Beer or Bust in Bend – July 2018

Once again keeping our (my) priorities in order, we arrived in Bend for the purpose of tasting some local craft beers.  Or bust. Well, we got a little bit of each.

But before I get into that, you need (“need” might be an exaggeration) to know about our trip heading into Bend, OR.  As a side note I do find it interesting that “exaggerate” has two G’s.  Truthfully, it should be spelled exaagggerate, don’t you think?

Anyway, back to our trip coming into Bend.  We started seeing these funky looking “beaters”, these old cars that looked like they were on their last legs but tricked out for their last lap around the field.  Remember your worst car?  Triple it.  Yup, you got it.  Well, it turns out we were seeing attendees to this year’s Gambler 500!

Courtesy Gambler 500 website

The Gambler 500 could either be he Burning Man of Car Rallies, or the Dennis Latyshev Parade of Wheels  (one of our son’s college roommates).  If you are not familiar, the Gambler 500 is a navigational-based, mostly off-road rally where you take a car that costs less than $500 and trick it out to be fun and interesting.  There are navigational challenges, camping out (think Woodstock), music and beer.  The rules seem to be fairly loose – “It’s more like a guideline.” (Captain Barbosa).

Gambler 500 website
Gambler 500 website

We got a few pictures of some of the entries, although there were a ton of them with some pretty cool setups.  There was one rig that had two young guys up front and two blowup dolls in the back seat, but I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture.







Even a Mercedes on the group




One of the busiest places in town, don’t you know

We made it into Bend and camped a few nights at a private campground, and a few nights at Tumalo State Park.


Tumalo SP was a really nice state park campground, although temperatures our entire time in Bend were in the high 90’s – we were almost held captive in our trailer it was so hot outside.


Even reading in the shade you found yourself sweating.  We would have stayed at Tumalo SP the entire time, but it is a busy time of year and had to split our stay between campgrounds.  But Tumalo is just a short drive from downtown Bend.


Not to be deterred with the heat, we took a stroll through downtown Bend on Saturday evening and found some of the streets blocked off for some kind of festival, with several stages for bands – pretty cool.



We dined at the bar of the Deschutes Brewery & Public House and had a flight of some of their craft brews with dinner.  While I was impressed, I wasn’t smitten with Deschutes brews to be honest, but we had a fun night.



The next night, a bit by happenstance, we found the newly opened (5thday open) Boneyard Pub, Boneyard Beer Company’s newly opened pub.  Can I get an amen?  This was AWESOME!  Boneyard Beer has clearly figured out how to do IPA’s well.



Can you say Notorious? Boneyard’s Triple IPA, Notorious, is one badass brew, and honestly?  One of the best tasting IPA’s I have ever had!  It is delicious, malty, and maybe a bit notorious with its high gravity content. Too bad you can’t get it anywhere but here in Bend, but hey, it is the bomb! And you can get flights from their list of 15-20 different brews if you want to sprinkle the infield.



This is also a dog-friendly place on the outside patio.



While I don’t typically buy growlers, I made an exception here and brought a growler of Notorious home to the camper with me, where I coveted it – briefly.  Good things are going on at Boneyard!


So all in all, there was beer in Bend, and we would come back, but hopefully under cooler conditions, because the weather (the heat) for us was a bust.

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