October 29, 2015
November is Bend Ale Trail Month - Finish and win a special trophy and FREE night of lodging!
By: Todd Wisniewski
Welcome to Bend, Oregon - Beer Town USA! With a population of under 90,000 and 21 local craft breweries (28 in Central Oregon), aficionados from around the globe have begun flocking to Bend to enjoy some of the most award-winning craft beers and best breweries in the US.
November is the official Bend Ale Trail month, where visitors receive extra special awards for completing this journey. As if tasting amazing craft beer wasn’t enough, those that visit 10 breweries during their visit can redeem their completed Ale Trail Passport at the Visit Bend downtown visitor’s center for a keepsake ‘Sili-Pint’ along with a special November Ale Trail trophy! In addition, those guests staying with us in November and showing completion of their Bend Ale Trail Passport also receive a FREE nights lodging! Click here for details on the free night offer, and see below for our guide to assist in maximizing your time along the Bend Ale Trail!
Before you head out on your Bend Ale Trail adventure;
- Make sure to pick up the official Bend Ale Trail Passport at the front desk, which you’ll use along the journey and document your stops with a unique stamp at each area brewery.
- Also – if you’re looking for alternate transportation options aside from designating a driver or hiring a taxi, for those breweries outside walking or biking distance, guests can arrange a behind the scenes brewery tour to hit four stops via the Bend Brew Bus with Wanderlust Tours (which can be added to your lodging reservation at the time of booking). There’s also the popular Cycle Pub if weather allows for small groups, which provides a driver and tour guide. Click here for more info on the Cycle Pub and additional Ale Trail transportation options around Bend.
Disclaimer; this is a non-biased guide with personal recommendations to the Bend ale trail by the Pine Ridge Inn General Manager, and based on proximity from our property.
Day 1; Westside Bend – explore the burgeoning Galveston Avenue breweries from the Pine Ridge Inn via 14th avenue with breweries along the way!
- For the optimal guest convenience, your first stop along the Bend Ale trail is right across the street from the Pine Ridge Inn at Cascade Lakes Brewery! ‘The Lodge’ offers a large selection of their crafted taps along with other area favorites, as well as a large menu with reasonably priced meals and open late for guests arriving in the evening hours and looking for an easy option for food and beer. Cascade Lakes also offers our guests a special discount to fill up the official Pine Ridge Inn growler found in your room. Feel free to use this growler during your stay to fill up your favorite beers along the Bend Ale Trail! The Lodge also offers a great venue for watching your favorite sporting events in a casual dining and pub environment, and also a great après ski scene with nightly specials and happy hour.
- From Cascade Lakes Brewery, head down 14th Street/Century Dr. just past the Simpson roundabout to Goodlife Brewing Company in the Century Center. The tasting room provides a variety of regularly brewed ales such as Sweet As Pacific Ale and Descender IPA along with unique seasonal offerings. This stop features another good menu for appetizers and snacks for your travels along the Ale Trail. Thursday's are locals night featuring $3 pints, and the outside Bier Garten is a playground for all ages with a large lawn featuring corn hole, a professional bocce ball court, and fire pit - while the weather lasts.
- From Goodlife, head down 14th Street to the next roundabout at Galveston Avenue, where you’ll turn right and can’t miss 10 Barrel Brewing with their large patio and fire-pit drawing a crowd any evening of the year. 10 Barrel features a wide selection of rotating taps and seasonal offerings from their award-winning brewers, along with a great menu and option for dinner with amazing heart-stopping nachos (but worth it), along with a variety of tasty pizza’s and dinner entrées.
- From 10 Barrel, your next craft brewery is less than a block (very convenient access for the days 4th stop), to newly opened Oblivion Brewing Co. The newest brewery on the block offers a quality offering of craft ales and a unique menu for any late-evening snacks or dessert.
Day 2; Downtown Bend – explore a wide variety of locally owned shops and restaurants, with a handful of breweries all within walking distance. Stop by the Visit Bend visitor's center to eye the prize and check out the official Ale Trail Sili-Pints and trophy along with additional retail items, also a good knowledge center for anything you need to know about Central Oregon!
- A great option for lunch is McMenamins – Old St. Francis Pub, located in a turn of the century renovated schoolhouse on the south end of Bond Street. McMenamins offers a unique and casual atmosphere well known and consistent at all their Pacific Northwest pubs and hotel properties. McMenamins has great lunch fare, with ales brewed in a basement system that can only be found at this establishment. This is also a great venue for live music and late-night options at O’Kane’s cigar bar out back. To relax those sore legs after a day on the slopes or singletrack – check out their salt-water soaking pool, open to the public for a $5 charge (you can also order your favorite ale at the bar and request a plastic cup to bring with you into the pool area).
- Bend Brewing Company is a great, long-standing brewery in Bend situated on the Deschutes River and offers a wide selection of beers brewed in one of the area’s most unique small-batch systems to maximize freshness and variety. Bend Brewing Company also has a great menu for food or snacks along your tour of the Bend Ale Trail.
- For dinner, the Deschutes Brewery Pub has elevated their menu and food offerings to a level of quality matched only by their fresh brews on tap! Enjoy a wide varietyofentrées, appetizers, and rotating specials using locally sourced ingredients and some of the area’s best chef’s. Compliment dinner with yourfavoriteDeschutes beer, or try one of the seasonal selections and special pub-only offerings found only at their Bend pub!
- Bonus Beers; The Deschutes Brewery primary brewing facility and tasting room is just a few blocks from the Pine Ridge Inn. Schedule a free guided brewery tour for a behind the scenes look at the 5th largest craft brew operation in the US and sample some of the area’s finest ales!
- Bonus Brewery for those wanting more craft beers and late-night evening festivities, Silver Moon Brewing on Greenwood (about a block away from the Deschutes Brewery Pub) is known for having live music (mostly without a cover charge – free!) regularly with great local bands and acts traveling through Central Oregon.
Day 3; Old Mill District – walking distance from the Pine Ridge Inn, and featuring shopping, restaurants, and brew pubs along the Deschutes River!
- OK – this one isn’t technically in the Old Mill District, but located on the outskirts between downtown and the OMD, and a good transition from the previous days Ale Trail hike; start Day 3 at Boneyard Brewing. These guys are all about making good beer – nothing fancy and no food options, with a tasting room out of a renovated garage, but past the true ‘boneyard’ nature you’ll find some of the most sought after craft brews in the region. Make sure to try the RPM - one of the best IPA’s in the state (award winning IPA – don’t just take our word for it!).
- For lunch, or a scenic beer to break up your shopping or casual stroll along or SUP upon the Deschutes River, check out Craft Kitchen & Brewery. You can’t beat the views with your brews, complimented with a unique menu with quality food parings.
- Time the grand finale finish to your tour along the Bend Ale Trail at Crux Fermentation Project for their ‘Sundowner Hour’ sunset happy hour with drink and food discounts (30 minutes prior to and after sunset, every day). The Crux tasting room and patio is an amazing venue to enjoy a high-quality craft ale with one of the best vantage points to watch the sunset over the Cascade Mountains – a great toast to finishing the Bend Ale Trail!
Congratulations! If you’ve followed this handy guide to finish the Bend Ale Trail, you’ve won all the aforementioned awards along with a free night of lodging with us at the Pine Ridge Inn! We hope you enjoyed the trek – and please send in any photos or feedback to help refine this guide and update for future guests visiting Bend and setting out to explore the Ale Trail.