Bend = Beer

Why, you may be asking, is she writing about beer on a site that is supposed to be related to history and nature. Well… beer is a big part of Bend’s history.

Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter beer and a growler

Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter and a growler

The history of beer in Central Oregon

Earlier this year, the High Desert Museum had a great exhibit about brewing. It was a temporary exhibit and it has closed but I can still share part of what I wrote about the exhibit. Here is an excerpt:

“The exhibit follows the history of brewing with an emphasis on activity in the Central Oregon region. What started out as saloons set up in tents has evolved into brewpubs that can be found throughout the area. Brewing slowed down during the Prohibition period of 1920 to 1933. Prohibition actually started four years earlier in Oregon due to the protests from some of its residents. Many women that participated in the temperance movement were upset by the bad influence alcohol had on their lives. At one time, there were breweries in nearly every Central Oregon town.

After Prohibition ended, new businesses opened that served a wide variety of alcoholic beverages.  Grant’s Brewery Pub located in Yakima, Washington, was the first craft brewery in the northwest. It opened in 1982. In 1983, after a series of legislative measures passed it became legal to produce and sell beer from independent breweries in Oregon. Craft brewing started in Bend in 1988 when Gary Fish opened Deschutes Brewery. As craft beer became more widely accepted, other breweries opened in two successive waves of activity that began in the 1990s. There are currently 26 breweries in the area with five more rumored to be opening in the not too distant future. Continue reading