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Bend, Oregon: Mt. Bachelor Skiing, Après Ski & Craft Beer

10 Barrel Brewing, apres ski, Bend Oregon, Boss Rambler Beer Club, Breweries in Bend Oregon, craft beer scene, Deschutes Brewery, Lifty's Bar, Mt. Bachelor, Olie Competition, ski vacation, Subaru Winterfest -

Bend, Oregon: Mt. Bachelor Skiing, Après Ski & Craft Beer

Shredding Pow and Sipping Suds: A Weekend in Bend, Oregon's Après Ski Paradise

As a seasoned ski bum with a serious appreciation for a good après ski scene, I recently embarked on my second pilgrimage to Bend, Oregon. With Mt. Bachelor situated not too far outside the city, Bend is consistently lauded for its epic mountain experiences and burgeoning craft brewery scene. Furthermore, the Subaru Winterfest was in full swing that weekend, headlined by indie darlings Ruby Waters and Cold War Kids. All this combined made this Bend, Oregon trip the perfect blend of slopeside thrills and post-shred libations.

Mt. Bachelor: A Skier's Paradise with Unforgettable Views

Mt. Bachelor

Nestled just a 25-minute drive from Bend's charming downtown, Mt. Bachelor is a stratovolcano transformed into a winter wonderland. The sprawling terrain boasts an impressive 4,323 skiable acres. Catering to all skill levels and with the ability to ski 360 degrees around the mountain, it offers one of the most unique skiing and riding experiences in North America. Couple that with a ski season that on average is one of the longest in the U.S. and you have the makings of why this is one of my favorite mountains. 

Joined by my good buddy Steve and several locals who hopped in with us, we spent our days exploring every nook and cranny of Mt. Bachelor. Starting each day in the East Bowls where the sun hits first we coasted over that area's rolling terrain. Groomers under the new Skyliner 6-pack and even off the Summit Chair from the top offered a welcome respite for our legs before hiking to the peak and dropping into the more challenging terrain off Hourglass and the Cirque Bowl. We finished off our days in the Backside Bowls, circling around to the Northwest chair all while soaking in the jaw-dropping panoramic views of the surrounding Cascade Range.

Mt. Bachelor

What truly sets Mt. Bachelor apart is its relaxed and welcoming vibe. Unlike some mega-resorts, the atmosphere feels refreshingly unpretentious, with a strong emphasis on the pure joy of mountain sports. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-timer, you're guaranteed to feel right at home. We certainly did as our new local friends took us in as one of their own and made us feel a part of the crew. 

Après Ski Nirvana: Breweries Around Bend, Oregon

Bend's craft brewery scene is legendary. After a day of conquering the slopes at Mt. Bachelor, there's no better way to end your day than by exploring its sudsy offerings. The weekend kicked off with a bang on Thursday at the Deschutes Brewery downtown pub, where Mt. Bachelor season pass holders enjoyed an exclusive après ski party. Deschutes, known for its iconic Black Butte Porter, offered a wide selection of beers to quench my thirst and refuel after a day on the mountain. Chatting with locals clad in retro ski gear for the party's theme we found out that this was a monthly occurrence throughout the season. Just another nice touch that gives this massive mountain a small-mountain feel. 

Boss Rambler Beer Club

Boss Rambler Beer Club

No après ski adventure in Bend is complete without a visit to Boss Rambler Beer Club, a local favorite known for its cozy ambiance and extensive tap list. The brewery is light, open and airy giving it a San Diego après surf meets Bend après ski vibe. There we connected with locals coincidentally enough from Rumson, NJ just down the road from where I reside, and got the lowdown on Bend and some other places to visit in town.

As we sampled their brews which run the gamut from West Coast IPAs (I'm looking at you Ski Babe) to Japanese Lagers (Japow!) and everything in between, Boss Rambler instantly catapulted itself to the top of our list of favorite spots in Bend, Oregon. It's the perfect mix of atmosphere and good beer that you are looking for après ski. We liked it so much that we even visited them early the next morning en route to Mt. Bachelor to put their breakfast burritos and coffee bar to the test. Both passed with flying colors.  

Boss Rambler Coffee

10 Barrel Brewing West Side Pub

After our time at Boss Rambler, we ventured right next door to explore 10 Barrel Brewing Company's famous West Side Pub. With a focus on innovative and experimental brews, 10 Barrel offered a delightful change of pace. The place was hopping that night and the food and beer there never disappoint. I can't say enough about the Steak and Gorgonzola nachos and Maple Fried Chicken Sando. Hearty and filled with flavor they are the perfect comfort food complement to a day on the mountain and a Pub Beer or two. 

A Sneaky Powder Day at Mt. Bachelor and More Après Ski

Mt. Bachelor

With rain in the forecast, for the next two days, our outlook was a bit bleak. However, like they say out there, "If you don't like the weather in Bend, wait 10 minutes and it is sure to change." So, while taking a beer break from the light rain and throwing back a shotski for our new friend's birthday we watched from the Sun Bar as the light drizzle turned to snow right before our eyes. Cold beers and shots be damned. All we need to see was the white stuff falling and we were back out there in no time. 

Making a beeline for the west side of the mountain we encountered a unique mix of white-out conditions at the top, heavy snow in the middle and a little rain at the bottom. The open bowls at the top were deep, and fun but our site line was limited making them tough to navigate given the snow. It was like skiing in a vertigo-inducing white room. Fortunately, in that area the bowls gave way to the trees below which provided a more open view without sacrificing fresh snow from above. Getting more and more drenched with each run we put our gear to the test on this unexpected and enjoyable powder day. 

With conditions like that, we certainly earned our après that day and made our way back to Bend in search of more gems before the Subaru Winterfest concerts in the evening. 

10 Barrel Brewing East Side

10 Barrel Brewing also has a location on the east side of town. Set back in an industrial park area, this is the much bigger of the two operations. It houses its main headquarters, brewery and a pub of its own. We visited them this day partly to check it out and partly to pick up Sick Day, a collaboration beer they brewed for the Natural Selection Tour. Only brewed in limited quantities, they had set aside a four-pack for one of my Lift Beer Confessions Episodes. Nonetheless, while there we had to take in the scene and enjoy a beer before heading to Deschutes main Brewery for that evening's concerts. 

Deschutes Brewing

Similarly, the next day our weekend après ski extravaganza culminated with a tour of the Deschutes production brewery followed by the annual Ollie competition at Lifty's Bar. I'm sure all of the breweries in Bend, Oregon offer amazing tours of their facilities. But, if you are looking to up the ante a bit, I highly recommend a Deschutes Brewery tour. Having been on my fair share of these. Deschutes offers one of the best tours I've ever done. Over the hour you take a deep dive into their facility and brewing process all while sampling plenty of their beers along the way. It's a distinctive and very Bend experience that I highly recommend. 

Equally as fun and unique was the annual Ollie competition at Lifty's Bar. In a town with plenty of après ski options, Lifty's is an absolute must. Complete with indoor-outdoor seating, fire pits, cornhole, ping pong and even a beach volleyball court there is never a shortage of things to do while there. We were fortunate to catch it on the weekend when they were having their annual Ollie competition.

Having built a snow ramp and kicker right in the parking lot, skiers and snowboarders showcased their best mid-air tricks while the crowd cheered them on. The height (pun intended) of which was when local professional snowboarder and 10 Barrel athlete, Ben Ferguson, sent it over the bar which had to be 10 feet high, the elated crowd erupting as he stomped the landing. The energy was electric, fueled by delicious pub fare and a steady flow of local brews.

Beyond the Slopes: Subaru Winterfest 

Subaru Winterfest Bend, Oregon

Arguably the biggest highlight of our weekend at Mt. Bachelor was Subaru Winterfest! This legendary music and mountain festival perfectly blended epic spring turns with killer live music and an après scene was off the hook.

Friday night, the retro vibes were strong with a themed party featuring the 80's cover band Radikal Revolution. Think neon, onesies and even a fur coat. It was a total blast from the past. Saturday, the festival culminated with a slight twist – rain instead of sunshine. Under the cover of the stage set up at the aforementioned Deschutes Brewery, both Ruby Waters and Cold War Kids absolutely crushed it, despite the weather. The energy was electric, proving that Subaru Winterfest knows how to throw a party no matter what the situation.

Beyond the tunes, the festival village on the mountain and at the brewery was buzzing with interactive displays from major brands. Subaru showcased their latest all-wheel-drive adventureships, perfect for navigating any mountain pass. Hydroflask kept everyone caffeinated with their sustainable and stylish bottles, a must-have for any ski bum. Solo Stove offered a cozy respite with their fire pits, ideal for warming up and making s'mores after a long day on the slopes. Subaru Winterfest truly delivered the perfect blend of mountain adventure, live music and good vibes –making this a festival to remember.

Bend and Mt. Bachelor: A Match Made in Powdery Heaven

Our Bend adventure was a perfect blend of epic skiing, delicious craft beers and amazing live music. Whether you're a seasoned skier seeking fresh powder or a casual adventurer looking for a fun and vibrant après ski scene, Bend, Oregon and Mt. Bachelor have something to offer everyone. Whether it's this year or next, it is so worth grabbing your skis, packing your thirst for adventure and good beer and getting ready for an experience unlike any other.


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