I knew Boneyard’s name far before I knew what they were about.
Like most of you, I imagine, I tasted their RPM IPA after way too many recommendations from beer friends. They said that it was the best IPA they’ve had. As a self-identified hop head, I of course challenged their uninformative opinion and defiantly said:
“We’ll see about that.”
Well, I saw about that, and now go way out of my way to get Boneyard’s RPM. It’s a hop-forward blast of flavor with strong citrus notes and a clean mouthfeel.
You know what makes it worse? You can’t get their stuff in bottles. Try me — go into your local bottle shop and ask for an “RPM” or “Hop Venom.” They will look at you, laugh, wipe the tears from their faces, and then ask you what you would like.
And, right now, they are running at full capacity. Their stuff is flying out of the brewery in Old Town Bend. Rumor has it that they are planning to expand (hopefully to a place with bottling capabilities).
I finally made it out to the brewery a couple of days ago and felt like it was exactly as advertised.
Back story rant: Boneyard brewery started by a bunch of brewers/outdoor enthusiasts. But, missing the capital to buy a whole new brewery, they acquired old brewing equipment from other micros who outgrew their knickers. Boneyard … old brewing equipment — you get it.
Anyway, Boneyard is located in a very different part of Bend, Ore. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the area, most of the city is centrally located around Downtown and the West Side of the highway. You’ll find 85 percent of the breweries over there. But, Boneyard is a destination place. You really have to find a way to get out there (luckily, Bend offers a ton of alternatives to driving).
Also, once you’re out there, you’re kind of S.O.L., considering the brewery doesn’t serve anything between a taster and a growlette. All that to say, it’s not a tap room. You go out there to have a couple of tasters, and then leave. There is no seating or communal spaces. And, the tasting room is quite small.
I guess it makes sense — tourists do the famous Bend Ale Trail, can’t have a pint, decide to go with a growler, and the brewery is suddenly pulling in a little extra cash. Blame the Eugene roots, but I would love to go to support a place like this and have a drink in a cool, eclectic taproom that they are clearly (and successfully) trying to harness.
That said, their beers overall are great if you’re into hops. Their selection, at least while I was there, is largely ales with a strong hop and citrus presence. Luckily, that’s my favorite combination. If you go, get a taster of the seasonals. The RPM and Hop Venom will wreck your taste buds if you have them first.
Overall, I the place is alright. Their flagship, the RPM, if phenomenal. The others are good, that I’ve tried. I look forward to the Girl Beer, made with cherries, later in the year. The tasting room is just that — a room for tasting beer. Go there with you growler and you’ll be happy.
I look forward to the expansion of the brewery. I hope it has the room to make more beer, and an expanded tasting room. Pints would be nice, guys.
Check them out at:
37 Northwest Lake Pl # B, Bend, OR