Brewpubs and Martini Bars
Central Oregon’s first brewery and brewpub, Deschutes Brewery and Public House (1044 NW Bond St., 541/382-9242, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–midnight Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun., $9–16), is the place to come and relax with fresh handcrafted ales and food that is better than most pub food. Along with the burgers, veggie burgers, sandwiches, and black bean chili, you can get eggplant lasagna, steak, or apple-stuffed pork loin. The beer, including the always-satisfying Mirror Pond pale ale, is some of Oregon’s best. The main brewery is at 901 SW Simpson Avenue, where tours and tastings are offered.
Bend is lucky to have another excellent brewpub, that of the Bend Brewing Company (1019 NW Brooks St., 541/383-1559, 11:30 a.m.–close daily, $9–12), one of the few woman-owned and operated brewpubs you’ll find. Come for the good beer, the nice wait staff, and the great patio (Brooks St. is a pedestrian-oriented street just to the river side of downtown). Food is good grilled tacos, pizza, and sandwiches. Happy hour is a good bet at this pub that’s especially popular with the locals.
Microbreweries are commonplace in Oregon, but microdistilleries are not so often seen. Visit the Bendistillery tasting room (850 NW Brooks St., 541/388-6868, 4 p.m.–close Mon.–Sat., $6–10), which is essentially a hip bar, for specialty martinis made with small-batch gin. Be forewarned that the drinks here are potent and perhaps best not consumed on an empty stomach. Fortunately, the bar has a pretty good selection of small plates.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel