When I heard there was a brewpub opening in Sunriver, it struck me as a no-brainer. In all the years we've been going down there for winter sports and occasional summer fun, there was never a go-to place for good beer in the Village. A local brewpub would change that.
|Yeah, the logo is similar to Deschutes|
First, let me just say this is an attractive space...high ceilings, very open, nice bar, comfortable seating inside and out. It's in a great location, right behind the almost always buzzing grocery store. The space is not gigantic, but will certainly suffice in all but the busiest times.
|The waiting fermenters...|
Our very cordial server told me the house beers are being produced in Redmond at the moment. It's a straight-forward list: IPA, Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Stout. They were out of the pale. The others were decent, if not memorable beers. They will surely build the list out as time goes by. There was a nice selection of guest beers, including Hop Venom. That list will almost certainly rotate.
|Outdoor seating will be less popular come November|
Little Woody Fest
I have to admit the Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer and Whiskey Festival was not on my radar screen as the Sunriver trip unfolded. But I immediately planned to drop in when I realized it was happening and the times were convenient.
This was apparently the second rendition of this festival, focused mainly on barrel-aged beers...of which I am a fan. I didn't bother with the whiskey...I'm sure it was fine stuff, just not my bag. The festival was held primarily in the parking lot next to the Deschutes Historical Society building. The Society received a portion of the proceeds from event organizers, which is terrific.
|It was a perfect beer drinking day in Bend|
There were apparently 14 breweries here, including Oakshire, Deschutes, Ninkasi, Boneyard, Block 15, Three Creeks, Bend Brewing and others. Most featured two beers. I was surprised to find that every beer required 2-4 tasting tokens. Given the rarity of the beers, I guess it made sense. However, some of these beers were not a great value at 3 or 4 tokens for a four ounce taste. Sorry.
Block 15 (Corvallis) brought a fantastic Framboise. It was light, crisp and slightly sour. This is a beer you could drink a lot of on a warm summer day.
Boneyard's Experimental IPA, aged in bourbon barrels for 11 months, was interesting. I was surprised to find it had a touch of sour. Hop aroma and flavor were in the background. I suspect people either loved or hated this beer.
|Smiling faces were the order of the day|
Three Creeks brought a tweaked version of its popular Hoodoo Voodoo IPA...called Deja Voodoo. Aged in Pinot Noir barrels for nine months, this beer combined strong oak notes with subtle fruit character. Lost in there somewhere was the hoppy aroma and flavor of standard Hoodoo Voodoo. Not bad, though.
Sometimes it's quite fun to see how the other half lives. This is the first festival I've been to outside Portland...where you could not possibly hold such an event in such a small space. The execution here was mostly pretty good. Check it out next year if you can.
Crux Fermentation Project
The Crux was definitely not on my planned itinerary, but Saturday's trip to Little Woody opened up an opportunity to see other sights. At the festival, I ran into Ezra Johnson (The New School blog). He had come over on the Brewvana bus from Portland and wanted to visit CFP. I tagged along because I had transportation.
|Polished copper mash tuns provide a nice visual|
|Nothing quite like a spendy coaster|
Coming soon...Eastern Washington road trip and report!