Aerial photo by Rich Bacon / Courtesy of Visit Bend

Two Tremendous Days of Liquid in Bend, Oregon

by | Oct 25, 2022

By now, most people know that Bend is a craft beer-obsessed town. In addition to being perfectly situated in the high desert of central Oregon, the city of nearly 100,000 has an embarrassment of brewery options. 

Day One

Start the day at 10 Barrel Brewing. There are two locations but we’re drawn to the westside spot, which opens most days at 11 a.m. That’s great news for early risers or thirsty beer hunters with kids in tow (some of the kids menu items are served on frisbees, a great marketing move). Look out for fresh hop options in the early fall, and great stouts throughout the year. Yes, 10 Barrel is an AB InBev operation, but there are still many unique one-off beers on draft worth exploring.

Next up, Boss Rambler Beer Club. A coffee shop by morning and beer hangout come afternoon, the Westside spot has become increasingly beloved for its hazy IPAs. There’s a great dog-friendly patio and an overarching tropical vacation aesthetic that’ll make you want to kick back all day. Show up early for one of their tasty pastries and return that afternoon for a pint or two of the Rad Habits West Coast IPA. 

Part of Bend’s old guard, Bend Brewing Company has been at it since 1995. They just opened a new space in The Grove in Northwest Crossing, a remarkable piece of modern architecture where the brewery has a new tasting space (there’s also a food hall, condos and more) called Waypoint. There, you’ll find the usual family of beers along with a respectable cocktail program. Look out for the refreshing Ching Ching Sour Ale or Metolius Golden Ale.

You can’t go to Bend and not pop over to Deschutes Brewery. A giant production facility now exists elsewhere in the city, but its original downtown brewhouse is where Deschutes helped launch the craft scene in the Pacific Northwest. Revisit a classic like Mirror Pond Ale or Black Butte Porter or explore some of the label’s barrel-aged options. You’ll be in the heart of downtown and can feel that very specific, very satisfying Bend energy.

Crux Fermentation Project is always up to something tasty. The tasting room occupies a cool former AAMCO transmission shop on Division Street and, especially during late afternoons, there is no better place to sip a pint and take in the westward views of the Cascade Range. In addition to nice IPAs, there are quality pilsners, porters and saisons to be had. If you’re hungry, munch on some grub from the food carts that surround the lawn.

Other labels of note worth looking out for are Ale Apothecary, which makes wine-like beers often bottle conditioned and made for sipping,and with Monkless, which specializes in lively Belgian-style beers. For one-stop bottle shopping, head over to Broken Top Bottle Shop for great service and a handsome selection of local options.

Day Two

Beer, check. Now, it’s time for wine. Bend has added a slew of tasting rooms over the last several years and is even a short drive from the county’s first vineyard, planted back in 2010 and set up with a beautiful barn and tasting room. If you like wine, you’ll have plenty to do here.

Former Washington State University great and NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe has  opened a new Bend tasting room for one of his labels, Bledsoe Family Wines. Set in the city’s bustling new Box Factory, it’s the kind of place where you can do a wine flight or grab a beer, with a football game likely showing in the background. The wines are solid, with standouts including a Bordeaux blend (that comes in a one-liter bottle) and the Stolen Horse Syrah. Bledsoe himself is known to wander through his new space with a glass in hand but the winemaking reins are held by Josh McDaniels.

For a real vineyard experience, head out to Faith, Hope & Charity Vineyards in nearby Terrebonne. Owner Cindy Grossmann will likely be on hand, greeting you with a wide smile. Because of the high elevation and more extreme climate, the estate is reserved for hybrid varieties like Frontenac Gris, Marquette and more. In this sense, it’s an educational tasting as you simply won’t find many of these varietals anywhere else. Fans of more familiar Oregon wines like Pinot Noir will be pleased to find a bit of that as well, sourced from the Willamette Valley. There’s no production on site (yet, at least) but the grounds are beautiful, set up with a pond, tidy vineyard rows and views of nearby canyons and Smith Rock State Park beyond. Oh, and the winery’s name is a reference to the names early colonizers gave to the Three Sisters, the prominent trio of peaks that overlook Bend.

Back in town, Bend Wine Bar is a great stop. They pour a lineup of wines made on the Oregon coast at its sister location in Manzanita. While in that part of Bend, hit Stoller Wine Bar for a taste of the wines from this renowned Willamette Valley winery. Pair your Rosé, Chardonnay or Pinot with some charcuterie and cheese while you’re at it.

Lodging Options

The Campfire Hotel is a go-to, set just a short drive (or healthy walk) from downtown Bend. The refurbished motor lodge features a year-round heated saltwater pool, sprawling outdoor fire pit, and comfortable rooms, with nice accents like bunk beds, vintage radios and S’mores kits. There’s a real community aspect to the place, not only at The Canteen, where visitors can enjoy a snack or well-made cocktail, but at the pool and many common areas throughout the grounds. While inherently social, the place does quiet down nicely after 10 p.m., meaning you can take in a nightcap and stare at the stars.

Other overnight options of note include SpringHill Suites in Bend’s Old Mill District, or the charming beer mecca in downtown Bend, McMenamins St. Francis School. For those looking to stay a bit out of town in the great outdoors, consider Brasada Ranch for a dose of luxury. For more down-to-earth lakeside accommodations, consider Suttle Lake Lodge, which also has a bang-up food and drinks program.

Upcoming Events

what’s new

Pouring it Forward with Latta Wines

Pouring it Forward with Latta Wines

Latta Wines, a Seattle winery, has initiated a continuing series called the “ Kind Stranger.” With iterations of whites, reds and rosés, a portion of the proceeds from the Kind Stranger at the in-house level always goes toward Mary’s Place in Seattle, which provides...

read more
Pairing cider with 5 tasty leftover dishes

Pairing cider with 5 tasty leftover dishes

When Thanksgiving is over and the refrigerator is full of leftovers, it’s time to get to one of the best parts of Thanksgiving weekend — the meals that can be made with all the deliciousness of the odds and ends that didn’t get eaten on Thursday. What will you drink...

read more