BY KEVIN GIFFORD
20750 High Desert Lane #107, Bend, 541-610-5098, monkless.com. 3 pm-6 pm Monday-Thursday, 12 pm-8 pm Friday, 1 pm-5 pm Saturday.
Breweries are slowly taking over every spare corner of space in Bend—just as they are in other sudsy smallish towns like Fort Collins, Colorado. and Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is especially notable around Empire Boulevard in Bend's rapidly expanding Northeast side, home to multiple production breweries for big guns like Crux, Boneyard and 10 Barrel. It's also home to smaller places like Monkless, which sticks faithfully to Belgian tradition and thus stands out mightily in an IPA town. Summers here are best spent with Shepplekofeggan, a light, white ale with lovely fruity spiciness, while winters pass by better with Friar's Festivus, a dark beer surpassing 10 percent ABV and offering a complex profile of malty sweetness. Nine or so Belgians, crafted onsite, are available at the taproom—challenge yourself to the full flight, or take it easy with the Dubbel Or Nothing, a smooth, caramel-y gateway to Belgium's darker side. Either way, make sure to fill up first with a sausage and frites from the We're the Wurst food truck parked outside most days.
Nearby: In addition to 10 Barrel's gigantic eastside brewery and restaurant, nearby Bridge 99 Brewery (63063 Layton Ave., 541-280-1690, bridge99brewery.com) offers a nice mix of more traditionally Bendian beers (i.e., IPAs and pales) and filling lunches from the barbecue joint across the street.