Friday, October 11, 2013

Summer 2013 Part Four (Three More in OR)

Earlier in August I drove out to Hood River, hoping to get to two or even three breweries. However, the first place I stopped at was...

Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom
Set in a multi-room restaurant and bar, with seating for maybe 120 people at tables inside and a few outside. The ceiling is high, with large open-beam construction. It seemed a bit dark on this a sunny day. The brewery area was visible through large glass doors & windows. Rock and country rock from the 60s & 70s played low on the sound system. It was fairly crowded for an early Thursday mid-summer afternoon, with a wide variety of customers: young and old, and families with young kids playing around the tables. Overall, the atmosphere is very friendly and loose. Most of the beers are hop heavy west coast styles (which they do well), along with some more experimental brews (not as well). I had a tasty sandwich, though pizzas are really the main thing here. Taster trays had five beers with variable pricing (regulars for $1.75 per glass, and seasonals or specials from $2.75 to $3.50 per glass). A bit pricey. It's right across the street from Full Sail, which I intended to visit -- but then I decided that ten samplers at Double Mountain was good enough for one day
On the way into Bend from Portland, in the small town of Sisters, is...
Three Creeks Brewery
It's in a large log cabin style building, divided into a main sit-down restaurant area and a restaurant/bar area. This seems to be part of a larger resort, with many snazzy cabins scattered among the large pine trees. We sat in the restaurant/bar area, which had seating for maybe 60-70 people. It was rather noisy, with several sports TV channels going as well as loud country music on the sound system. The brew system and fermenters were visible at one end. The atmosphere was quite friendly and relaxed and the service good. Sampler sets of their six regular beers were $9 for six 4oz. glasses. Three seasonal beers were also available. Unfortunately, the food is probably better than the beer. All the brews are decent and competently made, yet somehow unexciting.
Finally, one more place we visited in Bend was...
Bend Brewing Company
This is in a fairly nondescript building along the river, with sort of staid, faux granite cinder block walls. It was not at all busy on an early Sunday afternoon. The crowd seemed decidedly older than at most other places in town. Three sports TVs on three different walls and "Dad Rock" (Aerosmith and Springsteen) on the sound system. Sampler sets: 10 5-0z. glasses for $18. The beers were mostly unexceptional -- fairly regular range of styles and none of them pushing too far. The service was good at first, but then the server kept coming back every 15 minutes to ask about our food order, even though we said we’d come only for the beer. As we got ready to leave she made a sotto voce rude comment. If you’re getting stamps in your Bend Ale Trail passport, then you need to visit this place. Otherwise, there are much better places to go in Bend.

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