Sheep Ranch Lager


Like many in Oregon, beer is a way of life for Sherard Rogers, the Food and Beverage Manager at McKee’s Pub. So taking on Bandon Dunes’ assignment to craft a beer that would properly celebrate the June 1 opening of the Sheep Ranch was a welcome opportunity to put his passion into practice.

The result? Sheep Ranch Lager. A specially brewed, limited edition Helles lager brewed in collaboration with the award-winning brewer Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene.

“I had an interest in brewing, so Bandon Dunes gave me the beer program and they told me, 'Hey take it over and see what you can do with it.'" said Rogers, who began homebrewing nearly a decade ago as a hobby. “I mean who wouldn't like a chance to work with many different breweries and try their beer, right?”

The tasty result is a light-bodied lager with a crisp, clean finish at about 18 IBUs and 5.2% alcohol — just about right for a refreshing beer at the turn. And that is no accident.

Rogers put a lot more into Sheep Ranch Lager than just a desire to land some tasty beer. Lighter alcohol beers are in high demand at Bandon Dunes’ turn stands and clubhouses, where Sheep Ranch Lager will be found. And he wanted to make a statement with the style.

His first thought was a maibock, a traditional beer that Germans brew as a celebration of spring, but rarely seen in the U.S. He thought that might be too heavy for a round of golf, though. That led him to decide on creating a Helles lager, a lighter, flavorful take on the traditional maibock.

“The Helles is very similar to that of a maibock, but just a little more tamped down,” Rogers said. “I think the style really brings together that celebration of the new Sheep Ranch course. A lot of people won’t put two and two together that this is a style that has been traditionally brewed to celebrate spring. But that is OK. It still feeds into the mystique of the Sheep Ranch.”

Rogers is no lightweight when it comes to beermaking. In fact, he has continually honed his skills since he first became interested in making beer. Now he carries a Cicerone certification, an intensive program that is the beer equivalent to a wine sommelier.

You don’t take on the kind of curriculum it takes to earn Cicerone certification without gaining some favorite ingredients. So when the resort sought a partner in Sheep Ranch Lager, Rogers looked to find an Oregon brewery that not only had the capability to can the beer on a necessary scale but also wanted to work with a brewery that wanted to work with the malt and hops that he thought would make the ideal Helles.

There were some challenges for Ninkasi — a highly decorated Oregon brewery that brewed Helles Belles Lager from 2015-18. For one, as a larger production brewery, it had to figure out how to can a small-batch beer.

But ultimately Ninkasi was just the right fit. Though Sheep Ranch Lager and Helles Belles are different beers, each with unique ingredients, Ninkasi understood well the delicate profile of Helles lagers, and the required extra care and attention needed during brewing, fermentation, and packaging.

“Personally, Helles is one of my favorite lager styles, especially on a hot day,” said Daniel Sharp, Ninkasi's Director of Brewing Process Development. “It has been great working with Sherard on this project and has been fun finding solutions to the challenges of putting a small batch lager into cans. The Bandon Dunes team came prepared with their recipe and Sherard showed up on brew day ready for mash in and shovel grain.”

About 250 cases of Sheep Ranch Lager, all in specially designed Sheep Ranch cans, were produced and are ready for sale exclusively at the resort property. Or about three months supply, Rogers said. The beer arrived at Bandon Dunes the end of May, just in time to commemorate the opening of the Sheep Ranch, and will be available exclusively at the Sheep Ranch clubhouse and turnstand. 

“It’s been a fun project and a wonderful partnership with Ninkasi, and I can’t wait for Bandonistas to be able to crack a Sheep Ranch Lager for the first time,” Rogers said. “I think it ended up as the perfect statement of celebration for the opening of the Sheep Ranch.” 

Bethel Heights Wine At Bandon Dunes


Offering great products and service that provide excellent value—that’s the goal of the culinary program at Bandon Dunes. With that in mind, we have partnered with Bethel Heights Vineyard, located an hour from Portland. Located in a peaceful, rolling landscape of rich farmland and open vistas, Bethel Heights creates seductive wines that express the unique character of their 40-year-old family estate vineyard. The winery has grown its production to 10,000 cases and established the Willamette Valley as the home of New World Pinot Noir. Bandon Dunes’ relationship with Bethel Heights extends back several years, so when the opportunity to create an estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at a price that would appeal to our guests, we were thrilled to move forward.

“Bethel Heights’ Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay is really an incredible sum of everything that goes into creating them,” says Bandon’s Director of Restaurants, Mike Miller. “These are wines that have been heralded by critics and will thrill visitors to Bandon Dunes.”

Continue reading if you want to hear why we love Bethel Heights!

Bethel Heights is one of the oldest vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills, established by two families in 1977.  Brothers Ted Casteel and Terry Casteel and their partners, Pat Dudley and Marilyn Webb, abandoned academia and together planted fifty acres of own-rooted heritage selections of Pinot noir and Chardonnay between 1977 and 1979.  Now forty years old, these original vines are still going strong and producing some of the finest wines of their entire career.

In 1999 the family established Justice Vineyard adjacent to Bethel Heights, bringing in many of the newly available “Dijon clones” of Pinot noir and Chardonnay. Now fully mature, the Justice Vineyard is playing an increasingly important role in their estate wines, including both the 2016 and 2017 Bethel Heights Bandon Dunes Pinot Noir. As we launch the 2017 vintage of Bethel Heights/Bandon Dunes wines, we are coincidentally celebrating a mutual twenty-year anniversary!

What separates their wines? The land.

Bethel Heights Vineyard is a mosaic of rocky south-facing benches and slopes, sitting between 480’ and 620’ above the valley floor.  Its geologically complex volcanic soils were formed over many millennia from innumerable distinct lava flows. 

Justice Vineyard sits adjacent to Bethel Heights on the south, at a slightly lower elevation, where the underlying primeval sea-floor is tilted up and exposed to the surface below a very thin layer of volcanic topsoil. Grapes grown on these ancient marine sediments have a very different life experience from those grown in the volcanic soils at Bethel Heights, bringing interesting complexity to our wines.

Why is the Eola Hills region perfect for growing grapes? The climate.

Early pioneers who settled in their neighborhood in the 1840’s were struck by the powerful, predictable marine winds that blow straight in from the sea – funneled in through the Van Duzer Corridor, the lowest point in Oregon’s Coast Range, due west of Bethel Heights. Harking back to their classical education, they named the hills for Æolus, god of the winds in Greek mythology; hence the name Eola Hills.

On most warm summer afternoons, the winds rise as the sun starts its descent. Cool ocean air pours into the valley. The temperature may plummet as much as 30 degrees. Because of the dominating effect of these marine winds on their climate, the Eola-Amity Hills generally experience cooler average temperatures during the growing season than other parts of the Willamette Valley, allowing their grapes to ripen on the vines long into the Fall, reaching full flavor potential without losing the bright acidity and fine-grain tannins that give great wine its structure and balance.

Defining the vision. The wines.

The first estate wines were produced at Bethel Heights in 1984.  Their geologically complex hillside soils and direct impact from Æolian winds conspire to create highly energized wines with firm backbones, depth of character, and distinctive personalities. Fourteen different bottlings of estate grown Pinot noir and Chardonnay each year barely begin to tell the tale.

For the first twenty years at Bethel Heights, Terry made the wine, Ted managed the vineyard, and Pat and Marilyn grew the business. In 2005 Ben Casteel took over from his father as Winemaker.  

Ben strives to continue the model established by his father and family in crafting wines that reflect vintage and terroir at Bethel Heights Vineyard. It is a vision born of thoughtful experimentation, patience, and restraint, and one that he believes can only reach fulfillment at the small winery level. The closer the winegrower’s hands are to their wines and vines, the clearer the voice of the place and time will be expressed in the cask and bottle. It is with this vision and passion that Ben hopes to carry Bethel Heights on into the future.

Commitments to Tomorrow

When the family arrived at Bethel Heights in 1977 they found a flourishing ecosystem in place: healthy living soils, a stream running through a shady ravine fed by a pure clean spring, and a rich diversity of wildlife.  Above all else, they have sought to grow their grapes and make their wine without diminishing the life of the place. Their vineyard is farmed on active hope for the future – the future of the farmland, and the future of their family. They are working to do everything they can do to build resilience in the landscape, stability in the watershed, and justice for the people who work the land.

Whether pairing something from our wine selection with your favorite meal or just enjoying a glass at the 19th hole, Bandon Dunes wines complement the entire experience. In the fabric of our own history, we echo Bethel Heights commitment to quality and look forward to working with them for years to come!

Four Must-Try Oregon Wines at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort


Welcome to the Bandon Dunes Blog! If you made it here we hope it won't be long before we see you on property. During your next stay you will certainly be talking and thinking a lot about the great golf. When it comes time to dine, we thought you might like to know a bit about a few of our Oregon wines to further enhance your experience. The Pacific Northwest is producing some really great wines and we have chosen to highlight four that we think are unforgettable. These wines will give you a true picture of what Oregon is offering to the world. 

So plan to sit back after 36 holes on your next trip and enjoy…

Domaine Serene Récolte Grand Cru Chardonnay 2012

This popular Chardonnay is hand harvested, French oak barrel-fermented and a premier expression of world class Chardonnay in Oregon. The 2012 vintage is an elegant example of ripe fruit, honeycomb and custard. Full bodied, lingering finish with perfectly balanced acidity. This wine will compliment many of our entrees or appetizers.


Goodfellow Clover Reserve Pinot Gris 2013

Sometimes you just want a clean, fresh, light wine after a long round of golf. Oregon’s second most prominent wine grape to Pinot Noir is Pinot Gris. Marcus Goodfellow makes a great one with aromas of pear, hazelnut and a slight smokiness from the oak barrels followed by classic lemon on the palate. The acidity is crisp with a complexity that leads to a long finish. Enjoy with roast chicken and any of our seafood dishes.


Bethel Heights Aeolian Pinot Noir 2012

Nowhere outside of Burgundy France is Oregon’s most prestigious grape more at home. Almost every winery in Willamette Valley produces Pinot Noir and Bethel Heights has been at the forefront since the beginning. This 2012 Aeolian is full of blueberry, black cherry and plum with black pepper and spice. The acidity is edgy with smooth tannins that leave you wanting more. Try this iconic Pinot Noir with our Pork Cheeks, Meatloaf or Lamb Shanks.


Penner-Ash Syrah 2013

In addition to world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the southern Rogue Valley produces a wide variety of grapes due to the different terroir types of this region. Columbia Valley also contributes to this powerful Syrah. The aroma is exotic with black fruit, earthy leather and vanilla. On the palate it is full of blackberry, cassis and cocoa. The tannin is smooth with a long finish. Enjoy with any of our steaks, lamb or ribs as well as a cheese board or pizza.

Interested in seeing all the resturant's wine lists? Click here to review! Don't forget to ask your own wine-related questions below. Our Sommelier, Wendy is here to help!

Top four lunch options at Bandon Dunes


Home to five of the best golf courses in America, Bandon Dunes is the perfect venue for playing golf from sunup to sundown. In order to get the most out of your day, it’s important to stay well-nourished. So whether you take an hour between rounds or just a few minutes between holes, here are four can’t-miss lunch spots at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Fish Tacos at Trails End
The fish tacos at Trails End are a lunch dish you cannot miss while at Bandon Dunes. Three corn tortillas with Pacific rock fish are grilled to perfection and topped with jalapeño aioli, fresh Pico de Gallo and Napa cabbage. If you like fish tacos, then these are a must. More info about Trails End.   


Chili at Old Macdonald Turnstand
Whether your preference is chili that is plain and simple or with cheese and onions, the homemade chili at Old Macdonald turnstand is a filling lunch that can be enjoyed on the go. With hearty chunks of beef, pork and red beans this concoction will give you the nourishment you need to power through your round. Want to take it next level? Add a hot dog and dip it in your chili. 


Charleston Rock Cod on Potato Roll at Pacific Grill
This delectable seafood delight is one of Pacific Grill’s most popular lunch dishes. To ensure the utmost freshness, the cod is sourced locally from nearby Charleston, Ore. Choose grilled or fried cod with tomato, lime cilantro aioli and a veggie slaw on a tasty potato roll. The heartiness from the cod and fresh flavors of the house made slaw and aioli make this sandwich a perfect pick-me-up for your afternoon round of golf. More info about Pacific Grill


Tri Tip Sandwich at Tufted Puffin
The casual atmosphere, big screen TVs and panoramic view make Tufted Puffin an ideal venue for a relaxing lunch pre- or post- tee time. The hearty tri tip sandwich is served with caramelized onions, horseradish mayonnaise and Face Rock Vampire Slayer cheese served on a ciabatta roll. More info about Tufted Puffin.


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