Crux Fermentation Project, located in Bend, Oregon was one of the highlights of my trip to Bend, Oregon a couple weeks ago. During our short two-day stay we also managed to visit Deschutes Brewing, Boneyard and Bend Brewing. I was the DD the night we went to Crux, so I couldn’t indulge too much at this fine establishment. I learned that happy hour is during sunset, but we were late for that, because we were enjoying a great Salmon dinner with an old friend from Anchorage, Jereme Monteau. I actually met two old Anchorage friends for beer at Crux, Andrea Lubeck and Jereme. I was not let down. The tasting room is really cool with copper fermenters visible, and plenty of barrels as well.
As soon as my wife took a sip of Half Hitch Imperial Mosaic IPA from our ample sample tray, she got up and walked to the to-go fridge and grabbed two bottles. The half hitch is a knot used to tie hop bines to the poles to help the bines to grow so tall. The beer has a nice dosage of Mosaic hops, and is one of the best IPAs I drank while touring the Pacific Northwest. Fruity, floral and citrusy, this beer would please any hophead. I was blown away when I finally consumed a bottle that I brought home to Anchorage with me. I also sent one to my buddy Rich in PA, who is responsible for inspiring most of my east coast beer paintings. I only send him the finest finds, and I felt this was one. I know the half hitch is not a climbing knot, but since the beer was brewed in Bend, I painted it in front of Smith Rock, a popular rock-climbing playground. I am sure after a day of climbing, a hop-forward beer would satisfy any rope-weary climber. I hope you get a chance to grab any beer from Crux Fermentation Project. They have many options, not only hop-forward brews. I tasted a barrel aged sour beer there that was DY-NA-MITE! Unfortunately, not available in bottles when I was there.