Who's Ready for Bend Ale Trail Month 2019?
You’ve been training for this all year. Deep arm bends, belly stretches, lip calisthenics. You do what you’ve gotta do to get ready for the big month.
With Bend Ale Trail Month kicking off November 1 for our sixth annual month-long celebration of Bend’s beer scene, here’s what you need to know about every beer fan’s very favorite time of year.
Did someone say trophy?
You can hit the Bend Ale Trail all year long and earn prizes for gathering passport stamps at the breweries. December through October, you earn a Silipint pint glass for racking up 10 passport stamps, and an additional bottle opener for hitting all the breweries on your passport.
But in November, that all changes. Yeah, you still get the Silipint and the bottle opener for accomplishing the aforementioned feat, but guess what else you get?
A freakin’ trophy, that’s what!
To earn it, just bring your completed Bend Ale Trail passport to the Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava Rd. and Oregon Ave between November 1 and November 30. Ten passport stamps get you the trophy AND the Silipint, or hit all breweries on the passport to earn the bottle opener, too.
Can I score more free stuff?
While the trophies are clearly the top prize during Bend Ale Trail Month, there’s plenty more schwag to go around in November.
The breweries are extra generous with prizes for Bend Ale Trail month, filling our conference room with all manner of goodies for us to give away. Hats, shirts, stickers, gift cards, Hydro Flasks, Silipints, and so much more can be yours with just a few taps of your phone screen.
>Just snap a pic of your beerventure and share it on Instagram using the hashtag #bendaletrailmonth. We’ll randomly select winners to receive schwag throughout the month. Easy peasy!
What else can I win?
What, the trophy and the schwag aren’t enough for you?
Okay, how about a free Bend vacation!
Everyone who brings a completed Bend Ale Trail atlas to the Bend Visitor Center and completes a quick survey (you’ve gotta do both!) will be entered to win a Bend beercation that includes lodging, brewery gift certificates, beer schwag, and even a tour for two with the Bend Brew Bus.
If you want to spend your Bend Ale Trail adventure sipping your way through creamy porters and hoppy IPAs, rock on with your bad self.
But you’re not required to drink a single drop of beer. You do have to show up in person at each brewery to get your passport stamped, of course. But eating, drinking, or buying anything at all is optional. This is good news for teetotalers in your party.
Er, what if I can’t drink all that beer?
And while kids under 21 aren’t allowed to participate in the Bend Ale Trail program, they’ll find plenty of non-alcoholic selections along the trail. My personal fave: The root beer and ginger beer brewed up fresh at Deschutes Brewery.
If you’re a fan of adult beverages but just not beer, flip your Bend Ale Trail atlas to the Drinkable Diversions page. That’s where you’ll find a roundup of awesome distilleries, cideries, wineries, and kombucha brewers who’d be happy to hook you up with locally-made craft beverages of a different sort.
Can I be a designated driver?
You bet! We’ll even make it worth your while if you’re willing to shoulder the responsibility of driving other people safely from brewery to brewery.
To participate, the Designated Driver must commit to not drinking ANY alcohol for the entire day he/she is the DD. You also need to identify yourself as the DD at every brewery you visit (which will earn you a free non-alcoholic beverage at each stop!)
Using the regular Bend Ale Trail atlas, just collect your special DD passport stamp at each brewery. Once you’ve collected a minimum of ten, bring your passport to the Bend Visitor Center to earn a free Hydro Flask True Pint commemorating your service as a DD. Score!
What if I don’t have a DD?
Don’t even think of drinking and driving. Seriously.
There are a gazillion ways to travel between breweries without risking a DUI or someone’s life. Here are just a few of them:
- Walk. Especially if the weather’s nice. It’s a great way to see Bend.
- Arrange a shuttle, electric cruiser car, or other sober transportation with The Bend Tour Company.
- Book a half-day tour with The Bend Brew Bus.
- Hit the trail on a horse-drawn carriage with Cowboy Carriage Company.
- Pedal a bicycle made for 14 with The Cycle Pub of Bend.
- Call a cab.
- Download the app for Uber or Lyft and hitch a ride with one of countless local drivers serving these rideshare programs.
What else do I need to know?
If you do plan to swill beer during your Bend Ale Trail journey, it’s important to be smart about consumption. A few quick tips:
- Eat a hearty meal before you set out, and plan to nosh at a couple breweries along the way.
- Take frequent water breaks. Tote your own Hydro Flask, or ask your server to set you up with a big glass of ice water.
- Opt for smaller schooners instead of full pints of beer, or stick with samples.
- Share a taster tray with a pack of friends so everyone can try a wide variety of beer without overindulging.
- Don’t try to hit all the breweries in one weekend. Take it nice and slow!
- Make a plan before you set out, including how many breweries you plan to hit and how you’ll get safely back to your Bend hotel or vacation rental.
I’m kinda worried about those beer calories…
Planning to visit Bend for Bend Ale Trail month, but fretting about your belt getting too tight? Never fear! Sign up for the Bend Ale Run on November 9 and fit in a little cardio with your fellow beer-lovers.
There’s a half-marathon and a 10k, or you can even opt to walk it with a generous 5-hour time slot for completion.
To learn more and to register, go here.
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