Bend, Oregon

Bend is a happenin’ place. A city of almost 90,000 people, the downtown is vibrant, there’s a district like the Old Port along the Deschutes River, and last but not least it boasts one of the nation’s highest ratio of breweries to people. We’re talkin’ a serious craft brew destination. Just so happens we landed in the thick of it.

We arrived on Thursday and headed to the Visitors’ Center downtown in hops (pun intended) of having dinner at Deschutes Brewery and Public House. The dinner was not to be. The kind lady at the Center told us about a special event in the Old Mill District that was beginning in less than an hour. The event? The Fermentation Celebration!

The Fermentation Celebration was a very social/community event where 19 local craft brewers set up sampling (4oz) stations at the different retail shops within the district. Pay $15 and get 9 tickets that will get you 9 samples… Take your pick or buy a second set of tickets and try more! The $15 also included a 12oz pub “glass” made of silicone. Available in colors, they were affectionately known as SiliCups. Works for me!

Anyway, we had a blast! People walked around with friends, shopped, talked about what beer/brewery the liked best, all with open containers and no concern for folks getting out of hand. This was serious business.

We ended up by a pedestrian bridge that crossed the Deschutes and were greeted by a moving pub powered by at least 10 women cyclists. (Bend is big on bikes). The Pub had a bar down the middle. On each side there were 5 stations for a total of 10. What might typically be a bar stool was a bike seat. Each rider pedaled and together they powered the thing around the streets. The group of women all wore the same top and were known as the Derailleur Divas.

When they heard we were from Maine they all insisted on having pictures taken. They were a hoot and kidded and laughed, and man, did we all have fun!

Like I said, Bend is a happenin’ place and we sure did enjoy ourselves that evening!

– Dan

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