Here in Central Oregon we have one of the highest per-capita number of breweries around — 20 currently active, with more on the way!
Founded in 1988 as a brewpub in Downtown Bend, Deschutes Brewery is one of the largest craft brewing companies in the United States (#5 among craft brewers, #12 overall) with an annual production output of nearly a quarter of a million barrels and distribution in 18+ states. And with pub locations in Bend and Portland and 25 years under their belt, they are still going strong. ›› deschutesbrewery.com
Cascade Lakes Brewing
Cascade Lakes Brewing was the second brewery to open it’s doors in the region, back in 1994, making Redmond its home town. They started as a production brewery bottling their beers only—but finding that simply selling their beer by the bottle wasn’t enough, they opened their 7th Street Brewhouse in 1996 and that quickly became a popular place to be in Redmond. Their popular Lodge in Bend followed in 2004, and several other locations ensures you can always find their beer.
Bend Brewing Company
The Bend Brewing brewpub was established in 1995 in downtown Bend overlooking the Deschutes River, making it Bend’s second-oldest brewery (and third in Central Oregon after Cascade Lake). It hit a nice stride in town as a laid-back alternative to Deschutes: when you couldn’t get in the door at the Deschutes Pub, you could almost certainly find a comfortable spot at the BBC, and it quickly became a local favorite. ›› bendbrewingco.com
Silver Moon Brewing
Silver Moon started out from humble beginnings: owner Tyler Reichert bought the local homebrew shop and started building out a brewing and kitchen area in the back of the building. Before long, he launched his pico-scale brewery on a one-barrel brew system, and began distributing to accounts around Bend. This was in 2001, and since then they’ve grown by leaps and bounds with a great pub location, awards, and solid beers.
McMenamins Old St. Francis School
If you’ve spent any time in Oregon and Washington you’re probably already familiar with the McMenamins chain of breweries, pubs, and restaurants, and their penchant for taking historic properties and repurposing them into cool, funky venues like theater pubs, cigar bars, hotels, and more. The Old St. Francis School fills the “McMenamins niche” in Bend nicely and does it with style. ›› mcmenamins.com/oldstfrancis
Long-time fans will remember that 10 Barrel Brewing started out in 2007 under the name of Wildfire Brewing, the venture of brothers Chris and Jeremy Cox who owned and ran JC’s Bar and Grill in downtown Bend at the time. The name change didn’t hurt things one bit and 10 Barrel’s popularity has exploded (and continues to do so) with an impressive new brewery and unbridled growth.
Three Creeks Brewing
Sisters, Oregon received its first craft brewery in 2008 with Three Creeks Brewing, and visiting early on you could tell this was going to be successful: solid beers, solid food, and providing Sisters (a picturesque “Old West” town largely dependent on tourism) with a much-needed brewpub. And they’ve only gotten better since.
Boneyard Beer, located on the eastern edge of downtown Bend in an unlikely warehouse brewery that looks like it should be repairing cars, is simply one of the best and most popular breweries around right now, with local favorites like RPM IPA, Hop Venom, Femme Fatale, and the rare, 14% alcohol Suge Knite (among others) leading the charge. Established in 2010, Boneyard quickly gained a following for their unapologetic style—both with their beer and their brewery.
GoodLife entered the Bend beer scene two years ago with a splash, with a new 30-barrel brewing system, enormous warehouse space, a “beer hall” styled pub serving both their own and several other guest beers, and a large outdoor Biergarten that opens up during the summer—and then took the people’s choice favorite beer at the Bend Brewfest to boot. They are also the first Central Oregon brewery to can their beers, releasing their Descender IPA and Sweet As Pacific Ale in the early spring. ›› goodlifebrewing.com
Brew Wërks Brewing
Brew Wërks Brewing began life in Bend’s Old Mill District initially as a pub and eatery—Old Mill Brew Wërks—in 2010, and early on they didn’t have a brewery, relying instead on contract brewing with other local breweries (which speaks to the credit and generosity of the local brewing community, even among competitors). They have since set up shop in the north Bend space formerly occupied by 10 Barrel and are cranking out good beer to go with their excellent upscale pub fare.
Below Grade Brewing
Below Grade is one of the “new breed” of breweries that has been popping up the last couple of years, the “nanobrewery”—very loosely defined as commercial breweries brewing on a system size of one barrel (31 gallons) or less. And in fact Dean Wise, the man behind Below Grade, is doing just that—out of his basement on Bend’s west side.
Redmond’s second brewing company, Phat Matt’s, was established in 2011 and they debuted their IPA at the Bend Brewfest in August of that year. Their lineup of bottled beers has become a ubiquitous offering in Central Oregon and they have definitely captured people’s attention in all the right ways. ›› phatmattsbrew.com
The Ale Apothecary
The Ale Apothecary opened its barn-style doors in 2012 under the aegis of Founder/Brewer Paul Arney, formerly of Deschutes Brewery, and is doing things no one else in the region is doing—things like mashing beer in a giant hollowed out spruce tree trunk (a “kurrna”), incorporating wood into nearly every step of the brewing process, and embracing the wild. These are beers unlike most anything else you will find in Central Oregon (and much of beyond). ›› thealeapothecary.org
Crux Fermentation Project
Open fermenters, decoction mashing, barrel aging, crazy yeast varieties… there are a lot of interesting things to get excited about and there’s really no one else in Bend with the exception of Paul Arney at The Ale Apothecary doing this type of almost-experimental, artisanal-yet-commercial type of brewing. Open for a year this June, Crux is impressive in the depth and breadth of its beer offerings, and has quickly become a hugely popular locals’ favorite with some outstanding beers. ›› crux fermentation.com
If you’re looking for the ultimate resort experience in Central Oregon, Sunriver is the place – and guess what – there’s now a brewery there! Sunriver Brewing Company opened their doors July 2012 serving a variety of local craft beer, but shortly thereafter their very own ale was tapped. They are currently in the process of building out a new 15-barrel brewery and are sure to take it to the next level. ›› sunriverbrewing.com
Shade Tree Brewing
One of Central Oregon’s least-known brewing operations, Shade Tree has debuted several beers over the past year that has caused people to take notice. Currently working on a new location, keep an eye out for things to come.
Prineville, situated just west of the Ochoco Mountains, has its first brewery! Opening its doors in 2011 as a restaurant, self-trained brewmaster and owner Joseph Barker had always intended for Solstice to become a brewery – when the time was right – and that time came December 2012, when they poured their first Pale Ale! Whether you are a local happy to finally have your very own hometown brewery, or a camper, mountain biker, or fisherman just passing thru, stop by Solstice Brewing Company for some pub fare and tasty pints! Cheers!
Smith Rock Brewing
Smith Rock Brewing brings Redmond’s tally up to three breweries! They opened up as a brewpub with a small (half-barrel) brewing operation in place even as they work on expanding into a bigger system. Great food, a solid guest taplist, a great neighborhood location, and their own tasty beers have made Smith Rock one to watch—and visit often!
One of Bend’s newest and flashiest breweries, Worthy opened with a big splash this year on the east side with an impressive brewery, fantastic restaurant, biergarten, and big plans including having both a canning and bottling line. “Flashiest” doesn’t mean “flash in the pan” though—they have the chops and the beer that have helped already make them one of the most popular places in town. ›› worthybrewing.com
Rat Hole Brewing
Rat Hole Brewing is a start up nanobrewery in Central Oregon housed in a barn on 10 acres of rural ranch land southeast of Bend, they have arrived with a bang with medals for their beers at this year’s Denver International Beer Competition. If you haven’t heard the name or tried their beers yet, you soon will! facebook.com/ratholebrewing