Bend Brewing Company Turns 20


(Photo above by Gregg Morris: Bartender Eric Monsen serves up a beer to thirsty BBC patrons)

For the past twenty years, Bend Brewing Company has hand-crafted quality beers and served them up out of their downtown Bend location. Their insistence of quality has garnered BBC countless awards for beers such as Hophead, Ching Ching American Sour and Salmonberry Sour. Meanwhile, their cozy bar atmosphere has made them a local favorite since their 1995 opening.

Original owners, Jerry Fox and Dave Hill, were a couple of businessmen who owned Bend Wood Products, in the current Century Center location, who thought Bend could use a second brewpub, other than Deschutes Brewery. So, in February of 1995, they opened Bend Brewing Company on Brooks Street. In 2000, Fox’s daughter, Wendi Day, bought the brewery and has remained the owner ever since.

Day has kept things the same at their Deschutes River location, with the exception of doubling barrel production to close to 1000 barrels a year. And what used to be five beers on tap, with one signature beer, has grown to ten beers, including five rotating seasonal choices.

A key ingredient to their success lies in BBC’s employees. Day has owned the brewery for fifteen years, while bartender Eric Monsen has served BBC faithfuls for seventeen years. Head Brewmaster Ian Larkin worked three years as their assistant brewer before taking over beer operations in 2012. And with long-time employees comes trust.

“Ian is entirely responsible for the beer that is brewed at Bend Brewing Company,” says Day.“I value his decisions, his expertise and his commitment to continually satisfy our consumer’s palates.”

Bend Brewing Company’s attention to detail in their beer and customers service has made them a local and international favorite. Larkin and his wife spent four weekends last summer picking the salmonberries in the Salmonberry Sour. For their efforts, the beer won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival last year. And, assistant brewer, Josh Harned gathered the subalpine fur tips for BBC’s black IPA, Winter Ale.

Award-winning beers from 2014’s North American Brewers Association awards include Ching Ching American Sour (Gold), Wicked Medicine (Gold), and Scarlet Imperial Red (Bronze). Ching Ching American Sour also collected the Bronze medal in the American Sour Category at the World Beer Cup.

“The goal is always to keep the beer flowing, our customers happy, and be satisfied with the product I produce,” says Larkin. “Awards are great, but they mean nothing without the rest of our employees and local patrons enjoying the pub.”

To celebrate Bend Brewing Company’s twentieth anniversary, they hosted a block party in downtown Bend. They closed down Brooks Street, hired a couple band, and invited a few thousand of their closest friends for a birthday celebration. Locals and visitors alike filled the tent and drank one of the twenty beers Larkin and Harned prepared for the occasion. Included in the selection was the Outback XX, a strong ale similar to the Outback X, brewed for the pubs tenth anniversary.

For those who missed the party and those who want more, BBC’s Monday Growler Madness offers discounted growler refills and Local’s Night on Tuesdays offers $2.75 pints.

Bend Brewing Company
1019 NW Brooks Street, Bend, OR 97701
Owner: Wendi Day
Year Established: 1995
Service: Craft beer and pub food

Hot News: Recently celebrated their twentieth anniversary. Won four beer awards in 2014.

Growth Outlook: BBC has relied on quality craft beer and catering to their patrons for over 20 years. They continue to win awards for their beer and consistently rank as one of Bend’s favorite brewery.

Damon Runberg, an economist for the State of Oregon Employment Department recently released his report on the economic impact of Oregon breweries. In it, he highlights the positive effects of one of Central Oregon’s most well-love industries; beer.

Central Oregon’s brewing industry, alongside the state’s brewing industry, continued to grow in 2014, according to Runberg. While only one new brewery was added locally, Oregon added 29, bringing the total to 225 brewing establishments, according to the Oregon Employment Department. In addition, existing local breweries expanded by adding 20% to their payrolls for a total of $27.1 million. In comparison, Portland-area breweries accounted for $76.5 million.

Central Oregon breweries employed 1,011 people last year, Runberg also noted. In Deschutes County, breweries accounted for 1.5% of total private employment last year. Brewers added 124 employees, a 14% growth rate. Median hourly wage for brewery workers is $15.50, and $14.70 for pub workers. While there is one brewing establishment for every 5,738 residents in Deschutes County, Hood River County has us beat with one for every 3,390 residents.


About Author

Bend-based freelance writer Gregg Morris honed his wit in suburban Michigan and his gift for the written word at Michigan State University. When not writing, Gregg can be found riding his bike, earning his turns, or playing guitar alongside his wife and daughter.

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