The Bend Ale Trail is a no-joke way to check out the city’s incredible, famous beer scene.
This trail comes with its own “passport” including 22 breweries with a little reward after you visit five.
I knew there was no way I’d make it to 22, so I ventured out with a goal of seven breweries, putting my maximum goal at 10 beers on the Bend Ale Trail.
After beer two, a friend bet I wouldn’t make it past number four.
On beer four, I had another bet I couldn’t get past six.
On beer five, I had another bet I’d start the sixth beer, but wouldn’t finish it.
Seriously, the Bend Ale Trail isn’t messing around.
I ended up tapping out after eight, and might have kept going (despite my better judgment) if the breweries hadn’t shut down. Fortunately, most of these are within a nice walking distance to where I was staying at the Element Bend.
Here’s a rundown (as best as I can remember, anyway) of the breweries I stumbled through, and the awesome day that I had:
1. Bend Brewing Company
I decided I may as well start the Bend Ale Trail with the brewery named after the town, right? Enter Bend Brewing Company.
Fortunately, I picked a bright, sunny day to start my day drinking affair, and enjoyed a Tropic Pines, which was the answer to my, “I’ll have whatever’s the most popular,” order.
Perhaps following that choice at every brewery is what ended up getting me so schmammered, but this juicy IPA was the perfect riverside treat to enjoy before the day’s festivities began.
The food also smelled delicious, and while I didn’t order anything, I would come back for a full experience, no question.
2. Deschutes Brewery
After a little detour to Worthy Brewing that was closed (this was a Tuesday, after all — not my fault vacation landed at the beginning of the week!), I headed to the brewery named after the river: Deschutes.
I got out of the sun in this one and wound up doing something I haven’t done since before COVID:
Sat at the actual bar.
I almost shudder saying it again, I was so excited.
My “what’s popular” order here landed me a “Fresh Squeezed,” which continued my IPA journey down drunken lane.
I used to work at a brewery; I should’ve known better than to go for all IPAs, but I’m not mad that I did.
It’s just a shame I was bar hopping, or I’d have had all eight of my beers be a “Fresh Squeezed.”
3. Crux Fermentation Project
Next up, I walked my now-I’m-feeling-it self a little over a mile out to Crux Fermentation Project.
Since I came here on a clear day, I was able to see the incredible view Bend has of the Volcanic Legacy mountains just off in the distance. This was my second visit to Bend, but the first really sunny day I’d encountered, and I was floored.
Totally worth the walk out here for that.
I suppose it’s even more fitting that the “Valley Bound” came as the most popular drink. That citrusy IPA sure did make that view that much better.
4. Sunriver Brewing Company
Heading toward my first “you won’t make it past this number” beer, I stopped in at Sunriver Brewing Company.
But I definitely needed some food at this point, so the “Life Above” that came as the “most popular” also came along a bacon burger that hit every spot I didn’t know I needed taken care of.
And, at this point, I started to worry.
Would my friend be right that I couldn’t make it past 4?
They had been all IPAs, of course.
But, then again, Sunriver is literally sitting right next to —
5. Boss Rambler Beer Club
A cute little brewery called Boss Rambler!
Where I definitely needed to take the sips a little slower.
And started FaceTiming all my friends.
Which was when other bets started coming in as to how far I’d actually make it.
Especially because I was definitely feeling “Alohaze”-y with the beer I got here.
But for me, I still saw “10 beers” as a possibility, which probably didn’t help by the fact that —
6. 10 Barrel Brewing Company
“10” Barrel Brewing Company sat right next door and just begged me to come in for beer number 6.
And also rewarded me with my second post-COVID opportunity to sit at the actual bar.
I’m surprised I didn’t start singing “hallelujah” right then and there.
But the “Sasquatch” that came as the “most popular” also came with a tall order of water, because, by beer six, you know your boy needed some extra hydration.
Especially since I’d just crushed two bets and was on my way to the third. And, technically fourth, if we count my initial “seven” goal.
I needed a bit of a walk after beer six, so I meandered through the Google Maps as it led me toward Monkless Belgian Ales.
I kind of wish I’d sat outside when they asked my preference. The view of the river and the gorge from this brewery was incredible. Even through the massive windows inside, I was still able to see it.
It’s just that it was sunset.
And I could’ve enjoyed my “Shepplekofeggan” while I watched the sun set.
And yes, I double-checked to make sure that was the actual beer name, and not just drunken notes.
But, instead of sitting outside like I should’ve, I settled on some beignets and drank my Shepplekofeggan and realized I only had an hour before the breweries started closing.
8. Immersion Brewing
Which was just fine, because Immersion Brewing sat just next door.
But I have no idea what I drank here. It’s the only one I didn’t write down.
But after reviewing the menu, something tells me it was the Citra Ascent.
It just sounds familiar.
But, then again, by that point I was as hazy as all the beers I’d drank that day, so, really, who knows.
But whatever it was, from what I remember, I’d definitely go back.
Me and the Beers of the Bend Ale Trail
And to cap it off, here’s a picture of me at each spot getting steadily drunker with each beer as I went: