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What Makes Bend Such a Beer Town? 

Well, it takes a whole week to explain that

There are so many aspects and different definitions to what it means for Bend to be a "beer town," but, entering its third year, the loosely organized Beer Week is coalescing as a summer ritual that seeks to provide dozens of examples of exactly what that means. With nearly every local brewery opening its doors, this is truly a remarkable week to understand the full scope and depth of the brewing industry in Central Oregon.

There is not necessarily an organizing theme (besides, beer, duh!), and in a way, this free-balling approach is creating a remarkably fun and varied schedule of events. Broken Top Bottle Shop is taking a lead of sorts, serving as the "hub" for the Beer Geek Week, and also going over the top, deciding that one week isn't enough, and instead will host nine days of featured events, including a daily tasting from breweries (6-8 pm.) and bands (7–9 pm.), essentially pairing beers with music (like Worthy Brewing on Sun., May 25, with the fun-spirited harmonized The Rum & The Sea). Broken Top Bottle Shop, 1740 NW Pence Ln.

On Wednesday, in the spirit of a democratic and fair beer week, The Ale Apothecary offers free samples of its hand-crafted, open fermentation brews. The unique and old-world approach produces beers that are like nothing you've ever tasted before. Take advantage of a rare opportunity to sample La Tache, Sahali and El Cuatro. 6 pm., Wed. May 28. Crow's Feet Commons, 875 NW Brooks St. Free.

On Thursday, 10 Barrel is hosting one of the most experimental group projects of the week. Like a witches' brew, it has invited a gaggle of local brewers to deliver their favorite hops, barley and ingredients—and is brewing up a smorgasbord-style drink. It really should be an overwhelming experience, like trying to comprehend the entire scope and taste of Central Oregon in one pint! 5–9 pm, May 29. 10 Barrel, 1135 NW Galveston Ave.

On Fri., May 30, Deschutes Brewery presents the sexiest pairing with its Beer-lesque. Tastings and Tassels with Denver's Naughty Pierre and some of Portland's finest burlesque dancers. Each performer is matched with a brew for their stage show, and enjoy a tasting as they peel off their labels. 7 pm. May 30. Old Stone Church, 157 NW Franklin. $5.

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