 to fill the void left by the absence of the Bend Brewfest, the Little Woody Barrel-Aged Brew Festival expanded to include breweries outside of Central Oregon this year. Held on the lawn and in the parking lot the of the Des Chutes Historical Museum – a great spot which we hope the festival doesn’t outgrow – Ninkasi, Block 15 joined the party in 2010.
Multiple great beers were served, but the one that sticks out was Boneyard’s Bourbon Black 13 (Black 13 aged in a bourbon barrel) and Block 15’s Super Nebula Imperial Stout stand out.
Deschutes dumps Black Butte XXII
As we remember the good we also must find time to recollect the devasting/heart-breaking/have-you-gone-made moments of 2010.
Not happy with the visual presentation of its Black Butte XXII, Deschtues decided to dump all its bottles of the Black Butte XXII. The brewery only served the beer at its pubs in Bend and Portland after the chocolate in the beer did not adequately dissolve. The beer still tasted amazing, but Deschutes did not want new customers to think something was wrong with the beer.
Props to Deschutes for holding a higher standard.
More, more, more breweries in Bend
According to reports in The Bulletin, Bend may become home to THREE more breweries in 2011. Noble Brewing, Below Grade and Old Mill Brew Werks are all reported to be launching brewery operations this year. The Old Mill Brew Werks is already up and running as tap house, and Noble is allegedly setting up on the west side of town in the Century Center. Not a lot has been written about Below Grade since The Bulletin first reported homebrewer Dean Wise’s had applied for the appropriate paper work in September.
Like we said, it was a good year.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
In the last year, Boneyard has found its niche in Bend, where it's tough to make in-roads in the microbrew market. But they've gotten themselves into a lot of eating and drinking establishments around town. Why?Because the beer is awesome.
I am happy to pay $4 for just about any Boneyard I see on tap when out and about. But I have also gotten into the habit of going to Boneyard's brewery every Wednesday, when they fill your growler for $6. Yep, that's not a misprint. I have tried and enjoyed all the beers they have...you'll most often see Bonafide (a pale) and Black 13 (a dark beer they don't classify as a porter or a stout).
For some of the specialized beers, like Femme Fatale (a sour ale that uses raspberries during fermentation) it's $10.
The best part is that you can try the beers while you are there. Every time I drop by to fill my growlers, without having to ask, I am offered a sample. Every time. They charge you if you want to try them all. But one or two, no problem. So $6 for a growler, plus samples. A little slice of heaven.
Anyway, head to 37 NW Lake Place (kind of near Colorado and 97, just mapquest it, if you don't know where it is). Today, or the next Wednesday you have a few minutes. You'll be glad you did. I'll see you there!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Sometimes, however, even favorites disappoint. But with favorites, you know that it's only temporary. Favorites have earned the top spot in our lives by rebounding and consistently proving to be the best.
This past Monday we settled in at Deschutes for locals night brew and some football watching. Witnessing Pac 10 standout Stanford beat up on the rural redbirds (VT) was a hoot.
Surprisingly, none of the specials caught out eye so we rolled the dice, usually a safe bet at Oregon's (the nations?) best brewery. I ordered the Old Sam Hain (say Sow-wen) an Irish-style beer on Nitro (46 IBUs, 5.6%). Creamy, yes, but paler brews on nitro don't seem to work. The Quail Springs was equally so-so. Bitter, but lacking something (56 IBUs, 5.5%).
Sometimes its the standbys that keep old favorites firmly in that top spot. By far the best beer we drank Monday night was the Obsidian Stout on nitro (55 IBUs/6.4%). Creamy, smooth and rich --though not too sweet. Perfect.
Deschutes. Even when it's bad, it's still good.
Monday, January 3, 2011
If you've never tried it, it doesn't seem terribly complicated, but you do worry about messing something up along the way and ruining the beer. It was fun to do, I just hope the beer turns out. We went pretty tame to start, just following a recipe kit for Summit Pale Ale. If this one goes well, maybe we'll get a little more adventurous.
The best part of the brewing process had to be the smell...the grains, the malt, the hops, it all smelled great as we were making the wort (unfermented beer). Anyway, here are some pics below. Check in a couple of weeks when we try to bottle it!
1. Pulling the grain out after steeping
2. Adding malt
3. Stirring and drinking
4. More stirring
5. Pouring the wort into the carboy