Today was the official soft (“quiet”) opening for Bend’s new Worthy Brewing, one of the area’s most highly anticipated new Bend brewery openings based in no small part on the sheer size and ambition of the project. Naturally, given that I’ve been following the progress of Worthy fairly closely since it was announced (you can review my Worthy-related posts here), it was a given that I’d be attending this opening, and documenting it. Here’s my photo review, with some commentary.
Worthy officially opened at 11am, and not knowing just how busy it might be—there’s been a lot of buzz around this opening—we decided to get there early, just in case there was a big crowd: 10am.
In fact, there wasn’t a crowd at all, but there were three guys that had been there since—not kidding—5:30am:
Look around and it’s evident that a lot of thought went into the layout and design of the facility; for instance, see how many “W”s you can spot in the following pictures:
The beer, of course, is as expected: tasty, drinkable, and (this being Oregon) mostly hop forward.
From right to left, these are (in the order they were brewed, I believe):
- Go Time Xtra Pale Ale: 6.3% abv, which I have already written about;
- Lights Out Stout: 7.7% abv, a roasty, coffee-forward American-style stout with a sweet roasty body accentuated by oats and milk sugar. This would be fantastic with a touch of bourbon (say, from barrel aging);
- East Side Pale Ale: 6% abv, this is this target Pale Ale Brewmaster Chad Kennedy was shooting for, a slightly sweeter and maltier brother to the Go Time (which is drier and bit more florally hoppy), and highlights nicely viney hops;
- Worthy IPA: 6.6% abv, a nice IPA that wasn’t to me terribly fragrant at first until it warmed up a bit, then shined with tropical fruit and citrus notes. It has a nice bitter backbone and a bit of a dry body;
- Worthy Imperial IPA: 8.5% abv, this was just transferred from the brite tank the day before and is making its debut today. The beer menu boasts 8 different varieties of Oregon hops, and this is a nice IIPA, big, bold, and really fresh, with a really nicely balanced hop profile and a slightly sweet malt base. I went back for a pint of this.
The final beer in that picture isn’t a Worthy beer, it’s instead Blanche de Bruxelles Belgian Wit—present to fill in the “missing” taster. Subtle and mellow and really nice on its own.
The food was good too: my wife and I opted for one of the wood-fired pizzas which anchor the menu:
Other food enjoyed around the table included the Worthy burger, Pasta Carbonara with chicken, sweet potato soup, the jumbo drumettes (wings), oven-baked garlic herb fries (large-cut potato wedges, not frozen shoestring French fries), and chocolate stout bread pudding. It was all pretty well received.
Service was good, and they handled the “opening day chaos” and issues that plague all restaurant openings well and I thought things went pretty smoothly even in light of that.
We were among the first groups there, and the restaurant filled quickly and stayed busy throughout the time we were there. And we were able to wander around the beer garden area, though it’s not quite finished (or quite warm enough!) yet, and it’s going to be incredibly impressive when it warms up and they open it up: fire pits, plenty of seating, propane heaters, and a great view. And, I heard talk of the addition of a bocce ball court, horseshoe pits, and a badminton net when all the landscaping is done; I don’t know for sure if all of those will make it into the final beer garden area, but then again I don’t see why they couldn’t either.
All in all impressive and definitely Worthy. A new must-stop on the Bend beer tour.
Here are all of the pictures I took:
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