We had family come into town this weekend for the holiday and ended up spending a fair amount of time visiting the breweries; here are some observations and notes.
We didn’t make it out to Sisters for Three Creeks Brewing or over to Cascade Lakes Brewing (based in Redmond but with a strong Bend presence on the westside). On the other hand, we did visit every other one in town; for those counting, that’s Deschutes, Bend Brewing, McMenamins, Silver Moon, and Wildfire (at their main JC’s Bar & Grill outlet/location downtown).
The Dissident is on tap at Deschutes—has been on tap since Saturday. I don’t know if it’s truly showing up elsewhere yet, but you bet it was the first beer I had on arrival on Saturday. Now, I hate to say it but my experience with Oud Bruins (Flemish sour browns) is very limited, but by my estimation, this is a good beer. Lots of nuances here, especially in the cherries. I look forward to seeing more reviews (and officially reviewing it myself).
I also had the Rooster Cream Ale on tap at the Deschutes Pub. It’s quite good, too (and more of a session ale at 5% alcohol).
Over at Bend Brewing, they’re experimenting again with stout: this time, it was a Nitro Ginger Stout. A smooth, creamy, dry stout with lots of interesting notes from the ginger.
Silver Moon currently has the most session-able of session beers on tap: 70-Shilling Scottish Ale, which comes in at only 3.6% alcohol by volume(!). I had several pints of this, it’s very good and flavorful with a nice body—you wouldn’t even guess that it’s so low in alcohol.
Also, Silver Moon is going to be brewing up a pumpkin ale for an October seasonal! I’m just about beside myself; I think they may be the first local brewery to produce one. Apparently they made it last year, too, and used 100 pounds of roasted pumpkin in the mash. Awesome, I can’t wait.
Finally, the best beer deals at the breweries are to be found at Silver Moon and JC’s (Wildfire): Monday night at Silver Moon is Locals Night where the pints are $2.50 (and the pool and foosball is always free), and Monday through Friday at JC’s, happy hour is from 3 to 6pm and all Wildfire brews are $2. Yes, only two dollars, you read that right. That might be the best beer deal anywhere in town for micros.