In Central Oregon, beer, wine and spirits are more than just a pre-cursor to dinner. Whether it’s citra hop-fueled IPA, a locally-crafted gin or the fruit off the grapevine, we take our drinks and our drinking seriously here in the high desert. Thankfully, many of our fine artisan breweries and distilleries offer tasting rooms that allow imbibers to get as close as possible to the creative process that delivers this beverage bounty. Here’s a list of some of our favorite tasting rooms worth toasting.
The granddaddy of them all. Deschutes started the craft brewing revolution in Bend more than two decades ago and remains the preeminent brewery in terms of production and innovation. Get a look behind the scenes at the tasting room and sample something that you won’t find in your local grocer or neighborhood tap handle. Samples are free (up to four tasters), as are the tours. Bring cash and get your Christmas shopping done early, as the gift shop is filled with must-have apparel and beer themed décor.
Boneyard is the bad boy of Bend brewing, it’s non-conformist ways evidenced by its take it or leave it tasting room that is housed in a former gutter cleaning business office tucked off Hill Street. But if you love great beer, and we mean GREAT beer, this spot is not to be missed. Just don’t expect the staff to turn down the Motorhead just because you’re old.
The Barrel Thief
One of the newer additions to Bend’s tasting room line-up, The Barrel Thief Lounge is an intimate craft distilling experience brought to you by Oregon Spirit Distillers. Visitors here can sample OSD’s gin and whisky concoctions while noshing on small plates. Viewing windows allow guests to watch distillers as they ply their craft in an adjacent room. Outside, a patio with fire pits beckons to sip a handcrafted cocktail under the evening sky.
Maragas Winery, Terrebonne
One of the few wineries in Central Oregon that also includes a vineyard on-site, Maragas is a labor of love for Doug Maragas and family, who spent the last decade growing this into one of Central Oregon’s unique destinations. The winery is open for tours, tasting and events and offers a little slice of Napa right off Highway 97.