Zwickelmania: Brewery open houses this Saturday

This Saturday the 16th is the Oregon Brewer’s Guild annual Zwickelmania event, where breweries across the state open their doors to a special statewide open house and offer up tours, tastings, and more from 11am to 4pm. Here’s the official description:

2013 President’s Day weekend, dozens of Oregon breweries and brewpubs will open their doors to visitors for the state’s 5th annual Zwickelmania. Zwickelmania, hosted by Oregon Craft Beer, is a free statewide event that offers visitors a chance to tour Oregon breweries, meet the brewers and sample their favorite beers.


Central Oregon being the Beer Mecca that it is, of course most of our local breweries are participating, and if you’re planning on visiting any (or all!), here’s a guide of who’s doing what:

Deschutes Brewery: “Brewery Open House staffed with Tour Guides throughout the facility to explain the inner workings. Brewers in the brew house chatting about recipe development and offering samples of in-process product. Zwickel tasting on the fermentation cellar floor.” This will be taking place at their main production brewery on Colorado Avenue, and the Brewery tells me they will be in fact starting a bit early (at 10am) and they will be pouring some special beers from the cellar floor (which is not a usual part of their regular tour).

Cascade Lakes Brewing: At both their Seventh Street Brewhouse in Redmond and the Lodge in Bend, “We will have a special debut tapping of Jefferson Park IPA + a free 6oz glass to all that come.” 6 ounces is likely the largest sampling pour you’ll find during the day!

Bend Brewing: “Sample the brews while getting a tour of our brewery.” If you haven’t had a chance to check out the tiny brewing space in the upstairs portion of the building that Bend Brewing occupies, I really recommend checking it out—super impressive.

Silver Moon Brewing: “Brewery open house and tours, tastings of some special brews, brewers will be on hand to chat.” Silver Moon is one of my favorite locations for “old school Bend” vibe, and they’ve been brewing some amazingly solid and interesting beers these past few years while remaining low-key (especially considering all the attention the new breweries have been getting of late). This will be a good stop on your Zwickeling.

McMenamins Old St. Francis School: Always a good stop, and I have to echo what I said about Bend Brewing for OSF as well: impressive beers out of a tiny brewing space. They’re offering: “Beers: Hammerhead (Aged with Three Rocks Rum soaked Oak spirals), Dry hopped IPA and Castle Rock Old Ale (Pouring from a Firkin) Food: House made Thai & BBQ seasoned potato chips & Cheesy popcorn.”

10 Barrel Brewing: “Full Tours, Tastings, BBQ” — this is taking place at their production brewery up on North 18th Street, and last year they had a good party going with beer samples, self-guided tours of the then-new brewery, and a big grill with burgers and hot dogs cooking up.

Three Creeks Brewing: “We’ll have tours available upon request and something special on tap.” Note that, according to the Zwickelmania page, it starts at 11:30 at Three Creeks, not 11. Among other specials on tap right now is Mckay’s Scottish Ale, but I’d be willing to bet “something special” will be something different and maybe bigger.

Boneyard Beer: Check out the brewery and try the zwickel samples. Last year they offered up a unique horizontal tasting: samples of RPM IPA in various stages of fermentation, at  day, 6 days, 10 days, 14 days, and finished, which was really something to try (especially for beer geeks); one thing that may surprise you (it sure surprised me) was that RPM at 1 day of fermenting tasting like fresh apricots! Other samples from the tasting room were $1 last year (including the much-coveted Suge Knite) so I’d expect the same.

GoodLife Brewing: “Head Brewer will be on-site to give one-on-one tours of one of the newest breweries in Bend. Plus free group rides on the Cycle-Pub around town.” Good things are happening at GoodLife which you’re going to want to check out—plus free rides on the Cycle Pub? You can’t go wrong with that!

Brew Werks Brewing: “We’ll be pouring a special bourbon-barrel aged version of our Rabble-Rouser Red.” This will be at their Pub in the Old Mill District.

Crux Fermentation Project: “Get up close and personal with samples pulled straight from the zwickel on tours given by the founders and brewers. We’ll also be featuring tastings of our soon-to-be released Imperial Stout from the very barrel it’s aging in.” This will be a pretty special stop—featuring tastes of Crux’s very first barrel-aged beer! Plus the brewhouse itself is simply beautiful and one to see.

Worthy Brewing: “Brewery tours and tastings from Bend’s newest brewery.” Another amazing brewery to check out, simply for the size and chutzpah alone. I don’t know that they have any specialty beers to sample yet, but what they do have is tasty!

Also: Zwickelmania Bingo!