Visiting Bend/Sunriver (2015 Update)

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by sharpski, Apr 20, 2015.

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  1. Bitter_Better

    Bitter_Better Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2015 Oregon

    Want to plug Sunriver's Hop Shop Session IPA...got it on tap in PDX @ Untapped, Saturday. With the advent of FH beer nearly in full swing, I sure am glad I got this filled! Geeky hop profile & sopping wet, it certainly is now the best session I've tried! I'm a huge fan of Vicious Mosquito, & feel nearly the same about this beer!
     
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  2. Bitter_Better

    Bitter_Better Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2015 Oregon

    Vicious Mosquito's back on @ Hawthorne Freddie's!!!
     
  3. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2008 Oregon

    I just got back from Bend, so I thought I'd make some comments.

    - Sunriver was the runaway winner in terms of overall experience (beer quality, food, and service). Even though it's not reachable without a vehicle, its worth the trip. The whole "Village" area is pretty nice/family friendly as well.

    - Boneyard was disappointing in the sense that the "tasting room" is a tiny standing-room-only affair which doesn't even serve pints. The only options are samplers or growler fills. While it's cool to be able to fill a growler with Hop Venom, and it's really easy to walk to from downtown, the actual experience was rather perfunctory.

    - Craft Kitchen and Brewery was the only place that had offensively bad beer. They had a berlinerweiss on tap which both smelt and tasted like cheese. Not only could we not drink it, we couldn't even stand to smell it; we put an over-turned water cup over the taster to block out the odor. While not all their beer was a disaster, that one was not fit to be served to the public (and we talked to other patrons who agreed, so it wasn't just us).

    - Deschutes and 10 Barrel are just as busy on the weekends as their PDX counterparts, so definitely try to go during the work week if you don't want to have to wait an hour for a table.

    - Almost every brewery has the same bar food menu (burgers & fries) and I personally found it quite tiring after a while. So you might want to take some time to plan your meals unless you don't mind eating pretty much the same thing every day. Also, every place advertises Fish and Chips, but I did not think any place was particularly good. My "standard" is the Frying Scotsman food cart in Portland (British style), and all the places I tried it in Bend were typical American style. They weren't bad, but not impressive in any way so don't fall for the hype.

    - Go to bendaletrail.com and get the beer trail map. If you visit 10 breweries you get a free Silipint glass and if you visit 16 you also get a free bottle opener. You might as well get free merch for your efforts.
     
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  4. Bitter_Better

    Bitter_Better Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2015 Oregon

    Sunriver's Cocoa Cow Milk Stout is delicious! On my flight @ Untapped PDX.
     
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  5. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,083) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    Well, to be fair, they actually run a "tasting room", unlike a lot of breweries that run a bar, and call it a Tasting Room. If you can go in, sit down, and have several pints, you are not in a tasting room, you're in a bar. I visited Boneyard shortly after they opened, and loved the whole feel of the place. Tried all 3 of the beers they made at the time, and fourth beer made by blending two.
     
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  6. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2008 Oregon

    Perhaps, but to me that distinction is kind of arbitrary.

    My standard for a "tasting room" is Upright. It's definitely too sparse to be considered a bar IMHO, but you can at least get glasses of beer. You also get to wander around the brewery, take a peek at the open fermentation tanks through the window, and there is usually something interesting on tap that you don't normally see around town. In other words, you feel like you are visiting a brewery.

    Visiting Boneyard felt like visiting a merch closet which just happen to have samplers for sale. You don't get to see any of the brewery, everything on tap is standard, and you can't even enjoy a simple glass of beer. I imagine it might be more interesting to someone from out of state, but considering how easy it is to find Boneyard in PDX there was really nothing new to the experience.
     
  7. Strangestbrewer

    Strangestbrewer Initiate (105) Oct 17, 2014 Oregon

    For me, something like Upright is more of a tap room and Boneyard is a tasting room, but that's just me.
     
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  8. bfields4

    bfields4 Zealot (568) Dec 11, 2007 Colorado

    Did you happen to goto crux? I felt like their menu was a lot different then burger and fries. It also is my favorite of the bend brewery taproom/bars/Etc. just curious of your opinion haven't been to sunriver.
     
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  9. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2008 Oregon

    I did go to Crux.

    To be honest, I barely remember anything about the food there; I presume it was fine. I guess they had sandwiches instead of burgers, but I don't really consider that a big difference; it's still just meat with bread around it. Plenty of places in Bend had sandwiches and burgers together, so it didn't feel like a significant difference in menu options. It did have a good atmosphere though; live music outside, lots of people in communal seating, etc.

    Just to be clear, I didn't think any of the breweries had bad food; I just got tired of eating the same type of food every day. I guess part of that is on me since I made the decision to eat at breweries. But for example, we had fried avocados at Sunriver which was a cool unexpected twist. Yes, it's still fried food, but at least it's something that you don't see on every menu.

    (To be honest, even in PDX I prefer to eat at places that happen to have good beer rather than going directly to the brewery. Outside of Breakside, it's not that easy to find breweries that also have an interesting food menu. I think this was just tougher than usual because I don't usually eat at breweries every day for a week straight.)
     
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  10. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    I'd recommend Broken Top Bottle Shop next time as a combination of solid taplist (or bottles if you're so inclined) and a varied menu. They make an effort to cater to vegetarians/vegans which forces them to think outside the typical pub grub box.
     
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  11. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2008 Oregon

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Yeah, I probably over did it on the breweries because it was my first time in Bend. Next time I won't be concerned with trying to hit everything and I'll definitely check it out.
     
  12. shnsajax

    shnsajax Disciple (309) Jul 2, 2013 Idaho

    Looks like I will be going in about 2 weeks, really can't wait. Hopefully the Growler Guys will have some Hop Venom on tap to stock up on Crowlers back to Boise.
     
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  13. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    If neither GG's has it, you will most certainly find it at one of the bazillion other growler fill stations, though you might consider bringing some empty glass as a backup since nobody else "Crowls" yet. Better yet, bring 'em full of ID Fresh Hop beers and I bet I can arrange a share or IP trade if you're interested.
     
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  14. shnsajax

    shnsajax Disciple (309) Jul 2, 2013 Idaho

    So I should be there next Wed, Oct 7th. Any recommended places to watch the Cubs Wild Card game?
     
  15. shnsajax

    shnsajax Disciple (309) Jul 2, 2013 Idaho

    Anyone ever stay at Wall Street Suites? How is this in terms of walking distances to things?
     
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  16. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Haven't stayed there, but it was recently remodeled and looks pretty cool. About 2 blocks north of the downtown core, so walking distance for much of Bend, and I think they have bikes you could use to access all but the more remote spots (unless you're ambitious, then everything's on the table). Wouldn't hesitate to recommend it if the rates are inline with your budget, though airbnb, etc. may be an even better option now that we're in the shoulder season.
     
  17. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,083) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
    Trader

    @sharpski , got a couple friends down in Bend this week, anything in particular I should have them check out?
     
  18. Bitter_Better

    Bitter_Better Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2015 Oregon

    @ Bonfire (gettin' my gyro on) & wanted to state just how delicious this batch of RPM is, on around town. Like a PJ clone on the malt bill...not quite on the nose, but so damn good!
     
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  19. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Nothing notable other than whatever fresh hop beers are around. These the kind of friends who could transport a bottle in your direction?
     
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  20. McAndrew

    McAndrew Disciple (375) Jun 12, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Newport Avenue had Ale Apothecary - Sahile as of a few days ago.
     
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  21. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,083) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    Why yes, yes they are. Message sent on FB. Gracias!
     
  22. shnsajax

    shnsajax Disciple (309) Jul 2, 2013 Idaho

    Deschutes still had Black Butte ^3 and Sour Quad. Didn't see any Sahalie around, though I am still sitting on 1 bottle.
     
  23. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Did you already leave? Newport still had 3 Sahalie bottles as of yesterday, they're just on a shelf around the corner from the beer coolers.

    Any comments/highlights of your visit?
     
  24. shnsajax

    shnsajax Disciple (309) Jul 2, 2013 Idaho

    Damn, I already left. Didn't get too much time unfortunately. Didn't see them at all at Newport, wonder if missed a little section there. Hopefully can get back soon, had a blast in just a couple of hours.
     
  25. carrolri

    carrolri Disciple (338) Apr 30, 2011 Washington
    Society

    @sharpski know of any Sahalie still? Newport market still best bet? The other bottle shops don't have any listed as of today.
     
  26. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Last week they had two bottles out at Newport. Will keep an eye out and update if I see any anywhere else.
     
  27. carrolri

    carrolri Disciple (338) Apr 30, 2011 Washington
    Society

    Thanks. I will try Newport.
     
  28. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Broken Top and Brew Shop are worth checking too, I wouldn't go by the online bottle lists.
     
  29. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    @carrolri I'm at BTBS staring down bottles of Sahalie, $32 minus 10% out the door.
     
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  30. carrolri

    carrolri Disciple (338) Apr 30, 2011 Washington
    Society

    @sharpski thanks for investigating. I now have a mission for tomorrow.
     
  31. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Silver Moon had a Grand Opening party last night for their new production facility in Redmond (OR), combined with their annual One Beard to Rule Them All beard and mustache contest/prostate cancer fundraiser. Live music, games, and lots of photo ops with some crazy real and fake beards (a legit-looking Abraham Lincoln was my favorite). Very well attended, the 15,000 sqft facility was packed the whole evening.

    Two of the shiny large tanks were wrapped with the artwork for their impending 6pk 12oz cans of Get Sum and IPA 97. Mobile canning at first, but their own canning line is on the way. Side note: they're rebranding again after only 2 years, and while I don't like it as much as the current logo it ain't gonna stop me from making fridge space for the beer itself.

    The only 2015 batch of Maui Wowie was present, and I was told a big batch on the new system is planned for early spring. With the production brewery functional, the 10 barrel system at the brewpub will become a pilot system for more experimental stuff. They debuted their first sour, a dry-hopped kettle sour named Tart of Gold. Didn't blow me away, but it was hardly the setting for a fair assessment. Almost all of SMB's recent recipes have been on point, so I look forward to seeing what new stuff they develop.
     
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  32. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,083) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
    Trader

    Any SM bottles you suggest someone pick up for me?
     
  33. philhyde

    philhyde Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2010 Oregon

    For anyone in the Bend area, I highly recommend picking up some Jamaican Me Pumpkin by 10 Barrel. I picked up a few bottles at the pub last night, and it looked like they had 6-10 cases left. Pumpkin is just about right with the rum being present and not overpowering. Pretty boozy too, but I loved it.
     
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  34. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    New batch, or left over from last time?
     
  35. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    If you haven't had Get Sum before, it's a nice pale, but it's only in 22's for now. They haven't bottled anything other than their standards in quite a while.
     
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  36. bexlovesbeer

    bexlovesbeer Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2013 California

    Does anyone know if any breweries will be hosting New Years Eve events/parties? Or simply be open? We've got a VRBO cottage right in the middle of downtown for the holidays. Our general plan is to spend the days playing in the snow (oh please oh please let there be a lot) and evenings wandering breweries. Since we'll be there over New Years and we'll be on our own I was wondering if anything fun would be going on that night.

    Second question: any Ching Ching bottles available right now? I will buy it all.

    Might have some stuff for IP trades, too. Coming up from the Bay Area. We've been up there several times but this is our first extended stay. Love Bend to pieces.
     
    #116 bexlovesbeer, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
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  37. philhyde

    philhyde Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2010 Oregon

    New batch as far as I know.
     
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  38. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Ching Ching is readily available, and I wouldn't expect it to dry up before New Years.
     
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  39. philhyde

    philhyde Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2010 Oregon

    I picked up a few bottles of Crux Tough Love yesterday. Very tasty!
     
  40. ricke49

    ricke49 Initiate (0) May 2, 2004 Oregon

    for comfy atmosphere I would not overlook The Brew Shop on 3rd Street - about a 6 block walk, to the N.E., from Silvermoon. Over 500 different beers for sale, in their refrigerators - at fair prices, and Platypus Pub (downstairs from the brew shop) for a nice on-tap selection, in combination w restaurant. If you're into 'non-pretentious-ness', you'll be in heaven.
     
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