Jimmy Seifrit got the brewing bug early on, while growing up in Philadelphia. An urge to move west, specifically to a mountain town, landed him in Bend in the mid 1990s. An avid home brewer, he turned professional nearly 20 years ago in the tank rooms of Deschutes Brewery. In 2011, the opportunity to take over brewing operations at Bend’s 10 Barrel Brewing was an opportunity Jimmy couldn’t pass up. His approach to brewing is out-of-the-box, with beers that feature sours, barrel aging and innovative non-traditional ingredients. With 17 breweries and counting, Bend is quickly becoming “beervana,” a place where those who love to recreate outdoors can add a wide variety of brews to their itineraries. Here are some of Jimmy’s favorite ways to spend a few days in Central Oregon beer country.
Start your day
The Gallery Restaurant & Bar in Sisters gives off the feel of stepping back 100 years into the times of the Wild West. The food is high-end diner and the service is down home. While you’re in the area, stop in at Three Creeks Brewing Company for a Chocolate Porter or a Stonefly Rye.
Get out the camera
Crux Fermentation Project is the perfect place for a photo and a handcrafted beer. Plop yourself in a comfy chair outside with a world-class German-style pilsner or wheat beer and have someone snap a picture of you with the Cascade Mountains in the background. The vibe is electric.
Meet the maker
The Ale Apothecary is an artisanal brewery nestled in the hills of the Cascade Mountains. Founder Paul Arney ages his beers in oak using old-world brewing methods. Beerheads love his flagship Sahalie and “The Beer Formerly Known As La Tache.” Drop him an email and set up a private tour.
You’ve gotta see this
The grounds of Peterson Rock Garden outside of Bend have some really cool eccentric sculptures created in the early 1900s. Then head over to the Cascade Lakes Brewing Company’s 7th Street Brewhouse in Redmond. You’ve gotta try the Bombshell Blonde.
A treat worth driving out of your way
Take a hike around Stein’s Pillar in the Ochoco National Forest. On your way back through Prineville, drop in at Ochoco Brewing Company for a cold Prinetucky Pale Ale.
The Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Cafe in Bend calls itself a brew ‘hub’ instead of pub. They have an amazing selection of Oregon beers and local foods. I love their Buritto Rojo made with smoked Columbia River salmon and cheddar from Cada Dia Cheese in Prineville.
Even though it’s right in my backyard, a weekend at Sunriver Resort is a total escape. Get one of their River Lodge rooms overlooking the Deschutes. Be sure and take your bike, because Sunriver Brewing Company is just a short ride away.