I’ve had the opportunity to play at Crux Fermentation Project, a brewery in Bend’s Old Mill District, three times so far. Twice during the summer and the other recently this winter. Both shows were outside, summer was staged beneath two juniper trees on the large grassy field where people relaxed with the setting sun, either sitting on the grass or playing a game of corn hole. The winter was staged inside a heated tent with a fire pit close-by.
There are three things I absolutely love about this venue; their customers, their beer and the environment.
The type of person who goes to this brewery loves craft beer, and Crux offers some of the tastiest crafted beer around. They’re also outdoorsy, laid back and happily chatting it up with their friends. They also are dog-lovers, often bringing their pets along.
This place is magnificent and has altered my standards of good tasting beer, forever. My favorites are the barrel-aged and banished series they offer, serving in a smaller glass. Half-Hitch is also my go to favorite. You’ve got to take my word for it… the beer is incredible.
They have great food, mainly pub-fair. My favorite is their hummus plate and their one-of-a-kind grilled cheesy.
Probably riding side by side with the quality of their beer is the great environment. Inside, offers a very cool Northwest feel and you definitely feel you are in a brewery with fermentation magic making devices everywhere. I believe that the place use to be a mechanic shop before, which lends its feel into their branding. During the warmer months the glass garage door in the front is open and the sunset glazes in, which, by the way, you should bring a good pair of sunglasses because during magic hour it’s bright as hell from the setting sun.
I mentioned before it has a very big grassy field for the kids to run around. During their larger events they often put up stages or large tents over the field. The fire pit is incredible, burning out of a sphere sculpture. They also have a collaboration with a food vendor outside, El Sancho Tacos, fried up tacos right in front of you. Bring cash and prepare to count your own change.
The tent is up during the winter and is full of deck heaters to keep things nice and toasty. I could see my breath while singing but was plenty warm (it also was a warmer than usual January night).
As a Music Venue
I think the reason why Crux and I get along so well is because we both pride ourselves on being independent. That being said I go to this venue prepared to supply my own PA sound and only require a plug in. This is well suited for your smaller bands and solo artists. So plan on BYOG (bring your own gear).
I was told that they had a small PA but be sure you connect the dots on that with who is booking with you and the staff. Not everyone knows where everything is. During their larger events they do have a professional sound person at work. These shows are good for local full-bands and touring. I’m not sure who does the booking for these shows. Seemed they have had some trouble in the past with power breakers going off and I’m not sure if the power is split up or fed from one circuit.
The staff is very nice and respectful. The pay is fair. Food and drink comps are wonderful and after you warm up the crowd it becomes a great party place. I love playing at Crux and am looking forward to playing there again in the future.