|Parking lot hop yard!|
To clear the palate after our ill-fated visit to Cascade Lakes, we headed to Old Mill Brew Werks. Apparently this is a new location for the place, in a nicer strip mall near the Deschutes River (and brewery,) with a nice view from the deck. This place looked and felt more like a wine bar than a brewery, with no visible brewing equipment present. Most of the folks here were drinking coctails and wine, furthering that impression. They had about 6 good commercial beers on tap and 6 of their own. I give the house beers a 50/50 good to meh ratio. The best was actually a blonde ale (which I don't normally love) and the worst was a dry hopped version of the same beer. Overall not bad, but not in my top Bend breweries. Certainly better than the previous stop!
|This is the Good Life!|
|Sj proudly showing off her hipster side on the Cycle Pub|
Our next stop was nearby, back at Good Life! The anniversary party action was all out back, so we were able to all fill the small tasting room and sit down in the shade. One of my cousins had planned ahead here and called for pitchers, so we were quickly served up more wonderful hoppy ales to share. I was happy to get to try another taste of Sweet As Pacific.
Having completed our visit to Good Life, we headed back out on the trail for one more brewery: Crux. This leg of the journey was nearly all up hill, and significantly farther away from our previous stop. I lucked out by getting to sit in a spot with no pedals! This time Crux was very busy, but we managed to find outdoor seating around a big wooden cable spool table in the shade. I was able to try the one beer not featured on the sampler from the previous day: Tough Love. This was one of the best beers I had on the trip--a bourbon barrel aged Imperial stout--and made me more than happy we had returned here. After a while there was a fire started in the giant iron Fire Ball and dusk began to fall over the high desert and train tracks. It was incredibly nice to hang out with my cousins and their friends in this setting, and bittersweet to say farewell at the end.
On our way home, we went though Drake's park and caught the tail end of Deschutes' 25th anniversary bash there. Most of the best beers were gone and the music was iffy at the time, but cool to stumble upon such a free event. Realizing that we hadn't had dinner and it was going on 9 PM, we ended up at Brother John's for a late dinner. All the heat, lack of food, and many breweries in a row had gotten to me and for the first time this trip was feeling a bit out of it. The food helped immensely. I would recommend the pub, as they have a great tap list and good food. One more short stagger to get back to the hotel and our trip to Oregon was nearly complete.
Overall, an amazing trip filled with wonderful scenery, satisfying beers and a truly great wedding. Considering the short time period I think we managed to fit a lot into an extended weekend and would love to go back some time. Thanks for reading along with my blatherings, and hopefully this will push you over the edge to visit some of these places for yourself!