The Bite of Bend: This weekend, June 19-21

The Bite of BendThe annual Bite of Bend, “Central Oregon’s Largest Food Festival,” kicks off this Friday, June 19 to run through Sunday the 21st. It’s once again taking over Downtown Bend, and as always is completely free to attend (though the individual food and drink aren’t entirely free of course). Their recent press release summarizes up the weekend nicely:

New this year is a Friday night sampling of food, beer, spirits and music on Minnesota Avenue. For the first time, festival producers are opening up the event on Friday night at 5pm with a pre-event celebration and preview of the weekend’s tastiest plates and libations. The evening will offer a mix, mingle and music atmosphere under the downtown summer sky, the perfect way to kick off this foodie weekend.

Also premiering in 2015 is The Mixology Showcase, a grand showing of cocktails using the very best from local spirits, ciders and kombucha teas. Not to be confused with your average rum and Coke, The Mixology Showcase will put on display and up for taste the in-depth talent that defines the art and craft of today’s most refined mixed drinks. New takes on the classics, exotic inventions, and lesser known distilled spirits will push the limits of what classic bartending and happy hour fare mean in Central Oregon. Saturday will feature a interactive Mimosa Competition and Sunday will feature a interactive Bloody Mary Competition.

Central to the event is “the bite,” the small $1-$2 plate that participating restaurants create especially for the Bite of Bend. This year, the Bite of Bend will showcase more than 35 restaurants from around the region, each illustrating a unique style and flavor in their bite. Festival attendees feast on bite after bite from chefs and restaurants directly as they make their way through downtown Bend. Many participating restaurants will also create larger plates for purchase.

The event will also host the annual Beer Run on Sunday, June 21 at 12pm. A wildly popular run representative of Central Oregon’s passionate craft brew culture, the Beer Run is a 5k-race that replaces rehydration stops with beer stops. Participants quench their thirst hop-style with a quick refresh from Deschutes Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing, Cascade Lakes Brewing Company, and Altas Cider at the finish line. The first 500 registered runners get a beer souvenir. All registered runners will receive free entry into The Mixology Showcase. Registration for the Beer Run is $35 until June 18th, $40 in person. Participants must be 21 years or older.

Because little ones like to drink and run too – drink root beer, that is — the Cuppa Yo Little Hopper Root Beer Run is for kids between the ages of 3-10. Racers will run the course while building key components of their root beer float. Best race ever? Let your kids be the judge!

The Bite runs from 5 to 11pm on Friday, 11am to 11pm Saturday, and 11am to 6pm on Sunday. Check out their schedule to keep track of what’s happening when, including the live music (all free).

Sir Mix-A-Lot at Summerfest

So apparently 80’s-90’s rap artist Sir Mix-A-Lot is going to be headlining Bend SummerFest this year…

Sir Mix-A-Lot, the Seattle rapper and producer best known for early ’90s hit “Baby Got Back,” will perform July 11 at the annual festival, organizer C3 Events announced today. The performance is in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Bend Summer Festival, which is July 10-12.

His concert is scheduled for 9pm that Saturday night on the main stage.

I saw Tone Loc in Portland a couple of months ago… this must be the year for aging rappers.

The Fermentation Celebration returns June 18

Coming up Thursday, June 18, the 4th annual Fermentation Celebration returns to the Old Mill District, taking place from 4 to 10pm. This is a great event, a “beer walk” throughout the Old Mill, with nearly every Central Oregon brewery (and more!) represented and pouring beer at stations throughout. This year is bigger than ever:

We’ll have many many tasty beers, cider, kombucha and wine. Drink packages will be sold at the Ticket Mill the day of the event.

Live music from Harley Bourbon, Tone Red, Broken Down Guitars, Wilderness, SweatBand, Summit Express, local bagpipers and more.

Entry to the event is $20 and includes a fluted tasting glass and 9 drink tickets. You can buy your tasting package starting at 10am when the Ticket Mill opens, but you’ll need to return anytime anytime after 4pm to to have your id checked and get a bracelet.

New for 2015 will be food vendors at the event will be serving up barbeque, dumplings, pretzels, Philly cheese steak and more.

And as in previous years in addition to all the breweries and cideries, the Central Oregon Homebrewers will be on hand pouring homebrewed beers which is always awesome. Here’s the poster:

Fermentation Celebration 2015 poster

The Dough Nut’s Second Location

In my travels yesterday, I saw this exciting change to the outside of the old Papa John’s location in the Erickson’s Thriftway parking lot:

dough nut east

Yep… that’s The Dough Nut. According to the readerboard outside their Galveston location, the new shop will open on Friday, June 12. This block seems to be getting second (and third) locations for a lot of great shops. Croutons has been there for a while, and there’s a new building going up across the street that will house Backporch Coffee, Taco Del Mar, and Emerald City Smoothies.

The Sisters Rodeo starts this week

Sisters Rodeo

This year is a big one for the Sisters Rodeo, as it’s the 75th annual rodeo—having started in 1940, it is I believe Central Oregon’s oldest. The official dates are this weekend, June 12, 13, and 14, though there are events earlier in the week, starting Tuesday. Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Barrel Race Jackpot – 6 p.m. • Free

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
PRCA Xtreme Bulls 6:30 p.m. (Gates open at 4:30 p.m.)
Sponsored by Identity Zone – This is an all bull rides evening!

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Slack, Free Admission 8 a.m.
Breakfast Concessions open 7 a.m.

Friday, June 12, 2015
Les Schwab Family Night
Rodeo Performance 7 p.m. – Family Night, Children 12 and Under FREE

Saturday, June 13, 2015
Rodeo parade 9:30 a.m. – Downtown Sisters
Afternoon Rodeo Performance 1 p.m. – Sponsored by Ray’s Food Place
Evening Rodeo Performance 7 p.m. – Sponsored by Identity Zone

Sunday, June 14, 2015
Pepsi & Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort Day
Kiwanis Buckaroo Breakfast 7-11 a.m.
Cowboy Church Service 9 a.m.
Final Rodeo Performance 1 p.m.

I know a lot of people for whom this is one of the highlight events of the summer, and they have a great time. It’s not called “The Biggest Little Show in the World” for nothing!

Tickets range in prices each day and you can check out pricing details here.

Finally, bear in mind that the rodeo grounds are just east of Sisters on Highway 20—so this weekend, expect traffic to be slow and possibly backed up if you’re heading into or through Sisters going either way.

Bend Beer Chase Relay & “Keg Leg”

Bend Beer Chase race vehicle
Decorated vans and SUVs shuttle runners between exchange points.

As you make your way around Central Oregon this weekend, you might see a few wildly decorated vans filled with sweaty, smelly runners ringing cowbells. That’s right… it’s relay season. And this Saturday is the second running of the Bend Beer Chase which is growing quickly to be one of the most popular one-day running relay events, anywhere. It also features a standalone, two mile fun run / pub crawl called the “Keg Leg” for anyone who isn’t quite up for the relay.

If you’ve never done a relay, here’s how it works! Gather a few friends or co-workers and form a team of up to six runners. The more team members you have, the less you have to run! The course is broken up into legs, and these shorter distances are divided (somewhat) evenly between team members. At the start, the first runner takes off with the other teams. From there, the rest of the team hops into a support vehicle – usually a van or SUV. They might stop once or twice to cheer on their runner before meeting them at the first exchange point. This is a predetermined spot on the course – staffed by official race volunteers and with designated parking – where the first runner will “tag” their next teammate who can then start their next leg. For the Beer Chase, if you have six runners then everyone will run two legs, which works out to about 10-13 miles for each person.

The Relay

BBC 2014 Team "Don't Suck" enjoys beer samples at Wild Ride Brewing.
BBC 2014 Team “Don’t Suck” enjoys beer samples at Wild Ride Brewing.

The relay course starts at Worthy Brewing on the east side of Bend, heads up to Redmond, over to Sisters, and then back into Bend. The official finish line is at Crow’s Feet Commons in downtown Bend. Along the way, runners will visit both brewery locations and “pop ups” along the course, all offering 3-5oz samples of beer and cider. Between Sisters & Bend, teams will also stop by Bendistillery where they can sample gin & vodka from tiny thimble-like vessels.

If you happen to travel along the following roads, you might see runners and their support vehicles: major roads on Bend’s east side (27th, 18th, Cooley), Bend-Redmond highway, major roads in Redmond (S Canal, Antler), Hwy 126 between Redmond & Sisters, Jeep trails east of Sisters (NF-4606, NF-900), rural roads between Sisters & Bend (Trout, Harrington, Gist, Sisemore, Couch Market, Collins, Walton, Pinehurst, Mock, Tumalo Reservoir), and OB Reilly Road in Bend.

Please roll down your windows and cheer them on! You’ll probably get a smile and a wave, and cheering is less jarring than honking your horn. Runners also love hearing ringing cowbells, so if you plan to cheer, bring one along and ring it to show your support

The Keg Leg

After finishing the relay at Crow’s Feet Commons, teams run the two mile “Keg Leg” as a group. You can also register to run just the Keg Leg – either meet up with friends who are relay runners, or gather your own group to enjoy this running + pub crawl experience. The “Keg Leg” includes stops at Bend Brewing, Deschutes, Silver Moon, McMenamins, Atlas Cider… and finishes at Crux. Roads where you will see the most Keg-Leggers are between downtown and the Old Mill – especially Bond and Arizona.

The Party

Crux beer and El Sancho taco at the 2014 BBC Finish Line
Crux beer and El Sancho taco at the 2014 BBC Finish Line

This wouldn’t be an event put on by the great folks at Cascade Relays without a party at the finish line. There will be sixteen breweries pouring at the event, along with food and live music. Crux will definitely be hopping and filled with excitement. The organizers have also arranged for shuttle service between Crux and downtown Bend, so tired runners won’t have to walk back to their relay vehicles after enjoying the finish line festivities.

Join Us!

You can still sign up for the Keg Leg, and relay teams are still looking for runners. Packet pickup is tonight at Outside IN, downtown. Stop by and ask the volunteers any questions you might have. I hope to see you out on the relay course, along the Keg Leg route, or at the finish line party. Cheers!

A bottle opener "medal" and sampler glass were some of the 2014 Bend Beer Chase finisher awards.
A bottle opener “medal” and sampler glass were some of the 2014 Bend Beer Chase finisher awards.

Silver Moon Brewing celebrates 15 years this summer

I haven’t seen much (or any) fanfare about this other than on Silver Moon Brewing‘s own Facebook page, but this first Friday, June 5 (which is tomorrow) they are kicking off “a summer of celebrating 15 years”—here’s the post:

The First Friday of summer is right around the corner and we’re going big this month, celebrating our 15th Anniversary, with SIX pouring locations! Stop by Jubeelee, Patagonia @ Bend, Bishops Barbershop Bend, Hola! Downtown, Element 909 Bend , and Revolvr Menswear for tasters, then head down to Pine Tavern, Brickhouse Steak & Seafood, JC’s, or D&D who will have our taps throughout the month! The after party is back here, at the taproom, with Free live music by 2nd Hand Soldiers!

That should be fun and it’s a great idea that I hope see some additional events revolving around this 15th anniversary.

However… if you’ve read my book (particularly chapter 5) you’ll know that Silver Moon celebrating 15 years starting in June is a bit of a stretch. Yes, then-owner Tyler Reichert acquired the brewery license for what would become Silver Moon Brewing in December of 2000, so technically the license has been active for nearly 15 years. But it wasn’t until February of 2001 that Reichert acquired the actual brewing equipment (from Bandon, Oregon), and he sold his first beer a few months later.

But the continuum of Reichert owning The Home Brewer homebrew supply shop and then adding Silver Moon Brewing begins in 1999, so if they want to throw a party, more power to them! (What would be cool is, a year-long celebration starting this month and culminating next June…)

Keep an eye on their Facebook page for further updates.

Silver Moon Brewing 15th anniversary