You don’t need me to tell you that Bend, Oregon, is a beer lover’s paradise. With an estimated thirty breweries in and around the city, Bend has long been recognized for its varied selection of brews. While IPAs abound, there is sure to be something for everyone and every season on tap around town. In the winter, you might consider seeking out the town’s hearty porters, rich Belgians, and seasonal ales as refreshment after a long day of skiing or snowshoeing. And even when the snow is falling and the temps are icy, you’ll find plenty of cozy spots to duck into for a pint.
Read on to discover four cozy winter spots for a beer in Bend, Oregon.
Crux Fermentation Project
The Vibe: This brewer-owned and operated spot is all about fermentation, an obsession that produces a variety of delicious creations, from beer and pickles to kraut and cider. The expansive tasting room and beer garden are situated atop a rise above Old Bend. In the winter, massive fire pits beckon, enticing you to sip your beer outside in the frosty air as you watch the sunset over the Cascade Range. If you work up an appetite while visiting, you can order food directly from Crux or from one of the food trucks parked on the premises. And thanks to the casual vibe and spacious property, kiddos and furry friends are more than welcome to join you for your aprés-ski.
What to Order:
With more than 24 beers and ciders on tap, you’re sure to find something you like at Crux. When the temperature drops, consider one of their heavier, richer brews, like their Dark Snap Brown Ale, PCT Porter, or the Crux Nitro Stout. If you’re dreaming of warmer weather, try the Coconut Strut, a smooth, satisfying winter beer with just a hint of the tropics. Looking to pair something with your drink? Opt for the Parmesan Pretzel from Crux or some seriously delicious Mexican food from the El Sancho taco truck onsite. Who doesn’t love tacos and beer?
Crosscut Warming Hut No. 5
The Vibe: Located in the Old Mill District, Crosscut Warming Hut No. 5 is what winter dreams are made of. The one-room tap house is an inviting wood and glass construction. Although it’s conveniently located in town, it looks like a cabin you might stumble upon during a nordic ski through snowy woods. Inside, a sizable bar and large wood slab tables fill the cozy space while an impressive wood-burning stove cranks out some serious heat. Crosscut offers 36 rotating taps that highlight local brews, as well as unique finds from around the world. If you’re not in the mood for a beer, you’ll find wine, cider, and whiskey on the menu as well.
What to Order:
Crosscut’s tap list changes often, but you can always count on a good variety of pours. For dinner, choose an IPA from one of Oregon’s hippest breweries and pair it with some grub from one of the onsite food trucks offering either pizza, chicken and waffles, or gyros. If you’re swinging by Crosscut for a nightcap, consider something bold and rich like Big Chillin’ Vanilla Stout from Wild Ride Brewing in Redmond, OR.
Monkless Belgian Ales
The Vibe: Boasting a bustling and warm interior along with a covered, heated porch, Monkless Belgian Ales is a fun stop no matter the weather. With an extensive lineup of Belgian-style ales and a European-inspired food menu, Monkless offers something a little bit different than many of Bend’s other taphouses. An obvious destination for Belgians, they also serve wine, cider, specialty cocktails, and an assortment of non-alcoholic options, meaning you’ll be able to satisfy any craving. If you visit on a bluebird day, you’ll catch views of the Deschutes River behind the covered porch. And if you visit during a whiteout, you’ll be grateful for the warmth of the space.
What to Order: If you’re new to Belgian ales, consider building a flight of either four or eight of Monkless’ beers. For a classic and delicious pairing, try the Sausage Board (which comes with all sorts of yummy mustards and accompaniments) and the Bavarian Pretzel. And even though the menu leans meat-heavy, many of the dishes can be adjusted to accommodate vegetarian or vegan diets.
10 Barrel Brewing West Side
The Vibe: Don’t let the cold stop you from visiting 10 Barrel Brewing’s West Side pub. With impressive fire pits spread around their patio, you can weather the cold while sipping some seriously good beer. But having fun and brewing good beer isn’t 10 Barrel’s only focus. They’ve also made some real commitments to sustainability, including reducing plastics in packaging and optimizing for waste reduction and energy and water savings throughout their production process. In addition, one percent of profits from their flagship beers goes to support three nonprofit partners.
What to Order: Looking to do a little good with your next drink? Crack open a Profuse Juice, a Hazy IPA that supports the work of Surfrider Foundation. A selection of hearty pub food will fill you up after a long day of adventuring. And if you’d rather take a 6-pack home, you can grab some beers to go from the little cooler by the door.
Responsible Travel in Bend, OR
Environmental Consciousness: If you plan to spend time outdoors in Bend, OR, (you absolutely should), always abide by ‘Leave No Trace’ principles to ensure the plants and animals of the region are not negatively impacted by your recreation. Stay on trails, avoid disturbing wildlife, pack out all trash, take only memories and photographs, keep dogs on leash where required, and avoid disturbing other adventurers by leaving all music at home.
In any season, but especially in the winter, it’s important to be aware of the weather. Pack layers, water, and snacks to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected changes. It’s also always a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Planning ahead and traveling responsibly means you can minimize the likelihood of needing to call for help from rangers or other officials.