Crux Fermentation Project is a very unique brewery in Bend. Started by an all star cast with backgrounds in brewing, sales and marketing, it’s almost a given they would crush it. And they have. Located in an old transmission shop, Crux is at the geographic center of Bend, looking west at the Cascades. They have a dog park adjacent to the brewery where kids, dogs and corn hole bags all coexist in peace. Outdoor seating is available year round thanks to a large tent and heaters, so no excuse to miss coming here any time of year. I tried a sample of the regular version of their winter warmer, Snow Cave and a version of Snow Cave from their Banished Series. What is the Banished Series? The “Banished” beers are hidden away for several months in oak barrels allowing for additional flavors, complexity and mellowing. I far preferred the Banished Snow Cave over the regular version. Our server claimed last year’s Banished Snow Cave was at 16% ABV, though this year’s is 12%. A little nervous the beer would be overly boozy, I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth drinkability of it. Served in a snifter, the taste was caramel and buttery warm with a definite hoppiness. Gotta say I felt pretty classy drinking it, like so classy I should have been wearing a smoking jacket in front of a large crackling fireplace. Cheers!