Saturday, March 17, 2012

Get Irish-ish beer in Bend on St. Patrick's Day

I was going to put together something about beer on St. Patty's Day in Bend, but luckily, Jon at The Brew Site beat me to it. And, honestly, it sounded like a lot of work, anyway, so I am happy enough to link you to Jon's research here.

And if you're looking for something to do on the cheap, McMenamin's has a free lineup of music today, including Five Pint Mary and the Moon Mountain Ramblers. More details here.

Bend is the model for liquor license in 'Cartlandia'?

A story over at Oregon Live informs us that "Cartlandia" in Portland -- the place where a bunch of food carts gather, for the uninitiated -- is getting an annual liquor license.

That's interesting enough, but more interesting to our readers in Central Oregon is that Bend, with its outdoor beer gardens at the "fill-in-the-blank" fests and other events, may have helped matters. From the story:

"In my mind, I see this like I sometimes see in downtown Bend -- a roped-off beer garden," said commission member Ron Roome, who is from Central Oregon. Roome said he felt comfortable approving the license after the owners of the property, Roger Goldingay and his wife Carol Otis, agreed to close it after 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

Could it possibly be long till one or more of the many food carts in Bend follow suit and apply for a license? If they do, Beau and I will have to cross off one of the items on our "list of things we think are good ideas but will never actually do (TM)". We've thought for a long time that a food cart with a liquor license would do gangbusters. We weren't sure the OLCC would go for the idea, but apparently, they did. So, here's hoping we can drink at Spork this summer.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Craft beer sales nearing $1 billion in U.S.

A fascinating story over at breaks down the crazy growth of the craft beer industry in the United States. Off the top, craft beer will likely hit $1 billion in annual sales soon.

And while that's amazing news, it probably doesn't come to a shock to those of us in Bend, as craft breweries continue to pop up and do well, with seemingly no end in sight.

Cut+paste from the story:
Craft’s dollar share in U.S. Supermarkets was up 15 percent over last year to 10.8 share, the sixth consecutive year of growth. That’s double the share it held in 2006. These numbers prove why craft beer is the number one growing beverage-alcohol segment in U.S. Supermarkets
So what products are responsible for the growth? Wandel pointed to several areas. Variety and seasonal packages, IPA’s, large-format bottle offerings, the rise of canned beer and even private label brands (see below) are the major catalysts.
No mention of Deschutes Brewery in the story, but it does note that Boston Brewing (they do Sam Adams) is still the leader in craft beer sales, ahead of Sierra Nevada and Craft Brew Alliance.

So, it appears the craft beer revolution has some staying power nationally. The question in Bend is if the bubble will ever burst locally for some of the smaller/newer brewers, and is there a tipping point at which we can't support anymore breweries? Or will we just keep drinking more and more, no matter how many breweries there are?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Easy game: Vote for beer in High Desert Madness

After what appears to be our third hiatus since we started this blog, I figured it's time to give it another shot. People keep following us on Twitter despite the fact that we've done absolutely nothing for four months. So, I figured we'd provide some content for those people who apparently want more information about beer in Central Oregon.

First up in our return? High Desert Madness at The Bulletin's website, which you can check out here. What is it? It's a March Madness-style bracket pick'em, in which stuff from Central Oregon goes head to head to see what thing is the best. That sounds confusing, but it's really easy when you check out the bracket.

Anyway, we're here to tell you should vote for "beer," which is a No. 1 seed. Seeing as there are approximately 5 million microbreweries in Central Oregon, this seems like it should be a walk in the park for beer. The other top seeds all have flaws. Roundabouts? The one at Reed Market and Brookswood is awful, and we really don't need another art project. Mount Bachelor? Not everyone loves snow. Bikes? C'mon, they close down streets for races all summer, and a lot of cyclists don't know how to use bike lanes.

So, there you go, "beer" should be your winner. If you don't vote for beer and you get a hangover the next time you drink, we won't feel sorry for you.