Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fresh Hops in Bend Oregon

We've spent about a week in Bend Oregon, a very cool medium-sized city in Central Oregon just east of the Cascade Mountains. This place has grown from a small town of 30,000 people to 80,000 in the past decade. For a city of this size there are a ton of great restaurants, bars and outdoor activities - and a great vibe. 

There is a ski resort (Mount Bachelor) only 30 minutes away and you can see the snow-covered mountain from many areas of the city. It seems that everyone here skis, hikes, and bikes. There are trails and beautiful views everywhere. 

As I mentioned above, there are lots of microbreweries - 14 in all. We've sampled a few including Deschutes (one of the largest in Oregon), Goodlife and Cascade Lakes. 

Fresh hops is the rage here in the Northwest in early Fall (which I had never tried before). They harvest the hops and rush them into the kettles within hours. This makes for a more aromatic taste, often brighter, more citrusy and less bitter than a dry-hopped IPA.  

I'll post more about the beers on the beer page, here are a few photos to make you thirsty. 

Deschutes Brewery "Chasin Freshies" and
"Fresh Hop Cinder Cone Red" 

In case you want to see the beer list now pouring:  Deschutes beer menu

Beer List at Goodlife Brewery
Another style of beer that was new to me is India Red Ale (IRA). It's an IPA which has more malt, and so there is more body and the IPA bitterness is balanced against the sweetness from the malt. I like it. Tried the Goodlife Redside and the Cascade Lake IRA. 

Cascade Lakes IRA
The weather in Bend has been unseasonably cold and a bit rainy, and while we got in some outdoor activities, the fresh hops were a nice diversion. 

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