May 14, 2014

Bend Oregon Breweries


Since my Son, Mark has gotten me interested in craft beers, I realized that Bend is one of “THE” places for fine brewing.  With a limited amount of time, and a limited ability to consume mass quantities of brews, I followed the local’s advice and visited the three most popular.

Deschutes – BIG!ALASKA 2014 Bend OR BreweriesALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-001

Just walking up to this massive block square enterprise made me realize just how popular the craft beers have become.  Producing over a quarter million barrels each year, Deschutes ranks 5th among craft brewers in the US.

ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-002ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-003Walking along the front of the building, I get a look into the “barrel aging” section, which Deschutes is known for producing some of the best wine & whiskey barrel aged beers in the world.  These are usually reserved for the darker beers, stouts, porters and the like and are generally brewed once a year as a special run.

Inside at the tap room, I sign up for the 2PM tour, which includes four 4oz free tastings, along with any number of “sips” of others you’d like to try.  With 30 minutes to wait for the tour, I get to sample a few of the best!ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-004

Although the tour took about 50 minutes, and went through a fairly detailed description of the entire process, I won’t go on about all the details.  There’s plenty of information about making beer on the internet, so if you want to learn more look there.  Mark is really enjoying making his own brews, they are very good, and his friends appreciate the effort.

So, here’s a short synopsis of the pictures I took, walking through the plant from front end (wort making) all the way to the bottling plantALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-008 - Copy - CopyALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-010 - Copy - CopyALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-014 - Copy.ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-005ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-007ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-018

On the way out there was a long hall of numerous pieces of local artwork, carefully chosen from many submissions each year for the “Jubilation” brew.  The wining artwork becomes the label art for that year.  ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-019ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-021ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-022

Over the years, Deschutes has won many awards, here is one of several display cases full of medals & awards.ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-023

ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-024So, next on the “crawl” was 10Barrel, which I had gotten several “must taste” reports on, but to my surprise the 4 beers I tasted were just flat & weak, they did nothing to make me want to linger and try any more!

ALASKA 2014 Bend OR Breweries-025Last, on to CRUX, by far the most interesting and unique of the three.  Founded and owned by two couples that wanted “excellent beer in an enjoyable atmosphere” it’s exactly what they’ve created.  From the open floorplan that allows tasters to “see the action”, to a great kitchen with wonderful low cost food, to the outdoor family picnic and gaming area this place is a hit! I would highly recommend a stop if you’re ever through Bend

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