The Brew Site

Bites and Brews and Bend’s Pine Tavern

Yesterday my wife clued me in to a local beer event that I had almost missed: the Pine Tavern, Bend, Oregon’s oldest restaurant (originally founded in 1936), was hosting an event with local breweries called “Bites & Brews“: a beer and food pairing event that brought in eight breweries and paired their beers with “food created by our Executive Chef especially for each beer, bringing out the natural flavors of each distinctly different Beer”.

I was able to attend, getting a ticket at the door (rather than reserved ahead of time), and I’m glad I did: it ended up being a terrific event for only $25, which was a great deal for what amounted to an all-you-can-eat-and-drink showcase of Central Oregon’s beer scene.

The breweries that were in attendance were:

Astute readers will note that one wasn’t actually local: Seven Brides Brewing is based in Silverton, Oregon (outside of Salem on the other side of the mountains); however, their rep in Bend, Aiden, is one of the brothers of the owners (they have a partnership of “three dads and two uncles” as the primaries) so it worked out well with the event.

Overall I think it was a good, successful beer event: the Pine Tavern is one of my favorite Bend restaurants, and they put together a delicious “bites” menu and did a great job organizing the (mostly) local brewers together to pour some terrific beers. I didn’t take advantage of the food as much as I could have, but what I did try—blue cheese-infused sliders, coconut breaded prawns, goat cheese and olive bruschetta, Dungeoness crab beignets—was delicious and I wish I’d helped myself to more.

But no matter— I was able to sample some beers I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of trying, and had the chance to talk to a number of brewery reps, and that alone was worth the price of admission. I started out my night with some Ching Ching from Bend Brewing (a fantastic beer, a sour Berliner Weisse-style infused with pomegranate and hibiscus) and a plate of food, and then moved into serious beer tasting and discussion.

I wish that I’d had more time to chat with the other brewery reps that were there, but sometimes that’s how it goes. As it was, I considered it a productive evening and well worth the $25 entry fee. I hope the Pine Tavern (or other restaurants in town) do this type of event again, I would easily attend future “Bites & Brews” pairings.