It's a bit of a running joke at this point. Every time a brewery opens up in Central Oregon, the first reaction is often "Surely there's no way this city can sustain yet another craft brew outlet." Then, a few months later, another brewery opens. Then another, then another. It never fails.
Such is the environment being tackled by Bend's new crop of breweries, led (for the time being) by Boss Rambler Beer Club. Situated two doors down from 10 Barrel on Galveston Avenue (in the former Aspect Boards & Brews building), Boss Rambler was founded by Matt and Kate Molletta, who used to work at Crux and Boneyard, respectively. Fellow Crux alumnus Jacob Bansmer runs the brew system.
"We're running the brewery now as a kind of extended soft opening," Matt Molletta explains. "Later this month we'll be closing the taproom in order to fully renovate the building over the fall. Eventually, the plan is to open a true farmhouse brewery up in Tumalo, where we'll be able to grow hops and other ingredients onsite."
For now, though, Bansmer is brewing Boss Rambler beer on Silver Moon's equipment. The place debuted with a hazy IPA, but this weekend they're offering Double Dip, an IPA that's also pretty opaque, but whose Amarillo and Citra hops make it taste like a true-blue Northwestern ale. A great choice, no doubt, for a warm September afternoon spent at the outdoor beer garden, taking in the Galveston Avenue people-watching.
Boss Rambler is far from the only new face in town, of course. Geist Beerworks is now open five days a week at a site near Redmond Airport, offering a dozen well-made house beers and making plans for an indoor food-truck lot.
Over near Smith Rock, Good Earth Brewing is making beer now, just waiting on an alcohol license to begin distributing kegs all over town. And closer to downtown Redmond, Porter Brewing plans to offer an extensive line of 100 percent cask-conditioned British ales. The grand opening is set for September 29.