Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bend's year in beer

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.

Brewfest returns!

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.

I guess.

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.

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