The Cellar Underground Brewpub Opens in Downtown Bend

One of Central Oregon’s family-owned breweries has launched a long-awaited second location. Porter Brewing Co. brings The Cellar, an underground brewpub, to Downtown Bend. The 100-year-old historic underground building features Porter Brewing’s cask ales— and a few tokens of Bend’s past.


Underground Bar in Downtown Bend

Avara and Deven Roberts opened Porter Brewing Co. in September 2018 in Redmond. They aimed to create Central Oregon’s first all-cask brewery, specializing in cask-conditioned ales. Now, the Roberts are thrilled to bring their cask ales to the underground cellars in Bend. In a speakeasy-like setting, The Cellar features in-house brews like Irish Red-mond Ale, Jackpine IPA, and Best Bitter. Also, site-specific beers are being brewed for the Redmond and Bend locations, respectively.


Inside of The Cellar in Downtown Bend, an English brewpub built underground.
The Cellar, downtown Bend. Courtesy The Unique Bite. 

Bend Brewpub on the Horizon

One year after opening Porter Brewing Co., the Roberts got an opportunity to open a second brewpub in Bend. For their underground bar vision, they knew the subterranean downtown building was the perfect location. Finally, after months of preparation, they signed a lease for a historic and unique space — in February of 2020.


“Unfortunately, COVID derailed the original opening date, and everything got pushed out,” Avara shares. “Things seemed to move much slower during [the pandemic], especially the first half of the year. It took longer to get permits, for paperwork to process, to book contractors, even the cost of building materials skyrocketed. We never really talked about stopping the project. In our minds, we had already made the decision to persevere through the unknown of 2020 and move forward with the taproom.”


Foam top of Porter Brewing Co's Irish Redmond Ale
Copyright Eat Drink Media


Thankfully, the couple didn’t give up on their dream to open the newest Bend breweries — they knew the location and setting were unparalleled. “We were confident that once The Cellar opened, we would be able to offer a deliciously unique product, and a comfortable space for the community to enjoy,” Avara says. “And I think folks in Bend are ready for that, especially after such a long period of solitude.”


The Cellar Preserves History for Beer, Bend, and Family

Some breweries force-carbonate their beer using carbon dioxide. Cask conditioning uses a different method that allows carbonation to occur naturally during its secondary fermentation process. Beer is transferred to the casks, where yeast consumes its sugars and thus producing carbon dioxide.


It’s also during this time that unique flavors are developed. “You’ll find this was the traditional method of serving beer in the pubs in Britain, and it dates back to hundreds of years ago,” Avara explains.


Hand pump pouring ale into chilled pint glass
Hand pumps are used at both brewpub locations. Copyright Eat Drink Media.


Similarly, The Cellar features eight beer engines and hand pumps imported from the UK. With its centuries-long history, hand pumps pay homage to the preservation of cask conditioning. Also, they look very cool. Another reason the underground brewpub feels like it was made for serving cask ales.


“When we started demo[lition], we pulled the drywall down off the walls and ceiling and uncovered two really cool lava rock walls and some beautiful wooden beams in the ceiling. That was definitely something we wanted to highlight. All the quirks in the building add to the history and charm of the space, which we love,” Avara shared.


Interior of underground brewpub, The Cellar, downtown Bend
A cozy nook for enjoying ales and bites. Courtesy The Unique Bite.


The Cellar displays many family heirlooms throughout the brewpub, which pay homage to Deven’s English heritage. Also, the brewpub features unique findings that showcase the building’s historic roots.


And, in one corner of the brewpub, you can enjoy a frosty ale in the classic ‘Snug’. “Back when it was frowned upon for women to be seen in bars and pubs, they could enjoy a drink in this private room called a snug,” Avara shared. Additionally, a small nook at the brewpub’s forefront features antique chairs, a gas fireplace, and old board games.


English Pub Fare in Bend

Their food menu consists of savory pies, soft pretzels with beer cheese, and sausage bites. “And really, what pairs better with a Scottish meat pie or a chicken curry pie, than a cask-conditioned ale,” Avara cheerfully exclaims. Vi’s Pies are a tribute to their daughter, Violet, while Porter Brewing gets its namesake from their son, Porter.


Porter Brewing Co. and The Cellar have been a labor of love, especially through a pandemic. Avara and Deven actively participate in business operations. But, with two elementary school-aged children at home, it makes this journey exceptionally challenging. Still, they continued forward.


Avara and Deven Roberts of Porter Brewing Co.
The Roberts Family, pictured left to right. Porter, Violet, Deven, Avara. Courtesy The Unique Bite


“Our kids are seeing firsthand what hard work looks like, and my hope is that we’re teaching them that if you put in the time and energy, you can achieve your goals. We are also fortunate to have an incredibly supportive family who has been a tremendous help through the entire process. It really does take a village.”


The Cellar
206 NW Oregon Ave, Bend

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About Eat Drink Bend

Nancy Patterson of Eat Drink Bend takes a picture of beer on a table outside in Bend, Oregon.

I wanted to share more than where to eat, but what to eat. And not just what, but why? From where is the food resourced? Should it be paired with a beer, or a cocktail—and what kind? But most importantly, share the faces and tell the stories behind the people who make it all happen, showing support for small business in and around Bend.

– Nancy Patterson, Founder