Although Bend, Oregon, claims to have the most craft breweries per capita in the nation, that is not the only, or necessarily the main reason we like it so much. The other compelling reasons are the mild weather and the great views of the nearby Cascade mountains. With an average of almost 300 days of sunshine a year, low humidity and cool nights, the high desert climate is the antithesis of the Texas summers that we are definitely not missing. Then, too, there is the Crown Villa RV Resort. With it’s long, wide RV spaces, the tall pine trees and the thick carpets of green grass, it’s one of the nicest parks we’ve ever seen. Bend also is the current record-holder for the most number of VW buses we’ve seen in a single day (not counting VW shows) – 10!
Of course, there are the breweries which were documented in the previous post but with only a couple of exceptions they also serve food and we have eaten well at those that we tried.
There was pizza at 10 Barrel Brewing; chips & salsa, a burger and fish & chips at Bend Brewing; and the pulled pork sliders and tacos at Rat Hole. Rat Hole Brew Pub was a nifty find. Having only opened four weeks ago, they weren’t on any list we’d seen and the only reason we stumbled across them was because they were in the old location of Old Mill Brew Wërks who had recently moved to a larger facility. The Rotation Red I had and the HayStack HazelNut Brown that Karen had were quite good so we went back a few days later and that’s when we had the pulled pork with Kimchi which was most excellent. The owners told us they were out of their Fence Post Porter because of the upcoming Bend Brewfest but we were attending and could try it there, right?
Actually, the idea of large crowds and standing in long lines to get a taste of beer has no appeal for either of us. We much prefer showing up at a small brewery’s tap room and talking with the brewers while having a pint of the beer that was chosen after a couple of sample tastings. However, the thought was put into our heads and we reckoned that we could go early Thursday afternoon to avoid the largest crowds and get a taste of Rat Hole’s porter. So, that’s what we did and our plan to limit our exposure to the 30,000 payed off. The price of admission was the purchase of a plastic mug clearly delineated at the four ounce level that included five tokens, one for each beer sample. The volunteer pourers appeared to have been carefully trained to only fill to the four ounce mark but when we got to Rat Hole for the second time, the Fence Post Porter pour looked to be significantly more than that. How about that? Our favorite fest beer and the volunteer missed the class on four ounce pours!