Although I may not frequent Bend’s breweries as much as I used to before becoming a dad several years ago, I have many great memories exploring Bend’s brew scene with friends and family. If you’re in the area and have time for a few great beers—even if you can’t tell an IPA from a Pilsner—here are six of my favorite local breweries to stop and enjoy a drink.
Bend, OR: Birthplace of Craft Brews
The brewery scene in Bend is one of the reasons why craft beer has exploded across the country. Not to pat ourselves on the back, but this is the town where it all started with the first initial craft breweries. You won’t see Deschutes on my list (although I love them, I love these six breweries more), but a lot of people credit them for pioneering craft beer as a whole.
Fun fact: Bend’s heavy involvement in craft brewing acted as inspiration to Jim and Max Bendis when they decided to create Ablis CBD with the same craft mindset—small batches, high quality, and small community. This helped shape the ethos of Ablis…and it helped Bend make a name for itself as the city with top-notch craft breweries.
There are plenty of craft beers now created in Bend, but it’s neat to know that there are a few that were here from the start. If you want to see where the craft brewery boom began, visit Bend! I personally consider this the beer mecca of America…and trust me, it’s worth a pilgrimage.
6 Great Breweries to Experience in Bend
A lot of the breweries in town are really about the experience. They have the whole shebang: food, drinks, events. Here are a few of my favorites that I recommend putting at the top of your Bend, OR brewery bucket list. (Have a few brews and try to say that ten times fast!).
1. Silver Moon Brewing
24 NW Greenwood Ave, Bend, OR
This local brewery’s tagline says it all: “Same Great Beer. Same S***ty Location.” It’s what they’re known for. Although the exterior of Silver Moon looks like it could be a dive bar, it’s one of the best tasting rooms in town.
They call it “the Moon”.
The walls of the Moon have seen a lot since the building first opened in the 50s—It’s been everything from a furniture store to a machine shop with a strip bar (!!). Its unusual history only adds to Silver Moon’s awesome atmosphere as a down-to-earth, small-town brewery that packs a punch in every sip.
Jam-packed with random knowledge? Mark your calendar for “Trivia on the Moon”, but keep an eye out for the competition: My Ablis friends, Chad and Parker. They were “year-long champs” in 2020 (mainly because they won the last game before the weekly event was put on hiatus due to COVID-19, and nobody had an opportunity to dethrone them!).
If you’re hungry, they have great food here (I like to order the fried pickles with their house-made ranch). Our team at Ablis has also collaborated on a few beverages with Silver Moon Brewing in the past, but even if that wasn’t the case, they’d still be my favorite brewery in Bend.
Go to drink: Mango Pale Ale
2. Bend Brewing Company
1019 NW Brooks St, Bend OR
When things warm up in Oregon, I’d suggest hitting the patio at my second favorite brewery, which just so happens to be the second-oldest brewery in town: Bend Brewing Company. They have a smaller, local feel, which is one of my favorite things about them.
At Bend Brewing, you’ll find rotating brews (give them a phone call to find out what’s currently on tap) and a great atmosphere for drinking beer with your friends.
Go to drink: Tropic Pines IPA
3. Crux Fermentation Project
1441 SW Chandler Ave. #100, Bend, OR
This tucked-away pub is really something special: a brewery restaurant experience like no other. They have a very well-maintained craft focus, and when you dine in the pub, you’re able to walk right past the different tanks and things they use to brew their beer.
Crux definitely creates amazing drinks—Probably because the people who started it was passionate about the beer above all else. Pro tip: If you see the El Santo stand in their courtyard, grab a bite to eat. You won’t regret it!
Go to drink: Battlestar
4. 10 Barrel Brewing Co.
West Side — 1135 NW Galveston Ave
East Side — 62950 NE 18th St
They may have “sold out” to Anheuser-Busch, but in my eyes, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. simply pursued their dreams and won out by becoming the bigger brewery that they always wanted to be. At the end of the day, they kept their spirit and culture when they joined forces with Anheuser-Busch, and they continue to feel like a small-town brew pub even if they’re technically owned by “the big guys”
10 Barrel loves to bring the community together with events and great brews on tap at their two locations: West Side and East Side. If you have to choose just one, I’d suggest heading to my favorite: the East location, in the industrial district.
Go to drink: Pearl IPA
5. Cascade Lakes Brewing Co.
1441 SW Chandler Ave. #100, Bend, OR
This local brewery has been around for a long time. When I first started drinking, one of the first drinks I had was their Blond Bombshell! There’s no doubt that this brewery is a staple in my life and in Bend, OR.
They started out in Central Oregon in 1994 and haven’t stopped brewing delicious beer since. Although their brewpub in Bend isn’t open right now, you can still visit their Redmond location for patio dining and great beer.
Go to drink: Blonde Bombshell
6. Wild Ride Brewing
332 SW 5th St., Redmond, OR
Wild Ride is a little outside of Bend, close to where I live in Redmond. The owner, Brian Mitchell, is interested in producing the best product possible, which I believe he does. I love the beers that Wild Ride has created so far.
For a long time, this was Redmond’s only brewery. It was opened in 2014 by three friends who simply loved beer, and although none of them knew anything about brewing, they’ve found brewmasters that continue to create award-winning beers for Wild Ride Brewing.
Go to drink: 3 Sisters American Red Ale
Awesome Beer Events in Oregon
Zwickelmania — All across Oregon
If you can’t tell, we’re really passionate about beer here in Oregon. “Zwickelmania” is named after a “Zwickel”: the port on a bright tank, which carbonates the beer. Visitors can go in and out of the breweries tasting samples, which is a great way to get a taste of the Bend brewery scene (almost all of the breweries in town participate).
Bend Brewfest — Bend, OR
This craft beer festival offers some of the best beers in the country, as well as the best beers in our city. Bend Brewfest is three days with craft beer, food trucks, live music, and good times. It’s located right across from the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District, which is an awesome area that’s also filled with different shops and restaurants you can enjoy, too.
Tentatively scheduled for August 19-21, 2021
Bend Ale Trail
If you still have time to explore, trek the “largest beer trail in the West”. You can download a “passport” from their website, then visit a few participating breweries to receive a prize. Visit Bend began the Bend Ale Trail in 2010 with 6 breweries, and has since expanded to include 22 breweries.
When you’re traversing the trail or visiting one of my six favorite breweries, remember to have fun, stay safe, and keep an eye out for Ablis CBD on the menu. We always love partnering on new creations with our local breweries.