I just spent the last week in Oregon with friends for a vacation that was (eventually) dubbed BeerCon BendPort, Oregonasm ‘015: the ReBeering and, if we are to be honest, I want to be back there already. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful country and it contains several good friends who were kind enough to host us for the duration of our trip and who I just do not see enough during the remaining months of the year.
We visited several craft breweries in the town of Bend, OR: Deschutes Brewery, The Rat Hole, Crux Fermentation Project, and Bend Brewing Company. There were some exciting and experimental beers to be had! Sours (puckery and delightful), wee heavies aged with oak chips (rich and warm), imperial reds with pine (tasted like licking the floor of a pine forest), and plenty of other varieties filled our racks of flights and tasting glasses.
The countryside of the Pacific Northwest is absolutely stunning. It is open and wide and wild in ways that I can’t describe. The vastness of the high plains that we drove through is, so far. The grandest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I have nothing to compare it to but photographs, and those can never do it justice.
Portland itself, after a few days in Bend, was lively and charming in the way that has made me fall in love with it once before. It is filled with art and music and charm and small, family owned businesses that sell quirky odds and ends or pump out amazing food.
I ate myself almost sick (but not quite) on Monday before we left: ice cream at Salt and Straw, vegan tacos at Cruzroom, donuts from an Italian mom n pop place, whiskey at Branch. It’s amazing I still fit into my plane seat home.
The ride home was nightmarish, alas. 11 hours of travel for me – someone who suffers from chronic pain and fatigue – was too long to sit uncomfortably while aching as lightning bolts of pain ran through my right side. It was a hard journey and I’m still hurting rather badly, two days later, but I don’t regret the trip for a moment. In fact, I can’t wait to go back again.