Pairing Burgers with Beers | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Pairing Burgers with Beers

Breweries cater to customers' demand. And customers demand burgers.

Although Bend lacks the food diversity of larger cities, it's hard to argue that the greatest meal isn't a burger with a cold beer. And that's something decidedly not lacking locally. For this round-up of Bend's burgerific brewpubs, note that tasting rooms hosting smashburger trucks are omitted, so this exclusively focuses on pubs with burger-slinging kitchens.

10 Barrel Brewing (1135 NW Galveston Ave.)

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Brian Yaeger
10 Barrell Brewing.

There's a kitchen at the eastside production brewery but 10 Barrel's burgers were first slung on Galveston. I opted for the creatively assembled and named Blue Goat featuring blueberry jam and blue cheese (among other fixin's like bacon, natch) and washed down with Cerveza Negra. The puffy bun manages to dwarf the large patty, but with each bite the focus is on the sweet'n'tangy combo of blueberries and gamey chevre. The dark, Mexican-style lager is light (4.5%) but the nutty finish complements the goat cheese's funk. Best Imagination. $18 + $7.

Bend Brewing Co. (1019 NW Brooks St.)

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Brian Yaeger
Bend Brewing Co.

The BBC Smash Burger straddles the line between a meaty, juicy patty and a quick, crispy smasher. It's the thickest smashed one I've encountered and sports one of the tallest buns, thus dwarfing the patty. Grilled onions and American cheese make this a mainstream pleaser. At $15, it's the second-cheapest brewpub burger in Bend (olds like me may pause to reflect on that), in part because it comes standard with one smashed patty and potato chips (fries are a buck extra; tots are $2). While the burger's not juicy, the New Zealand Pale Ale is! Best View. $15 + $7.

Boneyard Beer Pub (1955 NE Division St.)

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Brian Yaeger
Boneyard Beer Pub.

From the brewery that once vowed, "No burgers, just beer," comes this smashing smash burger modeled after a Big Mac, er, Pulp Fictionesque Royale avec Cheese. Like its Golden Arches nemesis, it includes two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions. And tomato! But like McDowell's from "Coming to America," it's differentiated with no sesame seeds. Boneyard upgrades its double smash burger with a Sparrow Bakery brioche bun. Pair it with the freshest pint of RPM possible, especially because it holds up to an IPA. Best Classic. $16 + $7 (except on Wednesdays when the combo is $16).

Cascade Lakes Brewing (21175 SE Reed Market Rd.)

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Brian Yaeger
Cascade Lakes Brewing.

Cascade Lakes' new eastside location serves the underserved Larkspur and Old Farm District communities. Beneath the doughy dome that is the brioche bun we find melty smoked gouda, FTW. And not grilled onions: caramelized. Not Fry sauce: dijonnaise. And because it's on the menu, I upgraded with a fried egg, one of the few place that offers this unsung ingredient. What's more, in tot-happy Oregon, you can actually sub fries for onion rings (and at no extra charge). For lunch, pair it with a lower-ABV (5.9%) Cheeky IPA. Best Not-for-profit-Burger. $14 + $3 fried egg + $6.50.

Deschutes Public House (1044 NW Bond St.)

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Brian Yaeger
Deschutes Public House.

The Brewery Burger comes loaded with delicious grilled onions, crispy bacon, and standards like lettuce, tomato, pickles (the bread'n'butter kind) and special sauce, "Brew 1." The puddle that arises just from picking it up is the first indicator of just how drippy-juicy this is. It'd be easy to pair with any of the juicy IPAs on tap (five during my visit) but I'm partial to the effervescent palate-cleanser that is King Crispy Pilsner, especially since Deschutes serves 20-ounce, imperial pints. Best Place to Bring Visitors. $19 + $7.25.

Immersion Brewing (550 SW Industrial Way)

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Brian Yaeger
Immersion Brewing.

This Box Factory brewpub puts a concerted effort to fashion one of the better burgers 'round here. The menu's two burgers include the pub house burger and the eponymous Immersion burger. Both spotlight an 8-ounce blend of Wagyu and chuck, but it's the pub burger that kicks it up a notch by adding bacon, crispy fried onions, and eschews a square of cheese for a healthy dollop of pub beer cheese. Feel free to dip the battered fries in a fallen splat. The bacon and beer cheese shine under the dark light of a Moon Wizard Munich Dunkel. Best Kept Secret. $20 + $7.

McMenamins Old St. Francis School (700 NW Bond St.)

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Brian Yaeger
McMenamins Old St. Francis School.

The quirkiest school lunch menu in town is 10 burgers long! They range from a veggie burger to a $28 elk burger. But said elk burger contains two toppings I simply needed: coffee-bacon jam and black garlic aioli. If you, too, need this, ask for the bacon cheeseburger ($19.25) and sub the bacon for bacon jam. As glorious as it is, there's nothing more glorious than the surfeit of Cajun-spiced tots — a McMenamins original — on the side. The Nitro Coffee Stout brings out the coffee in the coffee-bacon jam. Best Supporting Role to Tots. $19.25 + $7.50.

Monkless Brasserie (803 SW Industrial Way)

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Brian Yaeger
Monkless Brasserie.

The Belgo Burger's tucked between a sturdy, crunchy ciabatta bun, but it consists of a meaty patty, caramelized onions, melted Muenster cheese and dijonnaise, so it's nice'n'sloppy. Since Belgians invented fries (not the French!) Monkless's frites are, expectedly, the best fries in town. Dip 'em in mayonnaise (that's thicker, richer than standard mayo.), but if you must apply ketchup, note that it's curried. Yum. Finally, pair with Shepplekofeggan Belgian Wit, a citrusy, spicy, soft wheat beer that goes down easier than it is to pronounce. Best Frites. $18 + 6.

Sunriver Brewing (1005 NW Galveston Ave.)

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Brian Yaeger
Sunriver Brewing.

Sunriver's Galveston pub sports a menu with four burger options. While I love pineapple on everything, I forewent the summery Hawaiian burger in favor of one of the best in Bend, the Pub Burger. This juicy beaut boasts beer caramelized onions, peppery bacon and roasted garlic aioli, but the two elements that tie it together like the Dude's rug are the jalapeno-cheddar bun (thick but mercifully airy) and smoked gouda. Every bite is a flavorful and textural delight. Wash it down with the highly carbonated Che Figata, a dry-hopped Italian-style pilsner that hits the refresh button before each bite. Best in Show. $18 + $7.

Worthy Brewing Beers & Burgers (806 NW Brooks St.)

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Brian Yaeger
Worthy Brewing Beers & Burgers.

We have George Motz, America's foremost burger scholar, to thank for the team at Worthy Beer & Burgers putting the Oklahoma Onion Burger on as one week's special. And customers to thank for demanding it stays on. It's two patties smashed on the grill alongside shaved onions. The combo of onion-addled meat and yellow mustard, with an acidic pickle and soft bun, is a revelation. Pair it with Worthy's flagship Dreamboat IPA for a taste of OKC meets PNW. Alas, this is only available at the downtown location, not at the eastside brewpub, for now. Move over Detroit-style pizza, here comes Oklahoma-style burgers. Best Regional Revival. $16 + $5 (happy hour pints last all day all summer).

About The Author

Brian Yaeger

Brian Yaeger is a beer author (including "Oregon Breweries"), beer fest producer and beer-tasting instructor at COCC. Because he’s working on doughnut authorship, you’ll find he occasionally reviews our local doughnut scene. Yes, he absolutely floats all summer long with a beer in one hand and a doughnut in the...
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