Bridge 99 Beer isn’t anything new in Bend. The brewery’s beers have been popping up here and there, most often at Wubba’s BBQ Shack in Northeast Bend, and at various beer fests.
But now, Bridge 99 is ready to take the leap into the spotlight.
Commercially brewing since September 2013, co-owners Trevor Hawman and Rod Kremer have kept the operation in their home until this January, when they opened the doors to a Northeast Bend tasting room. Although the two are still brewing at their homes, they plan to bring the 1.5-barrel system and 2-barrel fermenter to the tasting room while they wait to raise funds for a 10-barrel system.
Hawman and Kremer have been brewing together since 2008, when Hawman says an obsession started.
“We brewed every weekend,” Hawman said. “We weren’t afraid to dump out a batch if it wasn’t where we wanted it to be. We brewed so often that we got a lot of experience.”
Although the two don’t have any formal experience, Hawman believes the homebrewing experience and perfectionist practices have been the best education they could receive.
As working contractors, Hawman and Kremer used their years in the construction industry to put the tasting room together. The walls are covered with raw juniper planks, surrounding an 800-year-old refurbished redwood bar and 9 taps. The outdoor area should alleviate pressure for the small tasting room, which can really only hold 10 people comfortably inside. With hop trellises flanking one side and benches surrounding an in-progress fire pit, Bridge 99 could be a place to grab a pint on summer days in the Bend’s Northeast neighborhood that is largely residential with little places to relax in the sun.
Hawman said their number one beer is the Wizard Falls IPA, but the Bull Trout Stout has seen a fair amount of success locally. They also keep a light lager, red and hefeweizen but are looking forward to seasonals and one offs like the bourbon barrel aged imperial red they debuted during Bridge 99′s soft opening on January 22.
The ongoing narrative in Bend is one question: when will Bend finally quench with their thirst?
Hawman stammers at the question, but says he knows what he wants for Bridge 99 brewery in Bend.
“We’re making easy, drinkable beers and staying away from adding too many extra things,” he said. “We’re not trying to compare to other breweries. Bend has a lot of variety, and we’re really excited to be a part of it. We’re not going to be set on anything in particular, because this is a changing industry and things change. We have to change with it.”
Bridge 99 Brewing
63063 Layton Ave.
Bend, OR 97701
Hours: Wed-Sat 3-6 p.m. or by appt.