We Portlanders are no strangers to beer festivals—summer offers so many sudsy opportunities that it starts to feel downright daunting. But getting out of town for a beer fest is an entirely different proposition, wherein adventure melds with imbibing in a crowd of thirsty zealots. Case in point: the 11th Annual Bend Brewfest, unfolding in a series of tastings and events August 14–16.
Here's your guide, whether you head down alone or with a packed car...
The Bend Brewfest Basics
Portland’s little brother? Oregon’s best kept secret? The Beaver State's best beercation destination? However you like to think of it, Bend has been making waves in the beer industry over the past few years. With 19 Breweries inside of Bend’s city limits, it’s the city brewers want to work in, and breweries want to come to. To that end, the Bend Brewfest will host more than 60 breweries sampling over 140 different craft beers at the Les Schwab Amphitheatre in the historic Old Mill District..
Kegs will b tapped August 14 at noon, and will close up shop every night at 11pm. Admission is free, but to drink you’ll need to purchase a $15 mug plus drink-token combo pack. Additional tokens cost $1 each.
Besides the smorgasbord of craft beers to choose from, the Brewfest also features a “Brewtality Tent,” where you can meet the brewers, ask your burning questions, and get educated about all things beer.
Places to Stay
Central Oregon has no shortage of unique and picturesque spots to settle in for a weekend. Camping, RVing, motels, or resorts—the options are plentiful.
Brasada Ranch, located just east of Bend, has luxury suites, cabin rentals, an 18-hole golf course, hiking trails, horseback riding, spa and numerous dining options.
Hotel-The Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center
The Riverhouse offers numerous room options right on the banks of the Deschutes River. From this central location, you've got easy access to numerous local shops and trails.
There are literally too many options to mention. And they’re all pretty great. Go to the web and pick a spot to pitch your tent!
Take to the water! Countless outfitters offer canoeing, kayaking, or white-water rafting opportunities.
Smith Rock, located just 25 minutes from North Bend, has been proclaimed on of Oregon's 7 wonders by Travel Oregon. Encompassing 625 acres, it is also an international rock-climbing destination. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, there's a route for you. Climbing schools and gear are available for purchase, and a $5 parking charge gets you access to the park.
Feeling like escaping the brewfest and touring Bend's breweries in person? Book a ride with Cowboy Carriage, an actual horse-drawn carriage that takes groups of 10 or more to local breweries. A $50 price tag also gets you free samples at the breweries.