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Watering Hole: Outside The Box

Local breweries take the party outdoors

 

We spend our summers outside in Central Oregon. We play all day and watch evening sunsets cool the great high desert. And we prefer to do this with a craft beer in hand. Here’s a list of some of our favorite brewery patios, decks and gardens.

Crux Fermentation Project – 50 SW Division Street, Bend

Set above the Old Mill District in a transformed auto repair building, Crux is the perfect spot to take in unobstructed Cascades Mountain views. The outside space has plenty of picnic tables and chairs, a funky fire pit and a huge lawn where kids can go free-range while parents enjoy a seasonal brew. The garage door in the front of the building is also open all summer long if you prefer inside seating with a bolt of fresh air. Keep an eye out for summer parties, which have been known to include food trucks, live music and photo booths.

Favorite feature: At dusk, watching the lights of the big rigs traveling up and down Highway 97.

Bend Brewing Company – 1019 NW Brooks Street, Bend

BBC is celebrating 20 years, making it one of Bend’s original craft breweries. Locals love this place because BBC has kept it small and friendly while continuing to put out delicious beer. The intimate back patio feels like your friend’s house—if your friend has a view of Mirror Pond.

Favorite feature: The patio faces northwest and catches all of that late afternoon summer sun, but umbrellas keep it cool if that’s your pleasure.

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McMenamins Old St. Francis School – 700 NW Bond Street, Bend

Those McMenamins brothers know how to transform an old building into something super cool, and the Old St. Francis School is no exception. There’s plenty of outside seating and a ton of fire pits between every building. The back of the campus is home to a little whiskey and cigar bar called O’Kanes that opens up to a magical tree-covered patio twinkling with lights.

Favorite feature: With at least four outdoor dining spots and no rules about walking around with a pint, it’s fun to explore the property.

GoodLife Brewing Company – 70 SW Century Drive, Bend

GoodLife has a huge beer garden right behind their brewery, perfect for spending an afternoon in the sun. Kids (of all ages) can play lawn games like beanbag toss and bocce ball, and there’s often live music. GoodLife has done a great job of creating a jovial atmosphere both inside and out, where people share communal tables and make new friends over really good beer. It’s the good life, for sure.

Favorite feature: The big soft pretzel with cheese and mustard sauce.

Smith Rock Brewing Company – 546 NW 7th Street, Redmond

This tiny brewery in Redmond sits on a quiet street downtown. To the side of the brewery is a beautiful garden with picnic tables. After a day of exertion, Smith Rock climbers and hikers stretch out in the sun and enjoy small batch brews in this peaceful setting.

Favorite feature: The fenced-in garden is a relaxing little haven right in the middle of downtown Redmond.

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Sunriver Brewing Company – The Village at Sunriver

The patio at Sunriver Brewing Company sits in the hubbub of the village mall, giving it that ski-resort vibe. For decades families have vacationed in Sunriver and this brewery gets that—they have a play corner set up inside and a top-notch kids menu. Parents will be impressed with the adult menu too—it goes beyond standard pub fare.

Favorite feature: The server-selected sampler of beer, including some brews only available at the pub like Grandma’s Original Ale.

Worthy Brewing Company – 495 NE Bellevue Drive, Bend

The big patio at this Eastside brewery features oversized picnic tables, a fire pit with built-in benches and heat lamps for cool desert nights. White lights crisscross the westward-facing outdoor space, giving it a festive vibe for enjoying big summer night skies.

Favorite feature: Ordering off the Ken Kesey-themed menu, which usually prompts a quick discussion of his books and the Jack Nicholson movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

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10 Barrel Brewing Company – 1135 NW Galveston Avenue, Bend

10 Barrel built an open-air bar and a big patio with fire pits, and the rest is history. It’s been busy since it opened, and most nights you’ll find a youngish crowd enjoying themselves. It’s a great place to meet new people and discuss your latest outdoor adventure.

Favorite feature: This place is always bustling; the energy of the crowd is contagious.

 

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