Bend’s new Crux Fermentation Project is celebrating their official grand opening this Saturday, the 30th, but for the past week or so they’ve been in “soft opening” mode, pouring guest beers and serving up fare from their kitchen during their regular hours (4 to 11pm Tuesday through Friday, 11 to 11 on Saturday and Sunday).
And this past Sunday they revealed on Facebook that they were in the process of brewing up their very first batch of beer! We were on our way back from Lincoln City after the weekend away so I wasn’t necessarily wanting to zip back out after getting home (you know how it is after traveling all afternoon), but my wife convinced me to head down there after all.
I hadn’t yet been in for the soft opening, or since we checked in a month ago, so I snapped some pictures, enjoyed a couple pints of Double Mountain Kolsch, and chatted a bit with Paul Evers and brewer Larry Sidor. My wife ordered the artichoke dip from the kitchen which was very tasty.
Overall the final look of the brewery, tasting room, et al., is fantastic and—dare I say it—has a bit of a steampunk aesthetic to it, when you consider how much of the decor and functionality they built into the existing auto transmission workshop infrastructure. Sculptures are made out of old car and transmission parts and pipes and gauges; the tap handles in the bar are mounted in a large elbowed section of steel pipe; original piping has been left on the ceiling (and some of it repurposed); the brewhouse itself is full of shiny copper and chrome and looks the part.
That first brew? A Northwest-style Pale Ale, though it won’t be on tap yet for the grand opening, sadly.