Over Super Bowl weekend, the Froommates and I spent some time in Bend, Oregon. Trying local beers, relaxing in Sun River and cheering the Patriots on to victory! When I say we tried local beers, I mean we tried a lot of local beers. This blog series is all about them! First up is Boneyard Beer.
We arrived at Boneyard Beer, right when they opened Saturday morning. Liz, their amazing served hooked us up with tasters while we explored their small tasting room. I will warn you it’s a small space, however, they have a bunch of cool vintage beer signs and posters. Definitely worth checking out. On top of great beers, they have some great swag as well including awesome “Beer Girl” t-shirts that both Emily and I had to get! They also sell Dawg Grog, beer for your dogs! (Blog post coming soon!)
About Boneyard Beer
In 2010, Boneyard Beer was started in an old auto shop tucked away in the backstreets of Bend, Oregon’s historical district. (Coming from a motorcycle family, I loved the Boneyard Bike at the entrance). Without any outside investors or major bank loans, Boneyard’s inception was unconventional to say the least. After decades in the brewing industry, owner Tony Lawrence built up a “boneyard” of old equipment he collected from 13 different breweries around the country. Alongside co-founders, Clay and Melodee Storey, this second-hand brewing equipment was pieced together to brew the first batch of Boneyard Beer in May 2010. As Boneyard has grown, the initial fermenters have been replaced with shiny new ones, but the original, refurbished 20-barrel system is still the one Boneyard uses today. The current brewing system, with it’s capacity of 15,000 barrels per year, allows Boneyard to distribute draft beer in Oregon and Washington.
To date, Boneyard has brewed 17 different beers and is currently in the process of a major expansion. The new facility, approximately 15,000 sq feet, will be home to the new production facility and employee offices. The new facility will add much needed capacity for Boneyard. In keeping with the theme, the 40 BBL brewhouse purchased for the new facility is second-hand. The new brewery anticipates being operational in mid-2014. (Maybe this should read 2015?) But, as things change, the focus remains the same: balanced, hoppy beers. While typically, I’m not a huge fan of hoppy beers or IPAs, the guys in our group were wicked excited to start of the day here. This is what we tried:
- RPM IPA – Brewed using six different NW varieties of hops at over 2.5 pounds per barrel. It’s golden to copper in color with a complex malt profile that will not overshadow the hops. Boneyard Beer’s flagship, RPM IPA, will satisfy any opinionated hop forward IPA consumer. I loved this beer. It’s a great introduction to IPAs, hoppy but not bitter. Something hard to pull off, but great to appreciate. We took a growler to go.
- Hop-A-Wheelie – Another beer we took home in a growler, this beer definitely inspired us since we were biking around Bend all day. Classic IPA with some kick.
- Hop Venom – With over 5.5 pounds per barrel in the brew, Hop Venom screams “HOPS”! It will strike your nervous system with a venomous mix of Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook, and CTZ hops. Hop Venom’s delicate malt profile will only allow the flavor dominance. Definitely a step up from RPM IPA, but still a good beer.
- Notorious Triple IPA – This ale pours a clear amber color with a light white head. Huge grapefruit and pine aroma lead to flavors of citrus, tropical fruits and honey. Hops are abundant and explode from the glass while balancing amazingly well with the malts. So balanced in fact, it’s dangerous! While this beer is definitely fruity (which I loved), I’m not sure I could handle more than a sample of it.
- Fuego Rojo – This was my favorite beer from Boneyard! Since it is a chile beer, it’s got a spicy kick that will leave you wanting more. We also got a growler of Fuego Rojo to go as well.
Have you ever been to Bend, Oregon? Or Boneyard Beer? What did you think? What is your favorite beer?
[Just a heads up, I received a discount on beer and merchandise from Boneyard Beer. But don’t let that stop you – make this a stop next time your are in Bend!]