By Carlos A Perez
July is a great time to hit up just about any area in Oregon, the sun is shining, the fish are biting, and the breweries are pouring some great summer brews to quench your thirst on a warm summers day.
If you’re planning a visit to Central Oregon, or happen to live here and want to try something fun and different that could possibly, maybe, perhaps involve a pint or two, take a brewery tour! Of course you can always just go from pub to pub and craft your own self guided tour with some buddies – but along with the many breweries we have here, we also have a good number of excellent options for guided brewery tours. From tours for those who want to pedal their way from brewery to brewery, to those who would rather have a brew and paddle on a lake, and to those who would prefer sit back and be pulled in a horse drawn carriage around town - there’s a guided tour for you.
Let’s start with tours that would require some level of activity beyond simply lifting your pint arm.
The Cycle Pub – yep, it’s just like it sounds, beer on wheels any you do the pedaling. Stretch out your legs, bring an energy bar, and don’t forget your deodorant. This tour is going to work you as you pedal around the west side of Bend from brewery to brewery. Prepare for pint consumption at the brew pubs and horn honking as you’re passed by grumpy locals on the streets. It’s a good time with buddies for sure. cyclepub.com
Wanderlust Tours – love that name. Head for the mountains and hop in a canoe equipped with paddles, life vests, and um, beers! You’ll be missing out on the breweries on this tour, but man you’ll catch some breathtaking views of the Cascades, pint in hand. wanderlusttours.com
If you’d prefer to be driven and tour some brewery facilities, these are for you.
Bend Brew Bus – the name says it all, kinda. Technically not a bus (but there is an Adventure Bus in town), it’s more of a van. The Brew Bus takes you on a half day tour to several of Bend’s breweries where you’ll get a chance to tour their facilities, taste some beer, and have a snack or two. bendbrewbus.com
GETIT Shuttle – Get it! Sit back relax and prepare for a fun brewery or bottleshop tour with one of Bend’s great personalities John Flannery. John pilots the shuttle and briefs you on interesting factoids along the way. There’s even a mystery raffle prize at the end of the tour. And if you plan on taking a tour with someone special, he even offers tours via pedicab. Good times. getitshuttle.com
Feeling old timey? Try these tours
Bend Trolley – a trolly on wheels. Who cares if Bend never had a rail system, let’s pretend. This tour features a visit to two Bend breweries (Deschutes and 10 Barrel), catered BBQ, and a nifty Bend Trolley Souvenir. Getting to ride in the trolly is a bonus in itself – it’s actually quite nice inside. bendtrolley.com
Cowboy Carriage - Giddy up pardner! Break out yer straw hat, slap on some boots, and prepare for a one of a kind brewery tour lead by driver Ryan Moeggenberg and his two Percherons Saucer and Dan. As most of the other tours happen year round, this one is truly a summer time treat. This tour starts in front of the Oxford Hotel and takes you on an easy ride to several of the breweries around the Bend’s downtown area. Gather your posse for this one! cowboycarriage.us
That about covers it. And don’t forget to bring your Bend Ale Trail map too (bendaletrail.com).
Whether you take a guided tour or make up your own, good times with craft beer are to be had during Craft Beer Month in Central Oregon. Cheers!
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.