9 reasons to do the Bend Ale Trail in November
There’s pretty much no bad time of year to journey to Bend and trek the most famous trail of suds in the West. You can drink doppelbocks in December, sip sours in September, and acquire ambers in April.
While it’s true you can hit the Bend Ale Trail any day of the year gathering passport stamps to earn prizes, did you know there’s one month that rises above them all?
November is Bend Ale Trail month, so in honor of this illustrious holiday, here are nine reasons to hit the Bend Ale Trail in November.
That’s right, my friends. We have trophies. Anyone who brings a newly completed Bend Ale Trail passport to the Bend Visitor Center during the month of November will earn an official Bend Ale Trail trophy.
That’s in addition to the regular Silipint you get for racking up 10 stamps and the bottle opener you get on top of that for hitting all 14. Wouldn’t that bad boy look fabulous on your mantle?
While it’s true Bend’s breweries release special seasonal brews at all times of the year, there’s something about the fall that seems to bring out the extra-special offerings.
I was at Bend Brewing Company a few days ago and stumbled upon a brand new Berliner Weisse that seriously left me swooning. That’s a German sour, in case you’re wondering, and the name—Volkssekt—translates to “the people’s champagne.” See? You’re getting lessons in language and culture in addition to great beer. BBC plans to have that on tap throughout November, plus several other seasonals like a nitro tap of Pollen Oats (an imperial honey oatmeal) and a black IPA.
Another of my favorite stops this time of year is Crux Fermentation Project. Their Crystal Zwickle (a fresh hop Belgian pale ale) will be on tap for as long as it lasts, which may not be long based on how fabulously popular it is. Hurry up and get yours while you can!
Try something new
I have a confession: While I’ve made the rounds on the Bend Ale Trail multiple times, I haven’t done my job in staying current on the new additions. I have failed to make it to Rat Hole Brewing since they were added to the program in May 2014, and I feel a great sense of shame for that.
But see, here’s my chance to make it right! Having the impetus of visiting 10-14 breweries in a short span of time means we’re all pretty likely to try someplace we’ve never been before. Download the free smartphone app for the Bend Ale Trail, and figure out which new breweries you need to visit this time around.
Stay for cheap
Let’s get off the subject of beer for a second and talk about lodging. Look, I get it—you want to save your cash for important things like an extra order of Cajun tots at McMenamins or the risotto fritters at Brew Werks. I don’t blame you.
Here’s a little secret about lodging deals in Bend—November is one of our slowest months for tourism. That means hotels, motels, and vacation rentals in Bend are all eager for your business. Like, really eager. If you’re looking for discounts, now’s the time to find them. Check Visit Bend’s Hot Deals page for the latest offerings, and book your beer vacation today!
I’m not sure I mentioned this yet, but did you know you earn a trophy if you stop by the Bend Visitor Center with a newly completed Bend Ale Trail passport in the month of November? You would be the envy of all your friends with this piece of hardware in the middle of your dining room table.
There’s always something cozy about snuggling up beside a roaring fire with a pint of craft beer, but it’s especially perfect in November when those hearty malts and porters work in tandem with the flames to take the chill from the air.
10 Barrel has one of the most popular fire pits along the Bend Ale Trail, and their patio is a hoppin’ place to mix and mingle. The fire pits at McMenamins are a little more intimate, and there are several to choose from scattered around their property.
Crux Fermentation Project offers another popular fireside spot with their unique glowing orb. Worthy Brewing in northeast Bend has several cozy fire pits to pick from on their expansive patio. You can also hit Goodlife Brewing to toast your toes by a roaring fire. There’s even a cool modern-looking one at Riverside Brewing, and you’ll dig the ski lodge vibe if you nab a spot by the indoor fireplace at Cascade Lakes.
Score some awesome schwag
I already told you about the trophies, right? Okay, besides that, you’ll have chances to win tons of other amazing beer schwag throughout the month of November.
Seriously, you should see our marketing director’s floor right now. It’s covered with t-shirts, hats, pint glasses, stickers, brewery gift certificates, and more. Enter to win by using hashtag #bendaletrail on Facebook or Instagram while you’re out there posting pics of yourself swilling brews in Bend.
But the best prize of all is the one we’ll be giving away to one random beer drinker who brings his or her completed passport to the Bend Visitor Center in November. Everyone will be entered in a drawing to win a vacation package for Bend Brewfest 2015, which will include lodging, a tasting package, and activities. How’s that for a beerventure?
Have the place to yourself
You know that thing I mentioned earlier about November being one of Bend’s slowest months for tourism? Think about what that means for you. No fighting to get a spot on one of the popular Deschutes Brewery tours. No waiting for your favorite table before the band takes the stage at Silver Moon. No long lines for growler fills at Boneyard Brewing. Seeing the appeal now?
Have I mentioned the trophies yet?