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Originally published June 15, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 15, 2008 at 4:38 AM

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Bend's brew pubs cure what ales you

Sunriver Resort, Mount Bachelor and 300 days of sunshine a year draw hordes of visitors to the town of Bend, a central Oregon vacation spot...

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Sunriver Resort, Mount Bachelor and 300 days of sunshine a year draw hordes of visitors to the town of Bend, a central Oregon vacation spot.

After river-rafting, hiking, mountain biking or more leisurely vacation pursuits, a meal and a beer at a local brew pub is a great way to experience life like a local in Bend. As the city has grown from 20,000 residents in 1990 to nearly 80,000 today, the brewing scene has burgeoned, offering a wealth of options for the discerning beer fan. Choices include:

Deschutes Brewery

The pub: Bend's original brew pub, established in 1988, is a large, busy venue in the city's low-key downtown where there's often a wait for a table. The extensive menu includes a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches.

The brews: Choices include Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter and other longtime favorites and seasonal ales. India Pale Ale (IPA) fans will appreciate the crisp, hoppy Hop Henge seasonal currently available.

Inside tip: Deschutes' brewing facility, near the popular Old Mill District shopping mall, offers free all-ages tours, tasting, a gift shop and beer to go.

If you go: Deschutes Brewery and Public House, 1044 N.W. Bond St., Bend, 541-382-9242. Brewing Facility, 901 S.W. Simpson St., Bend, 541-385-8606, www.deschutesbrewery.com.

Bend Brewing Co.

The pub: The large, airy bar/dining area boasts one of the most scenic views in downtown Bend, overlooking the Deschutes River's Mirror Pond. The outdoor patio is a popular spot on Bend's warm summer days and high-desert cool evenings.

The brews: Elk Lake IPA is the most popular brew. Other choices include High Desert Hefeweizen, Metolius Gold Ale, Outback Old Ale, Pinnacle Porter and up to five rotating seasonals, brewed upstairs and piped directly to pub taps. There's always at least one creamy Nitro brew that even non-beer-drinkers may enjoy.

Inside tip: A good selection of appetizers is half-price 4-6 p.m. weekdays.

If you go: Bend Brewing Co., 1019 N.W. Brooks St., Bend, 541-383-1599 or www.bendbrewingco.com.

Silver Moon

Brewing

The pub: A few blocks away from the downtown core, Silver Moon is a friendly pub with a relaxed, retro décor. It's popular with locals and tends toward a younger crowd, with reasonably priced appetizers, burgers and sandwiches; poetry slams; and live music Wednesday and Saturday nights.

The brews: Silver Moon's flagship ale, Hound's Tooth Amber, a full-flavored, hoppy local favorite, is also available on tap at other locations around Bend. Other brews include Snake Bite Porter, Bridge Creek Pilsner, Badlands Bitter, Hop Knob IPA and seasonal ales.

Inside tip: If you'd rather relax over a brew at your place, half-gallons of draft beer are a bargain at $10.50, with some bottles also available.

If you go: Silver Moon Brewing, 24 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend, 541-388-8331 or www.silvermoonbrewing.com.

Cascade Lakes

Brewing Co.

The pub: Located on Bend's west side not far from the Old Mill District shopping area, Cascade Lakes Lodge is a spacious, all-ages venue with an after-skiing-mountain-biking-paddling-golfing theme, pool tables, outside dining and a full bar. The company brewery and other brew pubs are in nearby Redmond.

The brews: Rooster Tail Ale, a crisp, light-bodied, golden ale, is Cascade Lake's flagship brew. Other choices include Blonde Bombshell, Pine Marten Pale Ale, 20" Brown (named for the region's big brown trout), Monkey Face Porter, Angus MacDougal's Amber and seasonal ales.

Inside tip: Taster trays available with generous samples of seven brews.

If you go: Cascade Lakes Brewing Co. Lodge, 1441 S.W. Chandler Ave., Bend, 541-388-4998 or www.cascadelakes.com.

Madeline McKenzie is a lead news assistant at The Seattle Times.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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