The Bend Ale Trail

By Jeff
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bend-ale-trailThe Bend Ale Trail isn't a guided tour on a bus (for that, you'd have to go with the Bend Brew Bus folks). It's a self-guided, take-your-own-sweet-time, go-with-the-people-you-know-&-not-complete-strangers-(who-might-be-stragglers)-on-a-bus kind of tour. Man, that's a lot of hyphens!

You don't have to complete the Bend Ale Trail in any set amount of time, but they do offer prizes for when you finish and get your "passport" stamped. You get an extra prize if you also include Three Creeks Brewing in Sisters on your passport.

There are other options available for transportation, so you aren't drinking and driving if you decide to visit them all in one day, and opt out of the Bend Brew Bus. There is the Cowboy Carriage's beer tour, but they only visit four of the breweries, and although you can go with just a few people I suppose (minimum of 12) you're going to want a group. They take you on bales of hay in a horse-drawn wagon. It's pretty huge. You can call a cab, of course. Or you can have a designated driver, in which case you're going to want to grab someone for that duty who doesn't like beer. Such as my wife, but she has a day job, so don't call her. The main thrust of this paragraph is, of course, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!!! Please, be responsible.

Lots of fun can be had on the Bend Ale Trail, so we highly recommend it, as we're all about the fun around here. You can watch some of Bend's amazing craft brewers at work, get to know some of them a bit, and learn all about Bend's Craft Brew Culture!

One caveat, and maybe this is just coming from a guy who's not into all that walking, but their website (link below) says that all of the breweries are within walking distance, and I'm here to tell you...no they are not. A LOT of them are, but not all. There are quite a few pubs downtown that brew on-site, but some of the breweries themselves are a bit of a hike. Especially if you've been drinking. For instance, from 10 Barrel's new brewing facility to Bend Brewing Co.'s building is over 3-1/2 miles. Not impossible, of course, but then the other direction from Bend Brewing Co. to Cascade Lakes Lodge (which, to be fair isn't a brewery, but it's one of the nicer pubs in town and is on the Bend Ale Trail) is just under 2 miles. That's a lot of walking. That's not to mention the newly opened Ale Apothecary which is 9 miles due West of town way up in the boonies!

So...arrange safe transportation, have fun, and WELCOME to the Napa Valley of Beer...Bend, Oregon!

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