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Best Locally Brewed Beer: Best IPA 

Boneyard RPM

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I

n five scant years, the beer scene has changed dramatically in the United States. The number of operational breweries now exceeds 5,500. Massive, vibrant craft scenes have emerged in cities including Miami, Tulsa, and Bellingham that would never have been associated with beer before this millennium. And the mega-brewers that defined the beverage in the U.S. for 60 years after Prohibition are beginning to aggressively storm the industry, sparking intense debate over where the "spirit" of good beverages really lies.

Through it all, however, there has been one constant to Central Oregon, even as the sheer number of breweries skyrocket (Kobold Brewing's Redmond taproom is now open!). That constant is Boneyard Beer, the de-facto Official Beer of Bend.

Like Guinness to Ireland, Yuengling to Pennsylvania, or Olympia to all our dads here in the Northwest, Boneyard's RPM IPA—just "Boneyard" will suffice to order it at any bar in Oregon—has largely defined the brewery ever since owner Tony Lawrence and co-founders Clay and Melodee Storey kicked things off in 2010. It wasn't long before their diminutive warehouse in an otherwise quiet neighborhood outside of downtown became mobbed with visitors.

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The formula is "pretty simple," as Lawrence put it: "We aim to brew clean, balanced, interesting, high quality liquids—quality being our number one focus."

Keeping up with demand for RPM was touch and go for a while, with practically every square inch of the old warehouse filled with fermenters and Lawrence lamenting in 2013 that Boneyard would need to be a "90 percent RPM" brewery for a little while.

Nowadays—thanks to a new 40-barrel production facility on Bend's east side, devoted almost wholly to RPM—Boneyard's doing a much better job keeping up with demand. It's allowed the brewery to branch out a bit, including the Incredible Pulp, a citrusy sort of pale ale that's practically fine-tuned for the hot summer months. The world has been noticing, as seen with several collaborations Boneyard's made over the years with international breweries—the most recent an IPA made with Estonia's Põhjala Brewery. That one's available in Europe only, sadly.

"The opinion of the consumer matters more to us than any other award," Lawrence says. "The Source 'Best Ofs' are by far the best awards to receive. If the consumer and the manufacturer of a product are on the same page, we both are winners. So let it be known—Boneyard loves the people of Central Oregon."


Best Locally Brewed Beer

2nd Place Deschutes Brewery – Fresh Squeezed IPA


Best IPA

2nd Place Deschutes Brewery – Fresh Squeezed IPA


(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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  • Re: Best Bartender

    • CJ Hitchcock and Mike Martin at M&J Tavern still get my vote!

    • on August 16, 2017
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