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About Us

Why Ablis Loves Living in Bend, Oregon

By Ablis CBD 

Jim Bendis and Max Bendis founded Ablis CBD in the city of Bend, OR: home to outdoor-loving, creative people like them. Jim settled down in Bend after graduating from University of Oregon in 1983. He says that this town is “an outdoor enthusiast’s nirvana”. His son, Max (who was born and raised here), agrees that Bend is “the hub of adventure culture in Oregon.” 

The Ablis CBD founders have a point—The city of Bend neighbors Deschutes National Forest, Willamette National Forest, and Mt. Hood National Forest. Here, there’s plenty of outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and river rafting. 

An outdoor enthusiast’s nirvana…without a doubt. 

Ablis CEO Cody Cloyd is also a Bend native. He briefly moved away to go to college at the University of Oregon, but was “drawn back [to Bend] by the people he grew up with and the never-ending list of things to do here all year” after he graduated.

The great events are just one of the many reasons why Ablis CBD loves Bend, Oregon. Read on for more reasons why they’re happy to call this town home as they share a few of their favorite things to do in Bend.

Cody’s Can’t-Miss Events in Bend, OR 

  • Bite of Bend — Food, drinks, music. What more could you ask for?  
  • Zwicklemania — This annual brewery event is going virtual for 2021.
  • Beerfest — If you love craft beer, you can’t miss this! 
  • Munch and Music — A Bend summertime tradition with food trucks and live music. 
  • Winterfest — Holiday fun with art installations, ice carving, live music + more. 

What makes this city unique, in your opinion? 

Max: “It is the land of craft. It’s hard to say what causes this, maybe it’s in the water! But it’s the craft products—from beer, kombucha, cider, spirits, wine, cbd and other cannabis goodies, all the way to handmade snowboards and other neat outdoor things. We breed craft and creativity here. That is my favorite part about Bend!” 

Read More from Ablis — Beer Guide: The Best of Bend, OR Breweries 

Cody: “You don’t have to go out of town to experience outdoor activities. The Deschutes River runs through the center of town, there are killer rock formations to climb on in town, and some of the city parks are big enough and feel like you’re out in the woods, without even leaving town.” 

City Parks in Bend, OR

Jim: “It’s a real community made up of fun-loving outdoor enthusiasts.” 

What is your favorite outdoor activity in Bend?

Max: “Mountain biking! There are a lot of great places for mountain biking around here.” 

A Few of Max’s Favorite Places to Bike in Bend (*During MTB Season)

Cody: “There’s too many to pick just one! Right now, it’s skiing and snowboarding since that’s what’s available during this season. I’m actually quite the beginner on the slopes. I only started last year! I’m still working on my bucket list of places to check out, but I have been frequenting Hoodoo and am loving it!” 

Jim: “I love running along the river and through the woods.”

If you had a friend visiting from out of town for a weekend, where would you take them? 

Max:I would try to hit as many of my local favorite outdoor spots, adventures, and—of course—restaurants and breweries! A few of my go-to’s would be The Bite, Los Jalapenos, Crux Fermentation Project, and The Podski (a local food truck park). It would be hard to sample all of Bend in just a weekend…but we could try!” 

Cody:Silver Moon Brewing for lunch and beers, and then Smith Rock for hiking or climbing if it is not too cold/snowy. If it’s dumping snow, then we check out Mt. Bachelor for some tubing, skiing, or snowboarding.”

Jim: “Mountains during the day. Downtown Bend at night.” 

Plain and simple, why do you love living in Bend, Oregon?

Max: “This is a tough one because there are so many reasons! A huge reason is being with my friends and family. A lot of us have grown up together here and have had so many good times in Bend. The outdoor activities and the delicious beer and food are a plus as well! 😉” 

Cody: “Bend has everything I need: awesome people, killer food, great views, and never a lack of active things to do.”

Jim: “It’s the lifestyle.” 

There’s no doubt about it: There’s no place like home. Want to learn more about the minds behind Ablis CBD? Meet the team. 

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About Us Uncategorized

An Epic Twelve Hours in Bend, Oregon with Max Bendis

By Max Bendis

With everything that has happened this year and so many states going back into lockdown, I can’t help but daydream about going places and doing things.

Remember having plans?

This year has definitely made me appreciate the little things like walking around town or sitting in a coffee shop, so my best day includes a good balance of memorable activities and life’s little pleasures. 

That’s why I decided to dream up what the best day in Bend, Oregon would look like. I hope this list inspires you to plan an epic day in Bend, too!

8 AM

First things first, caffeine! 

Backporch Coffee is my go-to for that daily fix, and you’ll need it for the day ahead. It’s a great spot to sit and enjoy a killer roast and take it easy for a few minutes.

They have several locations and they’re all great, so take your pick. If you prefer to stay home, you can buy their beans online.

9 AM

After you’ve become sufficiently caffeinated, shuttle up the hill to pick from one of Bend’s great mountain bike trails. Phil’s Trailhead is about 6 miles out and back and is a local favorite. 

In the winter months, I like to head out to Horse Ridge or Cline Butte to avoid a ton of snowfall. If you’re not into mountain biking, Pilot Butte is a great hike to view the city from up high.

12 PM

Time to get some food, and there’s no better spot than The Bite Tumalo. This food cart lot is home to some of my favorites like Heidi’s Grilled Cheesery.

Related: Top 10 Things To Do in Bend, Oregon

1 PM

In the summer months, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon in Bend than with a float down the Deschutes River. It winds right through Downtown Bend and is one of the best ways to see the city.

In the cooler months, go for a walk downtown in the Old Mill District. The Old Mill District is Bend’s historic area of town. Once an industrial area full of mills (hence the name), it now houses some of the best shops and eateries Bend has to offer. I recommend grabbing a beer at Brown Owl.

4 PM

For a brew with a view, Crux Fermentation Project is a perfect spot to wind down after an active morning on the trails and the river. The mountain views and open-air vibe make for a memorable evening and a perfect place to watch the sunset. And their beers are fantastic. 

6 PM

Dinner at Brother Jon’s is where my ideal day would take me. Their Peppersteak Sandwich is one of my all-time favorite bites in town, and I eat it regularly. 

Related: The Last Blockbuster on Earth is in Bend, Oregon

8 PM

Concerts at the Les Schwab Amphitheatre in the summertime or the Volcanic Theatre Pub are some of my most missed events of this year. 

Bend has a pretty great music scene for a small town, and I have missed supporting local bands like Strange Rover during the pandemic. 

10 PM

For a nightcap, I’d head into Cascade West Grub & Ale House, which is my favorite dive bar in town. 

Their menu is great for late-night bites as well. You’ll want to stay until last call at this place.

If you make it home before last call, finish your night off with popcorn and a classic rented from the last blockbuster on earth, only in Bend. 

I’m so looking forward to when this epic day in Bend is possible again. For now, buying merch online and ordering take-out are great ways to support your local favorites and help keep Bend alive! 

Keep reading: The Last Blockbuster on Earth

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About Us CBD Education

My CBD Journey – Jim, the founder, explains how he started Ablis CBD

Have you tried CBD? What is your experience? Whether young or old, athlete or not, CBD has become an important part of our lives.  As an aging athlete myself, I thought it would be fun to share my journey to give insight on CBD and how it could help with your journey.

I founded Ablis to make all-natural CBD products in 2014 with co-founder, and son, Max Bendis.   Giving people access to CBD through functional products like craft beverages and essentials has become a lifelong passion that grew out of another passion of mine: competitive running. 

I have been a competitive athlete for over 45 years. It’s my favorite way for me to stay in shape and clear my mind. And CBD has become an integral part of maintaining my life as an athlete. 

This is my story of how I discovered CBD and why it’s an excellent option for anyone (not just athletes) searching for natural ways to support their wellbeing. 

Inspired By Charlotte Figi

I first learned about CBD in 2014. That was the year my home state of Oregon voted to legalize recreational cannabis. 

I’ve never been interested in getting high, and legalization didn’t change that. THC just isn’t for me. But I was excited about CBD, one of the non-psychoactive, naturally-occurring chemicals found in the cannabis plant. 

CBD intrigued me because of how it helped a little girl named Charlotte Figi.

Charlotte had Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that can’t be treated with pharmaceuticals. Charlotte’s seizures started when she was three months old, and by the time she was five, she suffered from uncontrollable seizures about every thirty minutes, until her family found CBD. 

With CBD, Charlotte was able to do things she’d never done before, like walking, playing, making eye contact, and even eating on her own. It was an incredibly remarkable story.

Charlotte recently passed away due to COVID-19 at just 13 years old, and we’re all grateful for the CBD movement that she and her family inspired. 

Natural Healing Is Possible

I’ve never suffered from anything like what Charlotte went through but connected to her story because of seeing just how unhelpful and destructive lab-made pharmaceuticals can be for our bodies. 

Like many people, I watched my parents’ health decline as they grew older. Before my father passed away a few years back, he was taking 11 pills every day. They were all FDA approved drugs, but there was zero research about their collective and long term effects. 

Over time I saw that those pills weren’t helping my dad. Instead, they were only hurting him. 

I think stories like this are pretty standard in our society – everybody wants a quick fix. So people pile on the prescriptions without thinking because it’s become normal in our culture. And I think that we’re now just starting to realize that perhaps mother nature is way smarter than we are. And perhaps natural ways of living and healing are really what we need. 

That’s how I live my life, with a deep respect for nature and knowing that my wellbeing is connected to living the way nature intended. And because of that, I have always been interested in plant-based products. 

It warms my heart to see more and more people looking for natural ways to improve their lives, and CBD is a great place to start. 

How I Use CBD 

Believing exercise is more like recess, I’ve been racing competitively for 45 years. 

My proudest race was long before CBD became available: when I won the Portland to Coast 170 mile Duathlon.  While others were consuming energy bars and energy drinks, I only consumed all-natural foods and teas.  And I ended up setting the course record at the time.  

Ultra-sports like competitive running are all about mindset, but you still have to take care of your body if you don’t want to burn out. Blending a little bit of ego and a lot of dedication, I’ve competed in over 300 races, triathlons, and duathlons – so grateful to still be able to run, let alone keep racing. A lot of people’s bodies just wear out because running can be so intense.  I thank God for genetics and a healthy lifestyle.

The first time I tried CBD, I wanted to know how it would impact my running. I’ve never looked back because I’ve never felt better.  The FDA doesn’t allow me to talk about the benefits of CBD.  It is all a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Here’s how CBD now fits into my daily routine:

  • 30 minutes before strenuous exercise, my regime is to take 25-50mg of Ablis CBD Concentrate. 
  • After vigorous exercise, I make sure to cool down with Ablis Muscle Rub. I especially use it on my Achilles heel, but I’ll put it all over as it feels so good with the natural warming and cooling ingredients.
  • I drink at least one Ablis infusion each day. It’s an easy way to get your CBD because it feels and tastes like a treat. 

My entire lifestyle, including CBD, has turned the clock back on my ability to be an athlete – and I feel amazing.

My Advice To You

I always recommend CBD to fellow athletes, but CBD is for everyone, no matter how you like to stay active. 

These are my tips for first-time CBD users:

  • Find your “sweet spot”: As I integrated CBD into my life, I found a daily dosage that works for me. I take about 50-100mg per day, but everyone is different. 
  • It doesn’t hurt to experiment: The general rule for trying something new is to start small, but I recommend starting with more CBD than you think you need and then backing off to a minimum dosage where you still feel the effects that are discussed all over the web. 
  • Do your research: This goes for CBD in general and companies that make CBD products. The research that’s been done on CBD is widely available, so I highly recommend reading it. And I also recommend carefully choosing your CBD company. In today’s market, more and more companies care more about making a profit than helping their customers. So find a CBD company that aligns with your values. 

CBD is part of an overall lifestyle, so don’t think of it as some magical cure-all. Think of CBD as part of a holistic approach to wellness that includes plenty of physical activity, healthy foods, and other natural, plant-based remedies. 

I hope that by me sharing my CBD journey, it helps you navigate yours. To learn more about CBD, check out Ablis online.

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About Us CBD Education

Staying True To Our Craft Beverage Roots: CBD drinks at Ablis

I started making CBD beverages with my son Max in 2014, and we were essentially creating a new product category. CBD tinctures and gummies were becoming available, but a craft beverage with CBD was unheard of.

Luckily, we’d been down that road before. Ablis was born out of a long tradition of innovative craft beverage making at our distillery in Bend, Oregon, where we had been producing award-winning liquors, Crater Lake Spirits. 

That experience, along with our commitment to using only 100% all-natural ingredients, has made Ablis a success.

25 Years In the Making

Bend is home to a large, old-growth juniper forest. These ancient trees tower over you, and in the springtime, the fragrance of the juniper berries is unmistakable. If you’ve never smelt it, it’s bright, woody, peppery, and sweet all at the same time. 

One day in 1995, as I was running through the juniper forest and taking in the fresh smell, I started wondering why no one had created gin using these juniper berries. (Juniper is the main ingredient in gin, in case you didn’t know.)  

That’s how I started dreaming up ideas for all-natural spirits, which is what we continue to do today at Crater Lake Spirits.

I had no previous experience in distilling, and craft spirits were not even a thing at the time. But the difference between a dreamer and a doer is that a dreamer dreams and a doer does. And so I decided not just to be a dreamer and figure it out. 

A little market research told me that there was more demand for spirits other than gin, like vodka and whiskey, so we started distilling and infusing spirits with flavors inspired by our natural surroundings like hazelnut, hot pepper blends, and seasonal berries. 

There have been many hurdles to overcome along the way. For example, we actually had to change the law to create spirits tasting rooms. 

But over the last 25 years, we’ve crafted countless all-natural flavor profiles and built a bounty of knowledge that has carried over into our newest endeavor, Ablis CBD. 

Our Philosophy

Like Crater Lake Spirits, we’re committed to using 100% all-natural ingredients in Ablis’ CBD infusions. 

Big beverage brands use chemists and artificial flavors to make their products, but we prefer a more artisanal approach. Ablis is an extension of the expertise and care that led to the success of Crater Lake Spirits, and we only use ingredients that we’re willing to consume ourselves.

Related: We’re Ablis And This Is Our Story

We’re always the first to taste a new flavor, and when we feel like we have a winner, we start producing it in small batches and putting it out in the market for feedback. In the end, our customers are the ones who decide Ablis’ winning flavor combinations. It’s always been that way, and it always will be. 

Sure, it might be more lucrative to outsource our production and use artificial ingredients instead of natural ones, but that’s not what we’re about. Our mission, even as we grow, is to make the best possible product. No cutting corners. No short-changing our customers. It’s been that way with Crater Lake Spirits, and the same goes for Ablis. 

Perfecting Our Process

Our ingredients are simple, but our process is complex. 

Crafting CBD beverages isn’t just a matter of throwing everything in a bucket and mixing it together. The key to making Ablis is something called “nano-emulsification.” It’s what makes Ablis work as both a standalone product, or as the base for the occasional CBD cocktail. 

Related: Five CBD Cocktails You Can Make At Home

Backing up for a second, emulsification, in general, is the process of mixing two liquids that normally don’t mix like oil and water. It involves breaking down one of the liquids into tiny, evenly distributed particles. Nano-emulsification means the particles have to be even smaller. 

CBD doesn’t blend with water, even when it comes in powdered form, rather than an oil. Without breaking down the CBD into even smaller particles, it will eventually separate from the water. It not only ruins the mouthfeel of the beverage, but you don’t get the CBD you paid for because it gets stuck to the container. 

It’s possible to nano-emulsify CBD to the point that it can stay blended with water. But sugar, including the natural sugars from our fruit concentrates, adds another layer of complication. 

It’s taken us five years to develop our patent-pending process for emulsifying CBD with water and sugar. It takes very specific steps in exactly the right order, with calculated ratios, not to mention the necessary equipment. Plus, we have to make sure Ablis has a long shelf life without adding any preservatives.

It’s been a live and learn process, and it would have been impossible without the depth of knowledge we gained through Crater Lake Spirits. 

Going Forward

We believe in creating all-natural products forever, and Ablis is no exception. It’s true for our CBD beverages, as well as the rest of our ever-expanding CBD product line. 

As Ablis grows, we’ll stick to our philosophy and continue perfecting our process with each batch. 

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About Us

We’re Ablis. And This is the Story of Ablis’ CBD Journey.

Ablis is a father-son venture that started with a dream. Literally.

The idea for the first-ever CBD beverage came to my dad, Jim Bendis in his sleep one night during the summer of 2014. As a triathlete, Jim was very health conscious and would often think of ways to optimize training sessions or recover from a race.  This particular night Jim had a clear lucid dream of a future filled with beneficial cannabis beverages.  The name Ablis itself came from blending the words cannabis and bliss.

Jim might have started Ablis in 2014 but he has been an innovator in the craft beverage space for decades.  That summer night, something just clicked. Jim knew CBD could be a business opportunity, but he also saw it as a real way to help people like himself stay active or level up their outdoor activities.

Soon after, I came on board and got to work on Ablis’ very first CBD infusions, experimenting with different flavors and techniques until he found a few clear winners. We still produce many of my first flavor profiles, but there is so much more to our story.

Building On Past Success

The early days of Ablis were all about experimentation, and we have to admit: sometimes it was a little bit more art than science.

Some of the most popular Ablis flavors, like blood orange and lemon ginger, were what we like to call “happy accidents.” Landing the perfect flavor combination, however, was just the beginning.

Luckily, we had the right expertise at our disposal.

Most of the Ablis team actually comes from Bendistillery, a craft-beverage facility in Central Oregon that Jim started over 25 years ago. It’s there, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Cascade Mountains and the sweet smell of fresh air, that we’ve been crafting and packaging an award-winning line of all-natural liquors called Crater Lake Spirits since 1996.

As you can imagine, Bendistillery was the perfect place to launch Ablis.

Cody Cloyd was working at Bendistillery back during Ablis’ experimentation phase, and he was quick to lend a hand by helping Max reverse-engineer flavor profiles and create bigger batches, so more people could try the product.

Still, there were many unknowns. This was before most people knew about CBD and long before the industry began growing at the rapid pace that we’re seeing today. So, at the time, we didn’t know how strong the demand for CBD was, though that quickly changed.

Many of the local customers who love Bendistillery for its small-batch, all-natural spirits were more than willing to be part of our little experiment. Max started delivering small orders of Ablis in his pickup truck, and it didn’t take long before the product took off locally. Like us, people enjoyed Ablis as part of their active and outdoor lifestyle, whether it was going for a daily nature walk or training hard for an ultra marathon. Plus, they loved the taste and mouthfeel. This functional beverage, the CBD infusion, just made sense for our customers.

With more orders coming in every day, we had to get serious about scaling production. That meant quickly mastering new techniques like emulsification and carbonation and toggling with CBD dosages. It was also a matter of building out our infrastructure, finding new distribution partners and, of course, getting the right team in place.

Eventually, Cody became Ablis’ Acting CEO, and we brought in Parker Moessner, who had also worked at Bendistillery, to help spread our message far and wide. Max still loves to play around with CBD infusions, but he’s more focused on building relationships with distributors these days. And Jim continues to inspire us every day with his vision!

To The Future!

In many ways, Ablis is an extension of the expertise and care that led to the success of Crater Lake Spirits. Our company is truly a family, and we only use ingredients that we’re willing to consume ourselves. (We’re always first in line for a taste-test!) As we continue growing and competing in new markets, we plan on staying true to our roots.

Today, Ablis’ six all-natural flavors are sold in fourteen states, and demand keeps growing.

We’ve found new ways to help our customers stay active through new CBD products, like our must-try muscle rub. We also opened the country’s only CBD beverage lounge, Ablis Experience, in Pine Street Market, Portland’s biggest food hall. It’s a place where people can relax, get social, and enjoy Ablis on-tap. They can also test out a CBD cocktail and even create what we like to call “functails,” non-alcoholic drinks like coffee or tea infused with functional additions like CBD, MCT oil, and bee pollen. It’s been a great way to expand brand awareness and get to know our customers on an even deeper level.

As demand for CBD keeps soaring, we’ll continue leading with a focus on customers who value staying active. Here are just a few of the things we have in store in the coming years:

  • Continue expanding our team, including building out sales teams in new regions of the United States and doubling down in high-growth markets.
  • Establishing a nationwide presence with Ablis sold in all 50 states.
  • Offering subscription plans for people who use Ablis as an essential part of their daily wellness routines.
  • Bringing more Ablis flavors and new functional CBD products to market.
  • Continuing to grow a family-friendly workplace culture that revolves around enjoying the outdoors.

We’re so proud of how Ablis has grown over the years. What started as an experimental whim evolved into a leading CBD brand. As we look to the future, we’re planning to move fast, while still maintaining the same philosophy and commitment to quality that got us to where we are today.