Traveling Tuesday: Deschutes Brewery – Bend, Oregon

The city of Bend, Oregon is located in the center of the state, about where the forests of the Cascade mountain range to the south and west meet the high desert region to the north and east.  Now, “high desert” might not get you very excited to go visit, but trust us when we say that it is absolutely beautiful and full of incredible parks, hiking, and natural surroundings.  We found ourselves there after departing from San Francisco (where we visited the Magnolia Pub and Brewery and also the Thirsty Bear Brewing Company), driving through the beautiful Redwoods, and taking in the breathtaking Crater Lake.

Of course, we couldn’t stop in Bend without visiting the Deschutes Brewery, named after the Deschutes River.  They’ve been making great beer since 1988 and have made a name for themselves with their flagship Black Butte Porter.  We stopped in for dinner and a few brews.

Note: the lighting was especially poor inside, so most pictures didn’t turn out very well.  But this should give you an idea of the pub.

 The Public House is located in the charming downtown business district.

One particularly neat thing is that some brews are available both from the normal draft, as well as from the nitro tap or cask pull.  Oh, yes – Black Butte Porter was on nitro, and it was delicious.

Why, that’s Hoperative #102, posing with the fermentation tanks!

Of course, we got a sampler of 6 beers. They give you a little tear-off sheet where you pick out which you want, and then they bring them out on a board.  We selected ones that you can’t really get outside of Bend.

Here’s a better look at the sampler setup.  One wonderful surprise was the ‘Gluten Fee NW Pale Ale #27.’  By far the best gluten free beer we’ve had – not ‘steely’ like most.

There was a nice little bar area in the middle of the dining room.  The food was very good, especially the burger made with local elk.

Because we had been at Crater Lake National Park before stopping in Bend, we had to post a picture of the beautiful scenery. And because we were in Oregon, we had to be wearing flannel.

Deschutes is available pretty widely out west of Ohio, but the pub in Bend is very worth the visit if you’re in the neighborhood.  The area around Bend is incredible and has enough to keep anyone who likes the outdoors busy for a long time.

-John (#13) and Erin (#102)