The following was inspired by our visit to the Tetherow Resort during the weekend of February 7th, 2019.
This past Thursday, as the local flora and fauna thawed from another multi-inch snowfall, the folks at Bend's Tetherow Resort hosted their sixth annual "Smackdown" brewery and food competition. As part of our visit, we decided to stay the night the Tetherow Resort, given we were in town for a weekend of brewery visits and beer drinking.
Whether you drive in or fly in, the Tetherow Resort is 21.3 miles from the Redmond Airport or around 4 miles from downtown Bend. Should you choose to come in from the airport, there are paid shuttle options which will cost you an average of around $45-$50. Whether you choose to fly-in or take a cab from downtown, there are also rideshare options like Uber or Lyft.
Arriving in the early morning, Tetherow didn't have our room ready. It's worth mentioning that typically check-in isn't until 3 pm but in some cases, the Resort will allow early check-in, should your room be available early. As a matter of convenience, the Guest Services tagged and stored our bags, making a commitment to calling us when our room was ready. In the meantime, we took advantage of their shuttle service, which includes rides to downtown or other nearby points of interest in or around Bend.
A short time later, we received a call letting us know our room was ready and someone would be recovering us at the agreed-upon spot. In less than 30 minutes, a shuttle picked us up and returned us to the Guest Services, before walking to the room.
Upon first glance, one could confuse the room assignment with a dorm or lodge, given each room is located in a plethora of individual buildings as opposed to the conventional large structure. A couples card swipes later, followed by entering two doors and we are in our spacious room.
immediately your visual senses are greeted by an geological vista, blanketed by a tattered, patchwork or snow. Upon a second glance, your eyes adjust to the reality that you're looking at the Resort's golf course. Turning around, we immediately get acquainted with the amenities, including a wet bar, granite-walled shower, a very-accommodating tub, and finally one of the more comfortable beds you're going to experience. In addition to the above, the room features a college-dorm-style desk, a personal fireplace, several USB-supported lamps, and of course television.
Arriving at around 5 pm, we visit one of two onsite restaurants, The Row. Located a short walk from the Guest Services and around 20 feet from their other spot, Solomon's, we enter a guest area before waiting for a table. While waiting we take the opportunity to review the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu before strolling into the bar and reviewing a growth of tap handles, emerging from The Row's bar area. But given our focus was on the main attraction, Brewery Smackdown, we returned to the Guest services areas before ambling into a large banquet hall.
From the beginning, we are welcomed with a pint of beer from nearby GoodLife Brewing Company. Not long after, we are reminded of the self-seating format of the event. Taking this cue we grab a seat which turns out is populated by a compliment of local brewers and loyal supporters of Bend's many breweries. Before long the real fun starts.
Starting with the appetizer, guests are encouraged to enjoy one of 2 four ounce beers from four local breweries Crux Fermentation Project, Wild Ride Brewing Company, Boneyard Beer, Silver Moon Brewing Company. With each course, guests are asked to deposit a monogrammed charm, featuring the Tetherow Resort logo, into one of two fish bowls as they vote for best beer pairing. A short time later, the master of ceremonies returns with the winning brewery before sharing the mic with the winning brewery or brewer. Before long, servers return to the banquet hall with the next course and 2-unique beers from two of the guest breweries. With each course, a theme emerges from the two beers at the table.
As each course is deposited, paired with two 4 ounce samples of beer, we begin to appreciate the work that went into this event. Also, based on the smiles affixed to guests, brewery and non-brewery alike, the fun wasn't just in the pairings but also the conversations inspired by food and drink. Unfortunately, true to their word, another Brewery Smackdown concluded after the fifth course but not before the winning brewery for 2019 is announced with co-winners Wild Ride Brewing and Boneyard Beers taking the top spots.
Taking our leave, we returned The Row for a nightcap of coffee and bourbon, before crawling into bed for a relaxing evening.
Breakfast at The Row
With Brewery Smackdown in our mental rearview mirror, we clean ourselves up before making way to The Row for some breakfast. Besides breakfast, The Row also features morning cocktails, draft beer, drip coffee, and Italian-inspired drinks (e.g. Espresso, Cappuccino, Americano). After reviewing our food options, we settle on the very colorful and popular Quinoa Power Bowl. Described the menu as a bowl consisting of "Borracho black beans and quinoa topped with roasted tomatoes, salsa, caramelized onion, avocado, crème fraiche and your choice of eggs" we couldn't wait to dig in.
The meal soon arrives as hot and welcoming as we hoped before we slide our forks into a veritable gardeners pallet of greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and blacks. As a means to soften the blow from last night's combination of Smackdown and nightcap, we elected to pair our Power Bowl with a Breakside Pilsner before settling our nerves with a cup of locally-roasted coffee. It isn’t long before our meal is concluded and it becomes clear that we must depart the restaurant and checkout of our room.
An hour later, we return to our room where we quickly recover all the required implements needed for an overnight stay. A final check of the room, we return to the Guest Services, for the final check-out at 11 am. With our bill in hand, we pack up and depart Tetherow Resort.
From the start of our reservation, the staff at Tetherow Resort ensured our experience was positive by accommodating our early arrival with complimentary luggage storage, a complimentary shuttle to and from downtown. In addition to a welcome reservation experience, the rooms were clean, comfortable, and felt like a home away from home. Finally, we want to thank the staff for their hospitality both during "Brewery Smackdown" and the following morning's breakfast.
We look forward to returning in the near future, either for a day, a weekend, or a week.
Full disclosure, The Tetherow Resort graciously supplied us with an overnight stay and an opportunity to experience the sixth annual Brewery Smackdown. The following morning’s breakfast (and nightcap) were freely ordered and paid for by us.