This is chapter 2 in a new semi-regular series in which we check in with brewers on what they are drinking, eating, enjoying and what’s currently bubbling away in their fermenters.
Brett Thomas is the Head Brewer at Sunriver Brewing in Bend, Oregon. Since becoming head brewer, he has turned Sunriver from a forgettable brewpub to a fast growing, award-winning brewery that even the beer geeks are now keeping their eyes on. A homebrewer since 2007, he joined Silver Moon Brewing professionally in 2009. Brett has been crafting some of the finest hoppy beers in Bend and that is certainly saying something.
Q: How long have you been brewing and where did you get your start?
Brett Thomas: I started homebrewing in 1997 and landed my first professional brewing job at Silver Moon Brewing (Bend) in 2009.
Q: What is your favorite beer right now?
That’s a toss-up between pFriem Mosaic Pale Ale and Oakshire’s Heart Shaped Box.
Q: What are you really enjoying as far as food and drink right now in Bend?
Taco salads, mac n cheeseburgers, roasted brussels sprouts, and red velvet cupcakes. I’ve been drinking Worthy Stratosphere IPA, Boneyard Bone-A-Fide Pale Ale, and Deschutes Pacific Wonderland Lager.
It seems whenever I eat out these days it’s happening somewhere on Galveston Avenue. Justin Goins is our head chef at our Galveston Pub and he has been killing it lately – that’s where the taco salads and brussels sprouts are coming from. We just formed a partnership with the local cattle company, Barley Beef, and it has allowed us to really step up our burger game. Ida’s Cupcakes is just down the street, as is Brother John’s Public House, Primal Cuts Meat Market, The Victorian Café, Paradise Produce, and Longboard Louie’s – all great places to either eat or shop at.
Q: What’s the most exciting thing going on in the Bend beer scene?
A number of breweries recently collaborated on a brew for the American Hop Growers Convention that was in town – it was pretty impressive seeing all that talent together, and the beer was pretty stellar, too.
Q: What’s new or fresh on tap right now at Sunriver?
Resin Nation Double IPA, Grapefruit Vicious Mosquito, and a dry-hopped version of Fuzztail Hefeweizen.
Q: What beers do you have in the tanks or in the works?
In the tanks – Alternative Facts (oatmeal extra pale), a “juicy” IPA and a dry Irish stout. In the pipeline – Double Dank, Mudder’s Milk, and an experimental hopped NE-style IPA with orange zest.