Welcome to Bend, Oregon, or Beer City, USA—which has more breweries per capita than anywhere in the state. Its trendy food scene and local ingredient focus can be partly attributed, but the pristine water source which flows down from the mountain top can be largely credited for every fine brew produced in the city. In the winter, folks retreat to breweries after a long day on the slopes, and in the summer, float via inner tube down the river, stopping for a beverage along the way. Wanderlust Tours’ Bend Brew Bus takes passengers on a hoppy trip through town, tasting the best IPAs, ales and ciders. Collect passport stamps and souvenirs along the Bend Ale Trail, or just hit up our picks for the best breweries in Bend.
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Bend Brewing Company
Bend Brewing Company resides within downtown, near the river, and is the second oldest brew pup in town. A lovely outdoor patio space with a fire pit is perfect for nights not too chilly, and inside is warm and welcoming. Of course, they whip up some smooth craft beer selections, which pair phenomenally with the creative food menu with both healthy and indulgent picks. The Siracha seasoned cauliflower is fried to batter-less, crispy perfection and served with a side of creamy ranch.
Worthy Brewing Company
Worthy Brewing Company has many aspects that make them unique, from their own hop varietal in the Strata brew, that’s gained global attention, to a night sky observatory where you can view Saturn and star clusters. The food is locally sourced, and you can have anything from a burger to a salad topped with steelhead trout. Worthy also features a rare gluten-free chowder made with coconut milk, potatoes and loads of clams.
GoodLife Brewing Company
GoodLife Brewing Company has been developing smooth, light beer that appeals to even the pickiest taste buds. From malty flavors to hoppy delights, the quality of local and imported hops can be detected from the first sip. At the Bierhall you can taste different selections, or chow down on salads, brats and flatbreads.
Silver Moon Brewing
Silver Moon Brewing has a pleasantly obscure model of quirky flavors and fun releases like their Lunar Series beer. Hitting the scene as the third brewery in Bend, the brand has been a true local fixture in a cool, historic location. As far as food pairings go, it doesn’t get much better than their IPA smoked, handmade brats.
Crux Fermentation Project
Crux Fermentation Project was once an automotive plant but now is an eclectic brewpub. Its name is symbolic to its function, as they use non-typical brew methods such as a special type of mashing, open fermentation and barrel aging to achieve unexpectedly awesome flavors. Wild yeast further adds complexities to the brews that roll out of this “project”. If you make it to the Sundown Hour, when the sun is actually setting, the prices are cut on a list of tap beer.
Monkless Belgian Ales
Monkless Belgian Ales was inspired by the actual monks in Belgium who took great care to craft beer when the water in the country was not pure enough to drink. The same, slow, patient methods are used at Monkless today, and tradition is a vital part of the process. Crafters still work to create innovative selections that hold true to old methods. Belgian eats and brews can be enjoyed together at the Brasserie, where you can munch on schnitzel, indulgent poutine and juicy bratwurst.
Bridge 99 Brewery
Bridge 99 Brewery crafts Northwest IPA’s, desert stouts, American classics and even some foreign variations, all of which round out a wonderfully diverse beer list. More of a micro brewery, the batches are specialized, made with local ingredients and are cultivated using sustainable practices consistent with Bend’s eco-conscious values. Bonus—the mac and cheese is extra cheesy and it’s a great place to get a hearty burger!
Boneyard Beer Pub
Boneyard Beer Pub was built within an old auto shop in the historic district and is comprised of pieces from breweries all over, making the name more than fitting. At the pub on Division Street, you can taste all the signature brews, along with taco or poke bowls, salads, sandwiches, polenta tots and locally baked pretzels.
10 Barrel Brewing
Bend’s 10 Barrel Brewing has an east and west bend location, and the beer selection is both extensive and solid. Their pub-style food menu is elevated above the typical, and while pizza and nachos seem predictable, each dish has that extra edge which makes it beyond delicious. Gorgonzola steak nachos based with potato chips, artichoke mushroom pizza, sockeye salmon dip—it’s all perfection.
Cascade Lakes Brewing Company
With a bigger production facility in Redmond, Cascade Lakes Brewing Company has a cozy lodge eatery within Bend. The fun decor and ambiance make for a relaxing night out, and those floating the river like to make a stop for a quick ale or lunch. From classic chicken wings, fish, to some of the best gluten-free bread you may ever taste, the food menu is a standout in town, pairing flawlessly with the beer offerings.
The Ale Apothecary
The Ale Apothecary is a fairly new establishment that still maintains an intimate, personal feel you’ll notice when stopping by for a wildcrafted brew. Specializing in sours, one can find that pleasantly tart beer to fit their tastes—the apricot tends to be a favorite. It takes 18 months of barrel aging to create the beautiful flavor profiles, but the complex after-product is beyond worth the wait.
McMenamins is a line of pubs through the Northwest, and each one is highly unique. McMenamins at Old St. Francis School formerly served as a school, but now is an accumulation of mystical buildings with secret doors and hidden bars. Specific brews at this location include Father D’s Kölsch and the Parson Brown and Gunslinger Pale Ale. Other line favorites include the Terminator Stout, Hammerhead, Ruby, Black Rabbit Porter and Sunflower IPA. When dining, try a flight with an elk burger with special sauce on a gluten-free bun.