Thursday, September 17, 2015

Road Trip to Bend: Touring 10 Barrel Brewing

On a cool, clear Labor Day weekend, my wife and I headed up to Bend, OR.  While we looked forward to reuniting with friends who recently moved there from Cupertino in the Bay Area, it was also a chance to check out the thriving brewing community in Bend.  Just two hours after our arrival in town, we headed over to 10 Barrel Brewing's production brewery for the week;y 3:00 pm Friday tour.

By now you know, 10 Barrel was acquired by Anheuser-Busch last November. Located on the Northeastern edge of Bend, the brewery seems both physically and spiritually disconnected from the rest of the city. Early in the tour, our guide points out the original 10 Barrel system that gave the brewery its name. Someone asks "What is malt, exactly?". While our guide struggles to answer the question, what she lacks in beer knowledge, she easily makes up with raw genuine enthusiasm for 10 Barrel's beer.

The brewery buzzes with activity, forklifts beeping and humming around the brewery moving around pallets seemingly at random. Even late into the afternoon on Friday, brewery bustles with energy, striving for escape velocity well beyond Bend, fueled by Anheuser-Busch money.  As our small group dodges forklifts and looks at all the shiny new brewing equipment while sipping from complimentary bottles of Apocalypse IPA, we are sufficiently primed for the long weekend.

The original 10 barrel brewing system at
10 Barrel Brewing

Friday afternoon and they're still hard at work brewing

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