Deschutes Pairing Bikes and Beer

Deschutes Pairing Bikes and Beer

Craft beer is indeed a versatile beverage. Its range in flavors and styles amongst other attributes are what allows beer to be enjoyed by just about anyone. The diversity also encourages the marriage of craft beer and other things like food or certain events and activities. Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Ore. has recently been brewing beers to be paired with custom bike designs.

Oregon Manifest, a non-profit organization based in Bend is dedicated to finding collaborative solutions in order to enhance the options for the use of bicycles as a mode of transportation. The Bike Design Project is a competition put on by the non-profit that allows design firms and bicycle craftsmen to collaborate in order to create the Ultimate Urban Utility Bike. Deschutes has partnered with Oregon Manifest and is brewing beers to pair with the five bike design teams in the competition that are hailing from Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle: all cities with large populations of two-wheeled commuters.

“This was a really interesting and fun process to work with the design teams,” said Deschutes Brewery’s Portland-based Assistant Brewmaster, Ben Kehs. “They all had their own unique style and approach to the Oregon Manifest project. We asked questions like ‘if this bike were a beer, what style of beer would it be?’ all the way to requesting a list of specific adjectives that the teams would use to describe their design. We are excited to pour the beers and show everyone what we came up with.”

So what kind of beers have they come up with so far? The Chicago division saw the birth of Chicago Black Bock, a 7.5% German-style dark lager. “With the harsh weather in the windy city, both your bike and your beer need not only be rugged but well designed. That’s why we brewed this Black Bock, a strong beer with a lot going on. It’s big on the hops with a malt backbone suitable for a heavy hitter going the long distance,” said Assistant Brewmaster, Veronica Vega.

New York’s pairing included a Belgian-Style IPA, the Portland collaboration spawned a Cascadian Dark Ale and Seattle’s team came up with a Belgian-Style Table Beer to reflect the bike design. All very fitting beers for the bikes produced and the cities that they come from.

A “reveal” party will be held in each of the five cities showcasing the bike design as well as the beer brewed to pair with it.  You can vote for the best bike design starting July 28 and the winners will be announced August 4th. Check out the Deschutes Brewery blog for more info about the beers and vote for the winners at the Oregon Manifest website. is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.