Bend…Beer Mecca

For the longest time, I didn’t like beer. Because I was doing it wrong.

Like most youngsters in the US drinking under the legal age of 21 (gasp!), I drank what I could get my hands on. Typically that was watered down piss masquerading as beer which guaranteed a blinding hangover.

The first time I had real beer was in Munich when I studied abroad in college. I was on a bike tour and we stopped at the English Gardens for a beer break. Never one to like beer previously, someone recommended I try a Radler—half lemonade, half beer.

Though I was skeptical, I was soon enjoying my second glass, a changed woman forever. You see, I’m half Czech and part Irish, and a love for beer is in my blood.

Besides water, tea, and coffee, that’s all I drink now. Occasionally a little wine or a Moscow Mule, but I’m all about phenomenal beer.

When we moved to Portland last year, Bend was on our getaway list. For Mr. H’s birthday last weekend, we finally went. (If you missed last week’s post about Bend’s nature, be sure to check out Beautiful Misery.)

If you bring up Bend around any Portlander, you will get the same response from everyone…I love Bend!

And, we could see why.

Besides the high desert climate with soul-stopping mountain volcano views, Bend is a small, laid back town with happy people who have a knack for two lovely things. Food and beer.

While one can certainly take the predetermined Bend Ale Trail around town, we narrowed it down to three breweries that were non-negotiable.

BONEYARD

boneyard beer oregon

To tell you how much we love Boneyard Beer, we go to specific restaurants in Portland JUST because they have their glorious IPA.

Why? Because you can’t buy it in any store. Seriously, my boss even tried buying it for me for my birthday since it’s my favorite—and he just plain couldn’t.

You’ll notice in the picture above that the brewery is located in an old auto repair shop. People cram into the tiny tasting room, stand around because there is nowhere to sit, and drink delicious beer.

It’s not a fancy place to hang out it and be seen. It’s all about the beer.

And that rebellious no-frills atmosphere made us adore Boneyard even more. In case you couldn’t tell by the ridiculously goofy smiles we have on our little faces.

CRUX

But if you want amazing beer with some frills, Crux Fermentation Project is the place to be. Earlier that day was our epic hike at Smith Rock, so we were ready for lots of food and beer.

When we walked up, we were afraid there was a private event going on. There was a tent outside with people drinking beer everywhere. Not just adults, but entire families were hanging out.

We had stumbled upon their Sundowner Hour, with specials a half hour before and after sunset. And that particular day was crystal clear and sunny.

So we joined the sunset party, which consisted of everyone enjoying damn good beer and waiting for the big show. An amazing sunset.

It was a celebration of nature and beer. Everyone stood around watching the sunset together, smiling and quiet, sharing an unbeatable moment.

SILVER MOON 

On our last night, based on several recommendations by fellow beer enthusiasts in Portland, we headed over to Silver Moon Brewing. A dive bar through and through, locals with thick beards and/or cowboy hats filled the place.

With St. Paddy’s just a few days off, we lucked out with a live performance by Five Pint Mary, an Irish/Celtic/Eastern Euro rock band from Bend. By the end of the night, everyone was dancing, including yours truly.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t dance or don’t know how to dance to such music, everyone was moving. Here’s a little tipsy video clip I shot…

All around Bend gets a huge thumbs up from us. We shall return when our bellies and livers are ready.

33 thoughts on “Bend…Beer Mecca

  1. I enjoy beer- most any kind, but I’ve been to a few micro-breweries had had a blast. At one time I brewed my own beer in small quantities and was known for my peach beer. Happy birthday to Mr. H

    1. I’ve been to both wineries and micro-breweries and I have to say the beer adventures are WAY more fun for me, since people are so laid back. Ooh, peach beer sounds awesome! I passed along your bday wishes, and Mr. H said thanks.

  2. Belated Happy Birthday to Mr H. The beer sounds great, although I am a cider fan. When I was young, as in very young, we were always allowed to have a small shandy ( half beer/half lemonade). I liked that. When we were older we were allowed to have beer. That was good too.

    1. Thanks, Gallivanta doll! I like a cider from time to time—there is no shortage of amazing cider options here. Yes, Shandy’s and Radler’s are one in the same, and they are so delightful. Especially in the summer. 🙂

    1. Funny, because at the time, I went to Prague a month after finding a love for beer in Munich, and I drank some awesome beer there. I really had no idea they were such beer people until I went to Prague. It’s not as well known as say, with the Irish or Germans.

      Yes, plenty of great food and beer for you guys to explore around Bend!

  3. A celebration of nature and beer! Ha, love that 😀
    When it comes to beer I prefer the Belgian Trappists – it’s food and drink at the same time. Then again I may be biased 😉

    1. I know, right?! A celebration of nature and beer just sounded good. 🙂

      I used to drink more Belgians some years back, but then I discovered IPA, pale ale, Kolsch, and Pilsner…so many beers!

  4. Well-brewed craft beer has happily become mainstream in the last ten years or so. When I recall the dreadful mass-produced stuff which used to be forced on us I could (and did) throw up. Bend looks like a cool, laid-back spot in which to enjoy one, or three.

    1. Thank God it happened! I hear you on the puking, believe me. It was slim pickins for a while. Texas was the worst for beer, but when I went back there last year, I tried a few local beers that were decent.

      You’d enjoy Bend, Roy. It’s a great town!

  5. This sounds awesome! I’d love to try these places and see Bend. Like you, I never liked beer — especially Budweiser and the lot. But once I went to Germany and had beer with flavor and substance, all that changed. I still don’t like American beer in general, but I could be swayed if I had the right brew.

    1. Honey, you would LOVE Bend! Lots of adventure options and the food and beer are to-die for. When you come visit, I’ll help you find some American beers you’ll like. 🙂

      1. Oh, and Green’s is pretty good. It’s made by Belgian Monks, of course. They’ve got a Double Dark, an Amber Ale, and a Triple Blonde. The DD and AA are my two faves.

  6. Looks like a lotta fun Britt. My beer days are gone, although I don’t mind a boutique beer every now and again, the best beer I had was a guiness in Ireland. You cannot get any better than a true beer like a guiness. Now I am thirsty, after reading this post. Bartender send me down another sarsaparilla.

    1. You can’t beat a Guinness, that’s for sure! I used to get the yummy Guinness & Black (Guinness with a touch of black currant syrup) in Milwaukee at an Irish pub. Man, I miss those…

  7. I am serious about beer, too. I can’t find anything to top microbrewed beer in the States, and IPA is my favorite genre of beer, if beer had a genre. 😉 those breweries sound awesome!

    1. I know you are, doll! Bend is a beer lovers playground, so it’s a great place to be. Definitely will be an annual stop for us now that we’re here, since it’s only a three hour drive.

      IPA’s are my fave, with pale ale’s as #2. In the summer I switch to Kolsch and Pilsener. Dang, it’s morning…and now I want a beer. 😉

  8. I’m with you–I love the taste of beer. I don’t drink wine or hard liquor, only an occasional beer. I don’t overdo it–the alcohol can sometimes trigger a migraine in me–but the infrequency makes the occasional glass all that much better!

    1. Cheers to that, sweetie! I find that beer lessens my chance of a migraine compared to the other two. I feel like hydration has a lot to do with it. When I wake up the next morning after wine or liquor, I feel pretty icky.

      We’ll have to have a beer together one day. You’d be a cheap date!

  9. I love seeing people dance around like that. What a perfect St. Patrick’s Day/birthday/beer celebration! I’ll have to try the beer and lemonade thing. The auto repair shop beer sounds a little scary though – my crazy mind might start thinking of oil or old tires and then I’d probably start tasting those things. 🙂

    1. It was beyond awesome! Honestly, I haven’t seen people dance outside of a club in a LONG time. It made me foolishly happy.

      Haha, I didn’t think about the car stuff. I sold tires and batteries at Sam’s Club once upon a time, so perhaps I felt right at home. 🙂

  10. I’m a late bloomer to beer – but the company where I work has two taps set up onsite, so I had to indoctrinate myself, right? IPAs are still too rich for my light-weight blood, but I do appreciate a good beer. And these joints you previewed? Far closer to my comfort level than a winery. Who wants to swish a drink around in your mouth only to spit it out? Bottoms up, i say.

    1. Um, can I come work where you work? Just kidding, I can’t complain. Our office is fully stocked with yummy Oregon beer.

      You’d have a blast, Eli. Very laid back and all about the beer.

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