With Christmas fast approaching and shopping days running short, it’s time once again to do a local holiday gift guide, presenting a variety of locally-made products and local stores and shops to hopefully give you a number of ideas for your shopping needs.
Of course you knew I would get to the beer sooner rather than later, because if there’s one thing Bend is known for in recent years it’s the beer. Fortunately we have plenty of options to choose from, gift-wise, for the beer lover in your life.
Growlers are the hot new thing in Bend for delivering fresh beer, and between the Growler Guys on the east side and the new Empire Car Wash growler fill station up north (with nearly 60 taps between the two), there are a plenitude of options available. You can fill a standard 64-ounce growler for about $9 on average at these stations, and as long as you’re mindful of timing (you probably shouldn’t fill a growler a week and a half in advance of giving it on Christmas) and storage, this could be a hit. (Plus they’re refillable, which makes them almost a gift that keeps on giving!)
And right now the Growler Guys also has a special growler gift pack available for $34.99 ($29.99 if you’re a Facebook fan) which is a good deal:
Of course, you can still fill growlers at the breweries in town, too; in particular, both Boneyard Beer and Silver Moon Brewing offer $6 growler fill deals during the week: Boneyard all day on Wednesdays, and Silver Moon on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6pm for a couple of selected beers.
Most of our many (18!) breweries bottle their beers, which can usually be picked up directly at the brewery (particularly specialty beers), but we also have several places in town which offer a wide variety of bottled beers—not just the local ones, but many, many more as well.
- The Brew Shop at 1203 NE Third Street (in the old Ernesto’s restaurant building) is not only our local homebrew supply shop but also an expansive bottle shop, offering at least 500 different choices available for purchase. They also have a four-tap growler fill station, incidentally, and the downstairs basement houses their Platypus Pub, which offers 15 taps of rotating beers.
- Broken Top Bottle Shop at 1740 NW Pence Lane (at the base of College Way on the west side) started as a great beer bar and café and has recently completed the installation of their new coolers, which already have an impressive assortment of beers available—and they plan to offer upwards of 700 choices when at capacity.
- Whole Food Market in the Forum Shopping Center on the east side has an expansive beer department that keeps a great rotation of beers and is headed up by a homebrewer and craft beer lovers that knows his stuff. I don’t know exactly how many different beers they have on hand, but it’s easily into the hundreds.
- Newport Avenue Market at 1121 NW Newport Avenue on the west side is another go-to destination (and one of the original stores in Bend that really started focusing on maintaining a great beer selection), offering up some 450 choices to pick from.
Finally, you can never go wrong with gift certificates: all the major breweries should offer them, and sometimes there’s no better beer than the fresh draft right from the brewery.