February has been an eventful month for beer in Bend and Central Oregon; new breweries tops the list but there’s been plenty of other beer news as well.
The new, upcoming Worthy Brewing Company held their official groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, the 24th, heralding the start of construction on this new endeavor. I was there and wrote up a review and posted pictures over on my beer blog, The Brew Site; this is going to be an ambitious project over on Bend’s east side (the plot of land just east of The Phoenix), with the brewery, canning line, beer garden, hop garden, educational facility, and more. You can keep up-to-date on Worthy goings-on over at The Brew Site.
Meanwhile, The Source broke the news last week that there is a Sunriver Brewing Company in the works; the owners are keeping mum about this new venture, but I could see a brewpub doing well in Sunriver (at least seasonally). Not much is known about this yet, other than they plan to open this summer. My speculation is that this is going to be a 1- to 3-barrel brewing system (1 barrel equals 31 gallons) which well-suits a brewpub situation.
Back at the beginning of the month, the Broken Top Bottle Shop opened up on the west side, in the former Abbey Pub location. The new owners have added a more complete food menu and with 12 taps pouring good beer, it’s been a popular place the couple times we’ve been there so far. Stop by when you get a chance.
And back over on the east side, the Brew Shop/Platypus Pub is going strong as well; in addition to a solid menu and 15 taps for craft beer, they’ve been hosting a number of beer tastings and “meet the brewer” events. Last Thursday they welcomed Ninkasi Brewing and Stone Brewing for a tasting, and this Tuesday the 28th they are hosting a Firestone Walker tasting from 6 to 8pm.
Paul Arney is brewing and the Ale Apothecary is officially launched! Arney is a former Deschutes Brewery brewer (he headed up the Pub and R&D) launching his own small-scale garage brewery (literally) with big ambitions. Personally this is probably the new local brewing venture I’m most excited about, and I can’t wait to start seeing bottles of his beer show up (should be by June), and my guess is the best way to guarantee yourself bottles will be via the “Beer Club” he writes about in his blog post.
Finally, did you attend the “brewery open house” Zwickelmania event last Saturday (the 18th)? Nearly all of the breweries opened their doors to the public for special tours and more, and it was a great event and a great day for it. I have a writeup of the breweries I visited (of course), and I’m looking forward to next year’s event!