On Saturday we finally made it over to Sisters to visit Three Creeks Brewing Company. It’s the newest microbrewery to open in Central Oregon (I’d been reporting variously on it) and the first to be established in the small town of Sisters (population: 1706). So I took my camera and my notebook along and have the official review.
We were meeting our friends Paul and Sandi (and a friend of theirs from out of town) there for lunch and in fact they beat us by ten minutes or so—long enough to have ordered the sampler tray and have it arrive by the time we got there.
On the tray were the six house beers plus two seasonals; I tasted each one (we were all sharing) and jotted down some notes on each, and ordered a couple of pints with lunch. Here’s the sampler tray (their friend Chris was holding the menu):
The six beers on the "outside" arc are the house beers, and the two in front are the seasonals. Here’s the lineup (with my notes):
- Knotty Blonde: Light and golden, with a flavorful grain note, well-done for the lighter style (for macro drinkers). 4% ABV.
- Stonefly Rye: Interesting. A light, crisp rye ale, with a slightly fruity zest to it. Wheaty and grassy (Paul contributed "grassy" and didn’t care for it). Crisp and refreshing, and different. The second pint I ordered was of this. 4.6% ABV.
- Old Prospector Pale: Essentially an English bitter, though hoppier than you’d find around here for the style. 5.3% ABV.
- Anvil Amber: Fairly typical Amber Ale but with a strong presence of black patent or roasted barley. Dry. 5% ABV.
- Firestorm Red: Pretty standard Northwest Red ale, but with some sort of unusual hop I think. Drinkable, enjoyable. 5.7% ABV.
- 8 Second IBA: "India Black Ale"—Good, unusual. More "black" than an IPA in body (i.e. lighter/thinner), but nicely hoppy and worth another look whenever I go back. 6.6% ABV.
- Oatmeal Porter: Some sort of seasonal, I believe, unusual enough to order a pint of it. It’s good, a bit smoky, roasty, with a nice current of sweetness in the middle. Lightly medium-bodied.
- Organic Special Golden Ale: The other seasonal-ish. Decent but not entirely memorable… light with some hint of fruity character to it.
As noted, I ordered first the Oatmeal Porter and then the Stonefly Rye over the course of the visit:
Overall, we all agreed the beer is decent and drinkable, and I think they’re doing some interesting enough things (like the IBA and the Rye) to keep them noticed and fresh.
Beers are $4 per pint, and growlers and apparently bottles are available to go as well.
Now, some notes on the food and service and overall atmosphere/decor…
To be honest, the service when we first arrived was less than stellar, but some of that may be because we arrived after our friends who already had the sampler tray in front of them. We waited longer than we should have for the waitress to come by and ask us what we’d like to drink, and longer to get the drinks.
However, once we’d ordered our food, things turned around and the service was good, which is why I’m inclined to not be as bitchy as I could be and chalk it up to confusion over the two groups arrival and general Saturday lunch busy-ness (which lightened up noticeably as we were there).
The food, though, was good all around. Paul kept raving about his "Chicken-bacon-tater" meal, which was essentially all those ingredients in a flatbread taco thing smothered (I think) in cheese and stuff. Decadent, you know. I ordered fish and chips, which is pretty standard for me whenever I first visit a brewpub—I figure it’s a good measure of the place—and it was a solid plate:
My only complaint is that the breading was a bit greasy-oily (good deep fried food shouldn’t be oily), but I can live with that and otherwise the fish itself was succulent and not overcooked. The fries were standard but tasty.
Oh, and the coconut-breaded onion rings were really, really good.
Here are shots of the interior of the brewery:
The main dining room area. A door out of frame on the left leads to the patio and an outside dining area. You can see it was pretty empty as we were leaving.
The other half of the brewery, the "bar" (no hard liquor). No minors allowed in here, which is a shame because this, in my opinion, is a much nicer area, more what I was expecting to see/be seated in. Hardwood floors (versus the poured concrete in the main dining area), nicer layout (not that you can tell from my pictures), and a clear window-wall view of the brewing facilities:
So I don’t know why this area is closed off—anyone with kids will miss out entirely, and it’s this kind of ambiance (decor, layout, atmosphere) that, in my opinion, really makes for a nice brewery experience.
But there are nice touches in general. Like this fireplace with open seating (two leather couches, out of the frame) that would be nice and relaxing to kick back at with a couple of beers:
And finally, a parting shot: the merchandise corner (actually by the front door as you arrive):
Final verdict: it’s a pretty solid brewery and restaurant, with decent beers, and is definitely a good thing for Sisters. Though I honestly don’t know how often I’ll be able to visit, since it’s a bit over 20 miles away (considering the plethora of brewery options much more local to me here in Bend). Worth visiting if you’re in the area.
Three Creeks Brewing Company
721 Desperado Court
Sisters, OR 97759