We’ve been on the road for a little over 5 years, and as you can imagine, we’ve made it a point to seek out great places to quench not only our sense of adventure, but also our thirst for tasty beverages. If life on the road is like a never-ending vacation, then seeking breweries and local beer on the road is like a never ending “Beercation”. Last summer, was no exception.
Bend, Oregon, you stole our hearts...From your amazing beauty, to the fantastic vibe to all of the craft breweries and amazing local restaurants. We are longing to go back after spending nearly our entire summer there last year. A summer in Oregon is not complete without a trip to one of their fantastic craft breweries. We hit our share, while there last year. We had some amazing experiences. While on the coast we had a chance to stop at Rogue, take a tour and dine in their restaurant.
The tour cost is $5/person and the kids were free. They provided samples at the end of the tour, which included 2 samples of beer and 1 sample of their spirits (kids got to try some of the root beer). Our tour guide was funny and knowledgeable, and we toured all the places involved in their operation, including the spirits distillery. We loved hearing that they are a farm to bottle operation, growing their ingredients on their farm including 10 type of hops! The kids loved taking the little passenger train to take us from one building to the next.
It gets very busy during the summer, so you may have a wait before your tour time. We opted to grab a bite to eat at their restaurant and Rob and I shared a flight of beers. The food was good, and the service was friendly, but it was the beer that really shined, and we enjoyed each of one in the flight.
One of our favorite stops when we arrived in town was to Crux Fermentation project. We opted for a seat in doors at one of their hightop tables and grabbed a tasting flight and a "Project Board". The Project board is a charcuterie board with artisan cheeses and meats, bacon wrapped figs, bacon jam, crackers, and house-made pickles. It was amazing!
We tasted the Fun Wit it, Peach Farmhouse, Crux Farmhouse, Crux Stout, Better off Red and PCT Porter. We enjoyed all of them with Rob loving the Crux Stout and I really enjoyed the Peach Farmhouse.
Next time we come, we plan to hang out in their outdoor space. They have a large grassy area with lawn games, picnic tables and a walk-up outdoor bar. Like many businesses in Bend, this outdoor space is dog friendly and we saw many families enjoying the beautiful summer day and tasty brews in this relaxed space.
You may be asking, how you find breweries to hit while on the road. Truth is, there are tons of ways to find hidden gems. There is always the standby of Google. Googling “Breweries near me” will always pull up a bunch of places, that you likely didn’t know existed. However, if you are looking for some more official sources, here are a few resources available:
1. Brewers Association - The Brewers Association is a professional trade association. “The association is an organization of brewers, for brewers and by brewers”. What is great about their site, is that they literally have tens of thousands of listings and members, so it is a great community to find those hidden gems, as this gives the small craft breweries an avenue to drive awareness of their offerings.
2. CraftBeer.com – This is a website run by the Brewers Association, where blog posts featured the lives and travels of the folks that make craft brewing possible. Definitely check out their site, as they have some really awesome content.
3. CraftCrawler.com – This is a fantastic company. They actually have a really slick website, in addition to a cool app that is available on iTunes. I’m hoping that they get it on Android in the near future, as it is definitely a must have. Wired, as well as several other places, rate this website and app an absolute must have if you are into craft brews. Currently, they have over 5,000 craft breweries listed and they are steadily adding more
4. BreweryMap.com – Okay…so honestly, they have a website, but it isn’t really fully baked yet. However, they do have apps available on both iOS and on Android platforms. This is a huge plus for anyone that is looking for an app on their device, and for those like us, who prefer Android devices. There apps are pretty cool and do the job, and include a pretty decent database of information.
Be sure to check out one of these great resources, the next time you are seeking to quench your thirst. Until then, cheers, and thanks for reading.
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