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The Bend Ale Trail: A 3-Day Dog-Friendly Itinerary

The Bend Ale Trail: A 3-Day Dog-Friendly Itinerary

Visit Bend hosted me on this amazing trip to Bend to celebrate Bend Ale Trail Month. All opinions are my own.

Did you know that the Bend Ale Trail was the first ale trail in the west? It started in 2010 with just eight breweries and today consists of over two dozen breweries spread throughout seven territories in Central Oregon.

In addition to breweries, the Bend Ale Trail also includes:

  • Drinkable Diversions, featuring wineries, cideries, distilleries, and kombucha breweries, and
  • Perfect Pairings that feature non-beer adventures like hikes, river floats, and cave explorations.

Bend has one brewery per 4,500 residents, making it the beer capital of Oregon and one of the top beer towns in the country.

There are always new places opening and I was excited to try out some new dog-friendly spots!

Sitka and I managed to pack a lot into our short visit! I’ve laid out our itinerary below so you can plan a three-day dog-friendly Bend Ale Trail beercation for yourself!

Spider City Brewing

How does the Bend Ale Trail Work?

Each territory in the Bend Ale Trail sits within a unique area in Central Oregon. The territories include Sunriver, Prineville, Sisters, Redmond, and more. 

You can pick up a passport at the Bend Visitor Center or use the app to discover breweries, wineries, distilleries, and adventures in each territory.

For every brewery you visit, you’ll mark it in the app or get a stamp in your passport. Each location has a poster with a code you enter into the app.

When the territory stamp page is complete, bring it to the Bend Visitor Center to receive a prize. Each territory has a unique prize, which make a nice set when you collect them all!

If you complete all seven territories, you get a bonus prize.

If you visit seven stamps from Drinkable Diversions, you can also earn a prize!

Additionally, there are also prizes for designated drivers, just ask at the visitor center.

Bend Ale Trail Month

November is Bend Ale Trail Month, where participants can earn a special German tankard after completing a visit to every brewery in a territory, in addition to the standard prize.

You can also win prizes like brewery gift cards, hats, a water bottle from Hydroflask , and more when you share your beerventure on Instagram using the hashtag #bendaletrailmonth.

A Dog-Friendly Itinerary to the Bend Ale Trail

During this particular visit, I aimed to visit breweries that I hadn’t visited in a while or had never visited at all. I am pleased to say that I was very successful with this mission!

We took advantage of the drive to and from Portland, which lead us through some of the territories outside of Bend.

Bend is a very dog-friendly town, so most of the breweries on the ale trail (if not all, to be honest) welcome dogs.

Day 1 Wild Ride Brewing and Bend Brewing

On the drive in, I stopped at Wild Ride Brewing in Redmond and enjoyed lunch on the huge patio next to the fire pit. 

I’m sure it gets busy during high season, but the patio at 2PM on a chilly day was nice and quiet, which is great if you have a dog.

Wild Ride Brewing was started by a group of lifelong friends native to Redmond. Visitors will always find 16 year-round and seasonal brews on tap. I had to go with a hazy called Jennifer A, for obvious reasons. 

Adjacent to the patio is a small food cart pod with four food trucks serving pizza, burritos and bowls, fish & chips, and burgers and sandwiches. I opted for yakisoba from Shred Town, and was admittedly a little skeptical as the truck also serves burritos, but my meal was delicious!

For dinner, I met a friend at Bend Brewing, which wasn’t a new-to-me brewery, but I hadn’t been for over 10 years. Since we had our dogs with us, we sat outside underneath the plenty-warm heaters. It was quite cold and we stayed relatively warm!

Bend Brewing is the second-oldest brewery in Bend, located downtown in a sweet spot, right off the Deschutes River and Mirror Pond.

Bevel Beer in Bend, Oregon

Day 2 – The Badlands, Bevel Brewing, an Art Walk, & Spider City Brewing

I started Day 2 with breakfast at one of my favorite vegan spots in Bend (and really anywhere), A Broken Angel. Located at the food cart pod at Spoken Moto, the menu features a mix of southern food like biscuits and gravy to breakfast burritos and scrambles, and griddle cakes. 

If you are vegan and miss breakfast, this is the place to visit!

After digesting my meal, I headed out for a Perfect Pairing to the Badlands for a short run on one of my favorite dog-friendly trails in Bend, the Ancient Juniper Trail.

Situated east of Bend, the Badlands are a rugged region formed by lava flows with unique features. 

They don’t see nearly the foot traffic of other trails closer to the mountains, which makes them a great spot if you want to run or hike somewhere more chill.

In the winter, they are also often snow-free, even if everywhere else is buried in snow.

Ready to eat again, Sitka and I checked out Bevel Beer, a brewery created by a husband/wife team who are also professional disc golfers with a passion for IPAs. As an IPA lover myself, I had to get a sample tray to try as many as I could.

The patio was large, with lots of tables and several food carts, but not too busy, making it a great place to take your dog.

Next up, we visited Spider City Brewing, a female-owned brewery formed by longtime friends whose beers are inspired by their travels together. Lucky me, the downtown location was across the street from my hotel.

The downtown spot is situated in a wine bar Tin Pan Alley, which features award-winning art from talented artists with a deep love for Bend. Before popping inside to order, I walked down the alley to check out the art.

Dogs are allowed inside the vestibule area where there are a couple tables, but there was someone there already when I arrived, so we braved the cold for our pint.

Three Creeks Brewery in Sisters, Oregon

Day 3 – A Walk along the Deschutes & Three Creeks Brewing

On our final day on the Bend Ale Trail, I met up with my pals Dakota and Chelsea for a walk along the Deschutes before leaving town. They live within walking distance of Farewell Bend Park, so we enjoyed a quieter (but still quite popular!) section of the River Trail.

I was headed to the Central Oregon Coast straight from Bend, so stopped in Sisters on my way for lunch (ok, and a cinnamon roll) at Angeline’s (another favorite vegan spot!) and grabbed some beer to go from Three Creeks Brewing.

Obviously, I had to get the hazy, because the can art features a person paddle boarding with their dog! I wish I could have stayed to enjoy my brew on their quiet patio nestled among the trees, but I’ll have to save it for my next visit.

The Oxford Hotel

During my visit, I had the joy of staying at the amazing Oxford Hotel.

The eco-chic hotel has won a number of accolades, including:

  • Trip Advisor Best of the Best 2021
  • Best of Central Oregon 2020
  • Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Award 2020

Our room was a large suite with a full kitchen, sitting area, bathroom with a tub and shower, and a cozy King bed. The Oxford values sleep, so be sure to ask about the pillow menu.

For this dog mom, the best part were the attention to detail for pet guests. Pet-friendly amenities included:

  • a Ruffwear dog bed for Sitka to use during our visit
  • a stainless steel bowl on a tray
  • a packable Ruffwear travel bowl
  • a dog poop bag delivered to my front doorstep each morning, a small gesture, but my favorite part

I also took advantage of the sauna during my visit and splurged on room service one evening from Roam, the hotel restaurant (the cauliflower steak was so worth it!)

Final Thoughts on the Bend Ale Trail

I love that the Bend Ale Trail features breweries outside of Bend and includes Perfect Pairing adventures nearby. It’s a really fun and creative way to get to know the different towns in Central Oregon!

Sitka and I had so much fun visiting new-to-us breweries, playing on the many trails in town, finding art along alleyways, and eating delicious food.

Cheers to Bend beer!

Visiting Oregon? Here are some other dog-friendly trip ideas!

Have you visited Bend?

 What’s your first stop when you arrive in town?

The Bend Ale Trail: A Dog-Friendly Itinerary