As the last of the fresh hop releases come dripping out and the beer fans of Central Oregon prepare for a genteel end-of-year segue into stout season, a couple exciting things are hitting the scene at the same time: the commemorative IPA from Boneyard, and a new name visiting from the suburbs of Seattle.
By the time this hits print, Boneyard's Mystery Science Brew 1000 should be on tap in their brewery and around town. The name, a take on '90s cult TV classic Mystery Science Theater 3000, derives from the fact that it's the one-thousandth batch of beer made at Boneyard's large-scale production facility, opened in northeast Bend more than two years ago.
MSB1K is a bit of a departure from Boneyard's flagship product. "The brewers wanted to make a traditional IPA," says Dana Robles of Boneyard. "We used, in our opinion, the classic trifecta of hops: Centennial, Amarillo and Simcoe to make a pretty straight-forward IPA that is different than RPM."
Not in the mood for an IPA in this cold weather? Turn to Bellevue Brewing Company, a four-year-old outfit just east of Seattle that made its Oregon debut at an event last week at Brother Jon's Alehouse.
There are a lot of well-known names in beer around the Seattle area, from big guys like Elysian and Pike to smaller favorites like Georgetown and Fremont. Bellevue, meanwhile, hasn't distributed much beyond greater Seattle until now, so it's not exactly a name on the lips of every Oregonian beer hipster. That may change this winter, however, once they start trying out the lineup.
Bellevue's IPA is worthy enough, boasting a mix of Chinook, Cascade, Citra and Azacca hops. (There's also a double-IPA seasonal coming out in bottles, made in collaboration with Seattle-based radio station KZOK.) But it's their maltier varieties that truly stick out of the bunch. With the weather officially turning toward winter now, the Oatmeal Stout in particular seems to pair perfectly with anything. Its smooth and toasty flavor bursts with coffee and molasses-style flavors. If Bellevue can keep Bend well-supplied, the acronym "BBC" might just start meaning something different before long.