Central Oregon can claim more breweries than quite a few states. We’re not exaggerating. Our region has 28+ breweries, that’s above and beyond what Hawaii (14 breweries), Oklahoma (20 breweries), and Delaware (19 breweries) have according to statistics from the Brewers Association. That shows how much we care about craft beer but, it can make it tough to choose where to taste local brews, we get it!
Bend takes the cake when it comes to the sheer number of breweries: 22 and counting, but brewpubs in Sunriver and Redmond offer their own unique experience.
“It’s really special actually being the only brewery in the southern part of Deschutes County,” said Sunriver Brewing Company’s Director of Marketing, Ryan Duley. “We do get really involved in this subcommunity within our larger community of Central Oregon. It’s really great to have that tie to people.”
Sunriver Brewing Company has two locations, one — you guessed it — is in Sunriver and the brewery opened its second location in Bend in 2016. “We take a lot of pride in a food and our service just as much as our beer, so to create an overall experience for tourists coming in is a very big deal and something we take seriously,” Duley said.
“There’s so many things kind of wrapped up in this experience that is Central Oregon, it’s clean air, lakes, rivers and outdoor activities. It’s almost like there’s a beer for every occasion,” said Sunriver Brewing Company’s Head Brewer, Brett Thomas. “You can have a beer at lunchtime before you start that hike, maybe it’s Fuzztail Hefeweizen. When you’re off the trail later in the evening around the campfire, maybe it’s Vicious Mosquito, something a little more robust.”
If you’re new to craft beer, have no fear! Bartenders can help steer you in the direction of a brew you might enjoy or get a tasting tray. You might be surprised by what beers you like. “I just love getting our beers into the hands of people who haven’t had it before,” Thomas said. “We’re so happy with our beer quality right now, usually people have that “aha” moment with a number of our products and they’re like, ‘Wow, this is the beer I’ve been looking for’.”
Bend’s growing beer scene has seen numerous breweries expand facilities and pubs to accommodate their skyrocketing popularity.
But Worthy Brewing in Bend is taking its expansion to a new, intergalactic level.
Bend’s only East Side brewpub this spring opened the nation’s first “Hopservatory,” featuring a 50-foot tower that houses a 16-inch RCOS-based Ritchey-Chrétien telescope. Not familiar with that particular model? You can see REALLY far and REALLY clearly into the sky.
The Hopservatory will be run in partnership with the Sunriver Nature Center/Oregon Observatory, who will provide stargazing tour guides to help visitors navigate the skies above.
“Our goal is to raise scientific literacy and educate our visitors about big and unwieldy concepts like scale, size, time, distance, and speed in our solar system and beyond,” Worthy owner Roger Worthington says.
There’s open house viewing on Thursday and Sunday nights from 7 to 9 p.m and Saturday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. with resident sky guy, Grant Tandy. No need to register. Just show up the night of and take the stairs directly to the 3rd floor Hopservatory.
There’s a $5 fee for the tours but all of the proceeds will go to support science literacy programs and initiatives through the Worthy Garden Club, the brewery’s non-profit foundation. (Kids 5 and under are free.)
Additionally, Worthy has unveiled the Transporter Room, Hop Mahal Banquet Hall, the Beermuda Triangle private bar and the Star Bar balcony pub with access to the observatory and amazing views of the Central Oregon sunset. All the new projects are part of a 3,800-square-foot expansion collectively dubbed Beertopia.
The Hopservatory joins Worthy’s on-site gardens and greenhouse that grow more than 20 types of hops and other herbs used throughout the brewery’s beer and food menu.
“From our state-of-the-art solar panels to our spent hop recycling program, we try to keep our restaurant and brewery as sustainable as possible,” Worthington said. “This includes our grounds and gardens. Our landscape was designed to conserve water and support a healthy population of pollinators. We grow fresh herbs, greens, and veggies for the kitchen year-round in our high-tech greenhouse and raised garden beds, avoiding the use of harsh fertilizers and pesticides.”
The annual odd-sounding, one-day event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25th. Breweries across the state will open their doors for tours and tastings all day. It’s a great time to go behind the scenes with some of the biggest and most influential breweries in the entire country. (Deschutes Brewery is the 7th largest craft brewery in the U.S.)
You can meet brewers, ask them their secrets, taste new creations or old standards. It’s a chance to expand your beer horizons and learn a little about the industry in the process.
Most of the Central Oregon breweries plan to participate with tours and other special events. (Info below provided by oregoncraftbeer.org.)
Deschutes Brewery Join us at our production facility on Simpson Ave. for open-house tours of the largest independent craft brewery in the Northwest all afternoon. Brewers will be on hand to answer your questions in the brew house, and guides will be available to explain the operation of the production facility. Enjoy four free samples of beer along our self-guided tour! 901 SW Simpson Ave Bend OR 97702 Bend Brewing Co.
Brewery Open House. Meet the brewers and sample a selection of rare beers. 1019 NW Brooks St. Bend OR 97701 Craft Kitchen & Brewery
We will be releasing our Double Barrel Aged Stout and Stone Fruit Lambic. 803 SW Industrial Way Bend OR 97702 Crux Fermentation Project Intimate behind-the-scenes brewery tours (from 11AM to 6PM) where you can chat it up with brewers as they sneak you tastings of some of our rare [BANISHED] beers straight from the barrel. And, of course, as tradition would have it, we’ll be offering tastings of other brews direct from the zwickel. It doesn’t stop there— our chef and his crew are busy preparing a special Zwickelmania menu highlighted by our Pork Parfait, Smoke-Aroni, and Rooster’s Kick-Ass Beef Jerky. 50 SW Division St. Bend, OR 97702 Sunriver Brewing Co. (At their new Bend pub)
Celebrating the grand opening of our new Bend pub on Galveston Avenue with the launch of a new year round brew – Rippin Northwest Ale, a meat and cheese pairing from our neighbors at Primal Cuts Meat Market and a outdoor party with a heated tent and music. Special brews to be tapped include Resin Nation Double IPA, Imperial Cocoa Cow Milk Stout, Bog Frog Wheat IPA and Motorhead Black Barleywine. 1005 NW Galveston Ave. Bend, OR 97702 Immersion Brewing
Meet the Brewer, Brewery Tours, Tastes off the Zwickel, food specials 550 SW Industrial Way #185 Bend, OR 97702 Worthy Brewing Open house brewery tours, beer release with free small bite pairing, lots of samples 495 NE Bellevue Dr Bend OR 97701 Three Creeks Brewing (Sisters)
Pre-Zwickelmania breakfast 9:00-11:30 AM @ our Sisters Production Facility featuring tours, free samples from the zwickel, breakfast beers and continental breakfast 265 E Barclay Dr. Sisters OR 97759 Cascade Lakes Brewery
Free 6 oz beer of our winter seasonal, CLBC gift bags (while supplies last) and live music from 2-5pm 1441 SW Chandler Ave. #100 Bend OR 97702 Silver Moon Brewery
Free samples, Free tours, giveaways 24 NW Greenwood Ave Bend OR 97701 McMenamins Old St. Francis School
We’ll be offering a special beer made for Zwicklemania with a coffee element, offering snacks & giving brewery tours! 700 NW Bond St. Bend OR 97701
According to Oregoncraftbeer.com, more than 42,500 people toured 120 breweries statewide last year and even more are expected to attend in 2017.
It used to be our little secret: That along with the countless recreational opportunities in Bend and Central Oregon, there was a burgeoning craft beer scene. That trying to decide which brewpub to hit after a day skiing at Mt. Bachelor was a two chairlift ride discussion. There were options. And lots of good beer.
But that’s ok. Because the increasing popularity of craft beer meant more and more breweries and brewpubs in our little slice of Heaven.
Today, there’s nearly 30 breweries making beer here – from Prineville to Sisters, Redmond to Sunriver. They’re all different, but in some ways connected. A brewer who learned the craft at one place is now the head brewer at another. A line cook at one pub is now, after years of developing his own palate, the head chef across town.
Everyone here has a favorite, but we tend to visit them all. If you have a chance, you should too – grab a Bend Ale Trail passport and set out on your journey. But if you have to choose, here’s a pretty good start of where to go and what to have. But please – just please – do NOT walk into these places and order a Bud Light. The locals will mock you and most of them don’t even carry it. Cheers!
This is the brewery that started it all for Central Oregon in 1988. Today, you can find Deschutes beers in more than 25 states and across the world. The pub downtown is one of the most popular spots in town every night of the year. Like the brewery, the pub itself has nearly doubled in size in recent years meaning there’s usually a shorter wait for a table. But don’t let the wait deter you. Just head into the bar, choose one of the dozen or so beers currently on tap (Local tip: Bachelor Bitter on Cask is a must-have if you can only have one beer.) Mirror Pond is one of the flagship brews and I’ve heard some locals use Black Butte Porter to brush their teeth – it’s that good. The food blurs the line between pub grub and fine dining. The beef used in their burgers comes from cows fed spent grain from the brewing process, making them some of the tastiest burgers anywhere.
One of the newest breweries to the game, Worthy has quickly garned a name for itself as one of the most popular. It’s expansive east Bend location off Highway 20 (Greenwood Ave.) sets it apart from the others, as do the variety of beers. The Easy Day Kolsch might be the official beer of floating the Deschutes River in the summer. Food wise, you’ll find mac and cheese at just about every pub in town – but few can match Worthy’s gouda and Sriracha creation.
Cascade Lakes Brewery
Born in Redmond, Cascade Lakes is one of Central Oregon’s Old Guard of breweries. The popular bend Lodge is on the road from Mt. Bachelor and a locals go-to apres ski spot before heading into downtown. Perennial brews there include the easy drinking Blonde Bombshell and the nutty 20″ Brown. On the menu, how about some wild boar and kobe beef meatloaf or their classic Cascade Turkey Melt?
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
With its huge outdoor patio and fire pit on Galveston Avenue, 10 Barrel is a perfect spot to grab a beer al fresco. Its popularity has skyrocketed in recent years with solid brews like Sinister Black and OG Wheat IPA and the simple-yet-perfectly-named canned creation “Pub Beer.” Maybe the only thing better than the beer is the food. The pizzas are Top 5 in Central Oregon hands down.
Sunriver Brewing Co.
Initially started just south of Bend in the resort community from which it took the name, Sunriver Brewery‘s flagship pub is worth the drive from Bend and worth going to every day if you’re staying in Sunriver or Sunriver Resort. The Fuzztail Hefe is a nice introduction to Central Oregon craft beer while the Vicious Mosquito IPA packs a little more of a punch. Parents, bring the kids because the brewery has a large and fun play area with a huge chalkboard and lots of toys. Don’t want to make the drive to Sunriver? A new Sunriver Brewery Galveston Pub opened in Bend in Spring 2016.
Bend Brewing Co.
Known as “The BBC” by the locals since it opened 20 years ago, Bend Brewing Co. is the Central Oregon version of your local watering hole. Small and narrow, the pub is located in downtown Bend and has great views of Mirror Pond from the patio. Ask for a High Desert Hefe or a Big Eddy Bitter and you can’t go wrong. Food wise, the fish and chips are among the best in the region and the wings might actually be tops in Central Oregon.
Three Creeks Brewing Co.
Three Creeks is in Sisters on the campus of the FivePine Lodge. Home to local favorites Stonefly Rye and Knotty Blonde, Three Creeks might have the best menu of the bunch with dishes like the Knotty Schnitzel and the Chicken Bacon Tater pita taco thing that I can attest Will. Fill. You. Up.
Crux Fermentation Project
Situated smack dab in the middle of Bend, Crux is the go-to spot for sunset brews thanks, in part, to its Sundowner Hour special: Discounted beer and food a half hour before and after the sun goes down over the Cascades – for which you will have the best view around. Co-founded by one of the brewers who helped launch Deschutes, Crux’s favorites include On the Fence Northwest Pale Ale and Outcast IPA. Food wise, the pub gets super creative with a panini machine, soups and salads. On Mondays the kitchen is closed, but you can grab some amazing tacos from the taco cart outside. When it’s nice, play some cornhole or other lawn games on the giant field next to the pub.
McMenamins Old St. Francis School
You’ll find McMenamins all over the Pacific Northwest. The family restores old hotels/schools/insane asylums and turns them into new pubs/theaters/hotels. Bend’s St. Francis School was just that – a Catholic school in the heart of downtown. Today it’s a campus of three pubs, a movie theater, Turkish soaking pool, rental homes and classrooms-turned-hotel rooms. Beer wise, Hammerhead Stout and the fruity Ruby are the go-tos for locals and visitors alike. And you can’t go wrong asking for a “Rubinator” – a Terminator Stout/Ruby mix like a black and tan. As for the menu, some have said McMenamin’s Captain Neon burger and famous Cajun tots would be part of their last meal.
Silver Moon Brewing
A recent Silver Moon radio commercial ends with the tag line “Same Great Beers, Same $#%-tty Location.” They’re right about both. But the beers at Silver Moon are worth google mapping the pub, especially the Voodoo Dog ISR and Snake Bite Porter. It’s also one of the prime spots for live music in Bend. On the menu, spice things up with the jalapeno slaw on the slow roasted pulled pork or make a meal out of the Crater Nachos with ground beef.
Immersion is Bend’s first and only “brew-it-yourself” pub and craft brewery. You can go there and create your own brew – wait three weeks and come back for five gallons of your personal creation (or they can ship it to you in Oregon.) Or, you can just pop in for some of their fantastic beers and grub. Featured dishes include Poke Marinated Ahi, Short Rib with edamame avocado succotash, and an antibiotic-free Duroc pork Porterhouse with spent beer grain spätzle and brussels sprouts, the restaurant is as central to the brewery experience as the beer.
Drink a brew from our 10-barrel brewing system. Try a Big Chilla, a Belgian-style NW Pale Ale; Little Fawn, a Saison; Bender, a Belgian-style NW IPA; or an IRA (Immersion Red Ale), a red ale. Choose from a craft cocktail menu and a selection of wines.
Between spectacular views of the Cascades and dining on locally sourced food prepared by executive chef, Kevin Linde, you might not want to leave the resort during your stay.
But if you’re up for exploring Central Oregon, there’s lots to do nearby. At Worthy Brewing, you can get a taste of the Bend craft beer scene. If cocktails are more your thing — Worthy has a brand new craft cocktail bar. There’s plenty of seating for the whole family to enjoy a relaxed experience with great food together.
Maragas winery is in the opposite direction, but worth the drive. Wide open views await you and if your idea of unwinding is an amazing glass of wine, you’ll feel right at home inside their barrel room.
If you’re ready for some exercise, spend at least one of your days while staying at Pronghorn discovering Smith Rock. The state park draws in visitors from all over the world because of the rock climbing opportunities. You can go with a guide who will take your entire family for an adventure you won’t soon forget or go solo if you’re an experienced climber. The park which is one of Oregon’s 7 wonders, offers opportunities for fun year round whether you’re up in the air or on the ground. Or, come winter, venture out into the snow-covered wilderness with guided snowshoe tours at Mt. Bachelor.
When you stay at Pronghorn you and your family will be transported out of your daily routine and into a vacation you won’t want to leave.