Friday, October 28, 2011

Local Designer & Beer Lover Launches 'Beer Me Bend!'

I saw a tweet come through earlier today announcing a new Bend-based website dedicated to beer. Beer Me Bend! is a very cool new site designed by local resident and graphic designer Carrrrrlos (aka Carlos Perez) that highlights craft beer in Bend.

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 names two new brewmasters

Were you hoping to become the next brewer for Deschutes? Unfortunately for you, you didn't get the job.

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.

“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.”
Whole thing here.

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

Solstice Brewing in Prineville

Having opened its doors earlier this fall, Solstice Brewing in Prineville will be Central Oregon's 12th brewery once the good folks in Crook County receive their federal brew permit.

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.

Deschutes benefit dinner to help Bethlehem Inn

Deschutes Brewery is hosting an event that benefits the Bethlehem Inn in Bend.

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

2011 Deschutes Abyss Release Date

I was just in Deschutes eating dinner tonight and noticed a little tidbit that I thought I would share. On November 15th at 5pm in both Bend and Portland, Deschutes will begin pouring their 2011 Abyss. This is the 6th year the deep dark Abyss has graced beer drinkers with its presence. Check for more details on the release party such as times, events, and special menus.

Beer, coffee and soup in one magical vessel?

I thought I may have been in the middle of a food dream after a run when I came across this tweet:
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:
I can get down with beer and soup in the same bowl. And beer and coffee (Backporch and Boneyard have collaborated in the past to create and espresso stout that rocked). The only part of the triangle that gives me pause is coffee and soup. I am guessing it works all together, too, though. If you tried it, let us know. Or maybe a lunchbeercoffeesoup will be added to my agenda. Right now Soupçon appears to be next to the Blacksmith in downtown; check out the website here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

How would you rank the breweries in Bend?

We found this post a travel blog, and it got us to thinking -- what would we say, and what would you save, are the best breweries in Bend?

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 (, tweet us (@bendbeerblog), or just find us at a local watering hole.

Behind the scenes of this year's Jubelale art

If you're a Bend beer geek, you probably already know that Deschutes comes up with original artwork each year to adorn the Jubelale label and the boxes it is distributed in. If you've been on the brewery tour (at least the last time I was on it) you could see many of the past renditions.

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

It's not about feminism or equality.... It's about The Love of Beer

Being a woman interested in craft beer, I wanted to get the word out about the weekend happenings at Goodlife Brewing. GoodLife Brewing will be showing the premiere of The Love of Beer, a documentary about the women of the Northwest Craft Brewing Industry (including a few award winning Bend Brewmasters). Showings are at 6pm and 8pm on both Friday and Saturday. Looks like a great flick. You can view a preview below. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hop Valley going to cans

Nice article here from the Register Guard about Springfield's Hop Valley Brewing Co. going to cans. Gotta think it's just a matter of time before one of the breweries here in Bend jumps into the new and exotic world of canning.

Monday, October 17, 2011

GABF tasting at The Brew Shop/Platypus Pub

On Wednesday, The Brew Shop/Platypus Pub will hold its second annual Great American Beer Festival Tasting. The tasting consists of the beers The Brew Shop carries that medaled at this year's GABF. The brew shop/bar says they should have between 15 and 20 samples to choose from. Tastings are $1 per 4 oz. sample. From the announcement:
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

Cascade Lakes isn't modest about its new beer offering

When you read a tweet like this (posted by Cascade Lakes Brewing), you have to be intrigued, right?
Just popped a Slippery Slope tasty winter ale. Maybe the best beer we have ever made. SNAP
You 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

Fresh hop beers, take two

James Williams (writer for The Source and one of the original BBB'ers) wrote an excellent piece on fresh hop beers, what they are, what they taste like, and who makes them around here.

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

Fresh hop beer tasting from Deschutes

If you have like fresh hop beer and you have $40, an event from Deschutes Brewery looks like a no-brainer.

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

Pumpkin beer on its way at 10 Barrel

One thing that breweries don't do enough of? Put pumpkins in beers.

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:
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!
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.

Fill your growler on the cheap in Bend

Do you have a growler sitting around at home, collecting dust? We bet the growler would be happier being filled up. As will you.

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

Congrats to Bend winners at Great American Beer Festival

Several Bend-area breweries took home medals at the Great American Beer Festival held last weekend in Denver:

--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.