Saturday, February 23, 2013

Another fill station: Growler Phil's on the west side

Out for my morning run today and saw this sign on Galveston:

The "Galveston corridor" (someone  actually called it that on a real estate marketing piece in my mail) is getting a fill station called "Growler Phil's" in mid-March, according to its Facebook page.
It's going to be located inside the Primal Cuts butcher shop. The fill station revolution is in full swing, as fill stations are popping up around Bend faster than brewpubs. The Brewsite has a rundown of all the Central Oregon fill stations here.

Besides the obvious play on words, Growler Phil's also near Brother Jon's. So, we like the effort put into the name.

On a sidenote, it's worth noting that Galveston is continuing to do well in supporting local businesses. My wife and I bought a house in the neighborhood four years ago. New businesses since we arrived include is a casual restaurant/pub (the aforementioned Bro Jo's) a brewpub (10 Barrel), a donut shop, a cupcake shop, a yarn shop (people must shop there, 'cause it's still open), a furniture store, and a butcher. Spork made its home on Galveston for some time, as well. And the produce stand that used to be on 14th in front of Century Center is now moving in next door to Primal Cuts this summer, as evidenced by the temporary wooden building going up now. All Galveston needs is a coffee someone please put one in at 1303 where Sugar used to be, and I'll be there every day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

New content: Central Oregon tap list

So, in case you didn't know, there's a lot of beer brewed in Bend. And until you try to list all of the types, it really is an amazing amount of beer.

We tried to put together a master list of everything you can get in the brewpubs/breweries. You can check it out here. We listed the beers, and also included links to the parts of the breweries' websites where the beers are described. Hopefully, this is a cool resource that someone will get some use out of. We'll do our best to update the list, although the links will always be there.
The taps at 10 Barrel

The final tally? So far, we're up to 130. That counts McMenamins, which doesn't actually brew all their beer here. And it doesn't include some seasonals we're still tracking down.

Regardless, that's ridiculous. You could drink one Bend beer a day for more than four months and not hit a repeat. And, in truth, you could do more than that, since seasonal taps are constantly rotating. It would be a great project to see if you could drink one unique Bend beer once a day for an entire year. Someone do that, and get back to us if it can be done.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Zwickelmania hits Bend next weekend

Zwickelmania has gotten pretty big in Oregon, and Central Oregon is no exception. The fifth annual statewide event -- in which breweries offer tours, samples, and a chance to meet brewers -- takes place this Saturday, Feb. 16 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Just about every Central Oregon brewery is taking part. Below is a rundown of C.O. happenings, with information provided by the Oregon Brewers' Guild website. I'll try to keep this updated if anybody posts any updates or more info via social media.

The coolest part is a possible shuttle bus that is theoretically supposed to hit all the Bend breweries listed below, although there aren't many details available. So you may or may not want to count on that to get around.

In case you never googled it before, a zwickel is a "sample valve" in beer/brewing terms.

10 Barrel
62970 NE 18th St
Bend OR 97701
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Full Tours, Tastings, BBQ

Bend Brewing
1019 NW Brooks St
Sample the brews while getting a tour of our brewery.

Boneyard Beer
37 NW Lake Pl – Suite B
Bend OR 97701
Details to come

Cascade Lakes Brewing Co.-7th Street Brewhouse
855 SW 7th St.
Redmond OR 97756
Details to come

Cascade Lakes Brewing Co. The Lodge
1441 SW Chandler Ave Suite 100
Details to come

Crux Fermentation Project
50 SW Division St
Bend OR 97701
Get up close and personal with samples pulled straight from the zwickel on tours given by the founders and brewers. We’ll also be featuring tastings of our soon-to-be released Imperial Stout from the very barrel it’s aging in.

Deschutes Brewery
901 SW Simpson Ave
Brewery Open House staffed with Tour Guides throughout the facility to explain the inner workings. Brewers in the brew house chatting about recipe development and offering samples of in-process product. Zwickel tasting on the fermentation cellar floor.

GoodLife Brewing Company
70 Sw Century Drive 100-464
Bend, OR 97702
Head Brewer will be on-site to give one-on-one tours of one of the newest breweries in Bend. Plus free group rides on the Cycle-Pub around town.

McMenamins Old St. Francis School Brewery
700 NW Bond St
Beers: Hammerhead (Aged with Three Rocks Rum soaked Oak spirals), Dry hopped IPA and Castle Rock Old Ale (Pouring from a Firkin) Food: House made Thai & BBQ seasoned potato chips & Cheesy popcorn

Silver Moon Brewing Co.
24 NW Greenwood Ave
Bend, OR 97701
Brewery open house and tours, tastings of some special brews, brewers will be on hand to chat

Three Creeks Brewing
721 Desperado Ct
Sisters OR 97759
Details to come

Friday, February 8, 2013

More good press about beer in Bend

As soon as I complain about a lack of respect for the craft beer scene in Bend, and I start seeing the city getting kudos from seemingly everywhere.

First, Bend gets a mention from, as one of the top "beer towns" in the United States, along with San Francisco and Asheville, N.C.

The Bend Ale Trail even gets a shoutout. Check it out below:

Deschutes Brewery is also mentioned in a CNN Money piece on craft breweries here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ray's growler fill station opens Friday

Growler stations in Bend continue to bubble up.
Ray's Food Place will open its own growler fill station Friday, Feb. 8, in its former liquor store area. It's a nice-looking setup with saloon-style doors that open up to a 15-tap bar.
Fills are $9.99 across the board and $14.99 if you buy a growler.
I just caught a brief glimpse of the taps during my dinner break this evening, but it looks like they're going heavy on local beers. Don't quote me, but I thought I saw Mirror Pond, Black Butte and Boneyard's IPA, for better or worse, among others. (I know, I should have written down everything they're pouring.)
Good beers, but when I fill a growler I usually like to get something that's not readily available in Bend. Just me.
Anyway, sounds like you can get samples but can't sit down and order a pint.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bend: Not top 100 in beer, but is top 10?

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a list of the top 100 "beer bars" in the U.S., and Deschutes -- or any other Bend brewpub, for that matter -- didn't make the list. And I was wondering how an oversight like that was made. I mean, I guess when you're making a list of 100 places from all over the country, and you're not a huge beer nerd, I can see how Bend might miss the cut. But, this was from a beer website/magazine that fancies itself an expert on all things beer. Do we live in a bubble? Is Bend as beer paradise a figment of our imagination?

Then the world got set back on its axis, as this story listing the top 10 beer cities in the country was posted by the Seattle PI. He even notes how Bend doesn't get the proper props from other beer lists. Excerpt:

In exactly NONE of the two dozen lists I read on google did the name “Bend” show up. BIG mistake. Here’s a town of 80,000, sitting all alone in the middle of Oregon’s High Desert, with no major college or national business headquarters except Country Financial, no major sports teams, and a downtown the size of a phone booth, and you’d think Nothin’ is Happenin’ In Bend, except for some pretty fancy skiing up there on Mount Bachelor. And you’d be WRONG, so totally freakin’ wrong....

...and you have Bend – a national-class beer destination and one of the country’s hottest emerging craft beer cultures.

PDX was No. 2. But I think No. 8 is pretty good. And the analysis was written by someone who did his research. So, fear not. We live in beer country. Life is good.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Opening night at Worthy Brewing

Braving the crowds and the east side, I checked out the first night at Worthy Brewing, the new brewery/brewpub in Bend. We knew it would be a bit of a cluster, but willing to accept that fact, the wife and I went anyway.

Anyway, here are my takeaways from night 1:
--Worthy will be printing money. It will pretty much become the top spot to go out on the east side immediately, unless they screw something up. There's no comparable place to go without crossing 3rd Street. It's a great space and location. The beer and food are good (see more below). And the outside patio will be packed when it's warm. We overheard someone connected to the pub say that they were planning on showing movies outside in the summer.
--Great building. Outside of the remodeled Deschutes, this is probably the coolest looking brewpub in town. And it might even surpass that. It's open and inviting, has a great bar, a community feel. We start chatting with our table neighbors during dinner. Anyway, long story short, they clearly put a lot of money and effort into the building. And it shows. (Photo credit, Worthy's Facebook page.)

--Good beer. We tried all five of the beers that Worthy currently has on tap (we're guessing they are planning on more, as their sampler has six slots.) The stout was the big winner in the wife, who would probably never drink a whole glass of stout but nevertheless at least samples every one I get, said it's the best she ever tasted. High praise indeed. They also have an IPA, an imperial IPA and a pale that were all fine, if not mind-blowing. I was also a fan of the Go Time Xtra Pale Ale, which is definitely different than just about anything you can get anywhere else in town.
--Reserving judgment on food/service: I wouldn't make any long-term judgments about a restaurant on its first night of operation. The front of the house did a good job keeping the masses in order and trying to get everyone seated as quickly as possible. Although I had to laugh at people walking in at 5:30 and grumbling about a two-hour wait -- what did you expect, exactly, at the first night of a brewpub in Bend? The service was definitely a little spotty, but once again, this is new staff at a new place. And we were happily sipping our beers while we waited. We had a burger, the reuben and some fries on the side. The serving of fries seemed pretty small for six dollars. The burger was good but served rare, sted mid-rare -- once again, not going to judge consistency issues on night one, and we like our burgers on the pink side anyway. The reuben had good flavor, but there was a lot of bread for the amount of meat on the sandwich. Anyway, the meal wasn't a debacle, it was tasty and it all got eaten. I'll be interested to see where they are at in a month, though.

Long story short, I'd expect waits at the dinner hour for a while, judging by last night's crowd, and probably at lunch, too. But you should definitely make the pilgrimmage, when you get the chance.