Before I start this blog I have to tell you I am still laughing about a comment Six Saturdays and A Sunday made on yesterday’s blog … “Snow is just another 4 letter word. Then again, so is Beer, so they’re not all bad.” The back and forth didn’t stop there, but let’s move one. Seriously Rod we are still laughing, thanks for those comments 🙂 And it is a perfect segway into today’s blog about beer!
We have begun the infamous Bend Ale Trail. Now the important things to know about the Ale Trail are … it is so much fun; no matter how hard you try you will gain weight; and you will spend money; … although Oregon is a no tax state and beer is relatively cheap, even craft beer, so in terms of fun versus money, it won’t be that expensive.
The City of Bend is full of craft breweries and to promote them they started the Bend Ale Trail, which is known as the largest beer trail in the west. You can participate using a pamphlet, that is available almost everywhere in Bend, or you can use the Bend Ale Trail app on your cell phone. Hubby uses the pamphlet and I use the cell phone app. Once you are at a participating brewery you can have your pamphlet stamped or press a button on the phone app that marks the brewery as visited. A purchase is not required and when you are using the cell phone app it is really easy, as long as you are close to the establishment you can press the button and you are good to go. If you are using the pamphlet you will need to go to the bar or hostess stand to get a stamp.
So far we have received eight stamps! We started with Silver Moon, Bend Brewery, and Deschutes Brewery the night we arrived. We have decided that the draw at Silver Moon is their Pumpkin Ale and of course it is out of season.
Bend Brewery is always entertaining and this time their best beer (according to us) was the Java Juice, a Nitro Cold Pressed Coffee Stout, the only drawback being that it is a Nitro beer so a Growler wasn’t an option.
We tried the Botanic Ale at Deschutes Brewery and really enjoyed it as well. The Botanic Ale is like drinking a beer Gin and Tonic! I could almost picture us on the beach, enjoying the sun and heat and a G&T (yup that is one of our pastimes) 🙂
So before I go on let’s get a few things sorted out. When I say we tried all these beers, we didn’t have a pint of each. We usually get a flight, of the beers that sound interesting, and share it. Once we reach the third brewery hubby starts tasting and I am left to take up the slack … yup he is driving because he likes it that way and I’m not complaining 🙂 We also have no problem not drinking any beer in the flight that we don’t like. And I should probably clear this up as well … I often say I am not a beer drinker … and I’m not. Well okay maybe I am, but I don’t like beer for the sake of drinking a beer. I like beer like I like red wine, it needs to have body, smell, and flavor, which is why I like craft beer. If we are somewhere and everyone is sharing a pitcher I will share as well, with a side of Clamato to give the beer some flavor. I have realized though, that I have to stop saying I’m not a beer lover in my blogs, because I do like some beers.
So on to the next few breweries … Yesterday we stopped at Craft Brewery which is also a favourite because of the atmosphere and the bartender (we have had her a few times and she is always top notch and very entertaining).
Our favorite there was a Potato Stout … yup it was good, but again it was a Nitro beer so no growler of that 😦
Once we left Craft Brewery we stopped at Atlas Cider Company. It is not on the Ale Trail so no credit, but it is one of my favorites.
We did a flight of six ciders and ended up coming away with two sealed cans of the Apple Cider and the Apricot Cider. This is the first time we have seen the sealed cans and they are pretty cool. The cider will stay fizzy for up to ten day’s, which means we can bring it home and do samplings with our daughter and son-in-law.
Our next stop was Boneyard Brewery. It is in a residential area, and sure didn’t look like much of a brewery. We almost didn’t go in because of the feel and we could see a younger crowd spilling out the door, but we did go in and had so much fun … maybe we aren’t old! It was $7.00 to share a flight of nine beers and we found a beer we both really liked, so a growler was filled.
The biggest surprise of the day was the McMenamins Pub and Brewery.
The last time we did the Ale Trail this pub was very snobby and didn’t want to serve us, this time they were very friendly and we had a great time. We originally stopped because we thought we would just go in, get a stamp, and move on but their patio out front had a few fires lit and looked appealing. Our favourite beer here was the Morning Foam Coffee Stout. We could totally see sitting in bed enjoying it as our morning coffee … yup that is so sad! We thought this beer was a Nitrous beer similar to the one at Bend Brewery but it turned it didn’t use Nitrous so we could get a growler. As an added bonus they open at 7:00 a.m. so we can get our growler filled before we leave Bend on Monday, which will make it last until we get home … and on Monday’s growler fills are only $8.00!
We also visited Riverbend and Sunriver Brewing but they where both packed so we just collected our stamps and moved on, which was a good thing because we had had enough beer for one day!
And our day ended with a very nice sunset 🙂
Until next time …