Boss Rambler Beer Club officially opened its tasting room last weekend, after a long lasting soft open and several beer releases. It is located at 1009 NW Galveston, between Sunriver Brewing and 10 Barrel’s original brewery. At a sneak peek a few days before its grand opening on 4/20 there was still a bit of work to do, but they were ready when Saturday arrived.
Boss Rambler is aesthetically very different than the rest of Central Oregon’s breweries. Inside is inviting, bright and lively. The walls are whitewashed shiplap, and there are pops of color from the furniture and throughout the brewery. It’s open and bright, with a surprising amount of seating, both inside and out. The back bar has roll-up windows so the beer slingers can sling beer for those inside and out. The floors are a mix of original and new. They will no doubt age beautifully together. Outside, there is a mix of bar seating and comfy chairs. There is also a nice propane fire feature. They’ve set up a shared space with Megaphone coffee; in the morning you can stop in for a latte, and then come back later for a beer.
Their brewer is Jacob Bansmer. Before coming to Bend to brew for Crux, he distilled whiskey in Nashville. He and Matt were working at Crux together when they decided they wanted to open their own brewery. Kate Molletta, Jacob Bansmer, and Karen and Mike Altman join Matt as co-founders of Boss Rambler Beer Club. On their website it says “It’s not just about beer: it’s about the people you’re with, the places you are, and ultimately, the good memories you create when you pop that top.” Boss Rambler screams this as soon as you see it, and then reiterates as you drink their beer. You can’t help to smile, and while I live in Bend, a part of me still felt I was on vacation.
Currently, Boss Rambler is using a 10-barrel brewing system leased from Silver Moon brewing in Bend, on Greenwood. Eventually, the production facility, on a farm in Tumalo, will be ready. It is still in planning, and on the farm they will grow their own hops and some grain. They hope to be able to have a very small taproom where small groups can come out and educate themselves about the brewing process and their beer. They are currently working on a commercial well for water, and they plan to brew with untreated, natural well water. Going to their future small taproom in Tumalo will be a very different experience than that of their Galveston Beer Club.
Upon opening, there were 8 beers on tap, plus 3 collaboration beers. You can get a pour of 5, 8 or 16 ounces. They chose not to go with a tasting tray, as they just want people to come in and get what they want in the size they want. Boss Rambler is brewing unique beers for the area. Their beer is what co-founder Matt Molletta calls “crushable.” I found each of their beers to stand alone as well. Drinking them, I would not be able to identify them as a “Boss Rambler” beer. That’s not a bad thing, it just means that they have a wide scope of flavors. I had three hazy beers back to back, and each was unique from the others. I cannot imagine that is an easy thing to do.
They had several hazy IPAs on tap, some double dry hopped, and another even triple dry hopped. The beer is very drinkable and balanced. Not too sweet, and not too heavy. The Norwegian Cowboy was a very interesting hazy IPA, as it used a Norwegian yeast. That was a first for me. It was reminiscent of a Belgian yeast, but without the esters. Talking to Matt, this is the first beer they’ve brewed with this yeast and are excited to use it again. Matt said, “Our whole deal is progressive… we like making beers that we want to drink.” He went on to say, “we tend to brew beers on the drier side of things, not really sweet or syrupy or heavy, just like super dry, clean but tons of flavor.” They focus on the juicy notes and mild bitterness. The key word is always drinkable.
Boss Rambler has already put a few collaboration beers on tap. They include collaborations with Silver Moon in Bend, Allegory in McMinnville, and Breakside in Portland. Not yet on tap is a collaboration beer with Ale Apothecary in Bend. This collab beer was partially open-fermented, and will be reminiscent of a classic farmhouse-style ale.
There are a few parking spots exclusive to Boss Rambler, which on Galveston is not too bad. Expect parking to be limited, as is common for the area. So much thought has been put into this place. It’s obvious in all its details and throughout this design. You can see and feel the love and pride that has been put in.
Boss Rambler Beer Club 1009 NW Galveston Ave Bend, OR 97701
My name is Heidi Howard. I am a craft beer enthusiast turned freelance beer writer from beautiful, beer-centric Bend, Oregon. What makes me a worthy beer writer? I've been judging beer since 2015, and have LOTS of experience drinking craft beer. I have explored breweries all over the Country, from Washington to Florida and a bunch of places in between. I take the fun of craft beer very seriously! My goal in writing is to bring people into the craft beer world by explaining beer in a way that both newbie and experienced craft beer drinkers understand and enjoy.