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Sipping beer in Bend

A short tour of exceptional breweries in Bend, Oregon

Bend Brewery’s outdoor patio and lawn is a favorite afternoon hang-out spot for locals and travelers in Bend, Oregon. The outdoor space overlooks the Deschutes River on one side and downtown Bend on the other. Photo credit: Moses Spencer

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There are 26 breweries in Bend, Oregon, which is the most breweries per capita in the state of Oregon according to Visit Bend and Craft Beer Oregon. Naturally, we tried to drink a beer at every single one of them during a long weekend this summer. We failed. But only because the beer was so crisp and hoppy that we couldn't resist staying for a second ... sometimes third ... and admittedly, fourth beer at a few of the breweries. We jotted down a shortlist of our favorite Bend breweries for travelers of a similar spirit.

10 Barrel Brewing Co.

Named after the 10-barrel brewing system in use at its brewhouse, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. got its start in 2006 and quickly expanded into California, Colorado, Idaho and Washington state. The brewery's six flagship beers - including Apocalypse IPA, Trail Beer and Out of Office - will keep you firmly seated on the sunny, outdoor patio. If you're on the hunt for a taste you can't find anywhere else, try Ginxs, an imperial Berliner Weisse beer aged on Gin Botanicals. We also suggest balancing out your beer with food: 10 Barrell's oyster shooters with a tangy, curry-rimmed glass, lime wedge and cocktail sauce. Yum.

Bend Brewing Company

Nowhere in the city of Bend is there a better outdoor beer garden and patio than at Bend Brewing Company. Don't even think of sitting inside. Instead, order your beer outside at the patio entrance and then find a picnic table, blanket or Adirondack chair to lounge on at the bank of the Deschutes River. We sipped on pints of Tropical State Juice IPA while watching paddleboarders float downriver, then Outback Amber Ale as locals played cornhole nearby. This brewery is the second oldest in the city and has won dozens of awards for its brews - all of which are crafted on the second floor of the brewery, overlooking the river.

Humm Kombucha

When you're ready for a reprieve from all those hops, head to Humm Kombucha for a barely-alcoholic but incredibly delicious kombucha. This fermented, fizzy beverage is made by fermenting tea with bacteria and yeast, resulting in a tasty beverage chalk-full of probiotics and antioxidants. The Humm brewery in Bend not only has Kombucha on tap, but it's the largest producer of kombucha in kegs in the world, according to the company's website. The brewery has a refreshing variety of kombucha flavors on draft, including coconut lime, lemon ginger and blueberry mint. It also has local art on every wall and food trucks parked just outside the taproom. It's the perfect location to sober up a bit before heading to the next brewery on your list.

McMenamins' Old St. Francis School Brewery

Besides its regional reputation for providing an amazing resort-style experience to patrons, McMenamins is also a crafter of beer, wine, cider and spirits. The Old St. Francis School Brewery in Bend produces surprisingly light-on-the-palate beer like Parson Brown and Red Sky Warning. The Hammerhead Ale - an exceptional American Pale Ale that pairs well with spicy, dishes - was our favorite brewsky on the menu. For a harder-hitting drink, opt for a sipping glass of Edgefield Hogshead Whiskey. Although not made in-house, this barrel-aged whiskey is crafted at a McMenamins still in Troutdale, Oregon, and has quite a smooth finish.

Deschutes Brewery

Close out your long weekend - and your tab - at Deschutes Brewery. You'll find 19 house brews on tap at this centrally located brewery, including Pacific Northwestern staples like Fresh Squeezed IPA, Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. As one of the original brewpubs in Bend, and with 40 years of brewing and history under its belt, Deschutes is the perfect location to embark on a 45-minute brewery tour of the production facility. If you'd prefer to take it easy at the end of your adventure instead, grab a seat and a pint glass of the brewery's seasonal beer, including Twilight Summer Ale and Hapzeit Autumn IPA.

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