Deschutes Brewery and Public House is celebrating National Burger Month by providing a new and unique burger every day this month, and since it is a brewery, each item has a recommended beer pairing. That's 31 different excuses to explore the May burger menu in its downtown location in Bend, although how much of a reason is needed to enjoy a tasty burger and brew? Aside from the diverse beef burger offerings, there is also a range of vegetarian options toward the end of the month. The full menu is available all month; that way all who arrive will be sure to have plenty from which to choose.
This year the month started on a Sunday with its first offering of a garlic burger, but the real deal came the next day with the fan favorite burger, which is decided by the recommendations made from the public via Facebook. Chef Brian Kerr says it's important to make sure the community feels heard and appreciated as a way of thanking them for a huge part of the company's success. "It is important to us to cultivate an experience for our guests; it's not always about just making money," says Kerr.
Chris McLaughlin, a server at the local pub for six years, echoes Kerr's sentiment about the desire for input from the public. He says the whole crew cares very much about people. "When you get a group of people that are this excited and passionate about what they do, it's contagious," he says.
The enthusiasm doesn't end within the walls. Those in Bend who live and breathe all things brew also have extended a hand in this month-long celebration. The first fan favorite was called the Ludwicki Burger. Made up of an all natural Borlen Beef patty, Face Rock Creamery aged cheddar, apple wood smoked bacon, caramelized onions and a couple of choice condiments made to complement the creation. This masterpiece of meat was the brainchild of 10 Barrel's head chef, James Ludwicki, who shares the same desire to promote good food to a good community. This is an act of mutual respect and admirable collaboration in an extremely competitive market.
Assistant manager and marketing coordinator Beth Simak is getting a lot of positive feedback from the public. "People love our burgers and seem to enjoy our passion for creating new burger ideas and going with it," she says. Keeping the fans of the pub in the loop seemed like the proper thing to do in order to allow diners to plan their meals ahead of time. "This year we thought getting the full month calendar out there to people so they could really see what we were doing would be a fun way to get more community involvement and charm to the month."
Postcard sized month-long menus can be found at the pub, as well as on its Facebook page. This handy pocket-sized guide gives a title and description for each burger to help select dishes that best suit each person's tastes. Some upcoming burgers to look forward to are Poutine Burger on May12, Pork Belly Bun Sliders on May 17, and the Dry-Aged Ultimate Burger on May 28, which is National Burger Day.
The pub is also giving back by offering punch cards to guests interested in trying five of the daily burgers throughout the month. Once filled, this stamped golden ticket can be turned in to receive some sweet or savory burger-swag along with a chance to win in the pub's raffle at the end of the celebration.
Deschutes Brewery & Public House
1044 NW Bond St., Bend
Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.