It’s no secret that Bend is known for its extensive beer scene. With 22 breweries and the well-known Bend Ale Trail, it’s a beer lover’s paradise! While beer is typically a win on its own, one brewery is taking the experience to the next level.
A year and a half in the making, the Worthy Hopservatory is now open to the public and allows visitor’s close their day with an ice cold beer and travel millions of light years back in time. Partnering with the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver, the Worthy Garden Club is now offering weekly tours which include educational programing to raise scientific awareness about scale, size, time, distance and speed in our solar system, and the opportunity to look through the 16 inch Ritchy-Chretién telescope. This brand new, one of a kind facility, is a must see if you’re in Bend, and Locals Compass recently had the opportunity to join in on the fun!
After dinner and drinks in the Worthy Beer Garden, which offers the coziest environment complete with string lights, fire pits and hanging flowers, the sun starts to set, the stars start to peek out, and it’s almost time for the tour to start. The first stop of the night is the “Transporter Room.” Decorated in beautiful mosaics showcasing the wonders of the universe and a wall mural depicting the Earth rising into the great beyond, we’re welcomed to the Worthy Garden Club tour.
Up a spiral staircase to the second level, is the “Control Room.” Chock full of space information and imagery, this room provides and overview of the entire cosmic trip you’ll receive. Also included is a 12-minute informational video, with Jerry Niehuser from Oregon Observatory at Sunriver. Jerry, one of the longest active employees of the Oregon Observatory, not only offers a wealth of space knowledge and comedic relief, but an important reminder for all of us to go outside and enjoy the night sky!
Up one more floor is the Worthy Dome, where visitors get a $70,000 view into the night sky through a 16 inch Ritchy-Chretién telescope! Aside from the price tag, another crazy fact about this telescope is that the light viewers see through the eyepiece is actually light that originated thousands, if not millions of years ago! Depending on weather, atmospheric conditions and the season, viewers will get to experience at least three of the following objects: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the moon, double stars, clusters, and/or a nebula. Conditions were clear during our visit, and we were able to view Jupiter, Albireo B, Saturn, the Ring Nebula and the M13 star cluster as pointed out by Observatory Manager, Grant Tandy.
Following an hour of star gazing and space questions, our 9 pm tour comes to an end. An unexpected and out of this world experience, the Worthy Hopservatory is not one to be missed! Weekly tours are offered Wednesday and Sunday at 9 and 10 pm for only $5 per person (ages 6 and are free) with advanced registration highly recommended. For those that can’t make the full hour tour, open viewing hours are offered Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 9-11 pm at no cost (donations appreciated) with Grant Tandy, Observatory Manager.
For more information and tickets, follow this link to the Worthy Hopservatory website!