The Bend Brewfest returns this week!

Yes, the second week in August is earlier than normal for the Bend Brewfest, but this year they moved it up to avoid conflicting with the eclipse weekend (it’s going to be crazy enough!). So this week, the 15th annual Brewfest returns, taking place Thursday the 10th through Saturday the 12th at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.

Here’s the rundown from the media release:

The Bend Brewfest showcases some of the most innovative breweries in the country, large and small. West Coast heavyweights Deschutes, Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada will once again be at the Bend Brewfest, as will regional favorites like Crux, pFriem, Fremont and Hopworks Urban Brewery. Craft beer aficionados will also have the chance to sample some of the Pacific Northwest’s smaller standouts such as Sedition Brewing out of The Dalles, Oregon; Ashtown Brewing from Longview, Washington; and Incline Cider Company based out of Auburn, Washington. Overall, more than 200 beers, ciders and wine will be showcased during the festival.

One of the yearly highlights at the Bend Brewfest is its X-Tap program. Essentially a specialty beer festival within the Bend Brewfest itself, the X-Tap program is reserved for small batch and experimental beers. The X-Taps are where festivalgoers can indulge in big barrel-aged beers like Anderson Valley’s Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Aged Salted Caramel Porter or Deschutes Brewery’s Black Butte XXVII, both of which will be on tap at this year’s Brewfest. The 2017 X-Tap program also includes a number of hard-to-find sour and farmhouse ales, such as pFriem’s Kumquat Farmhouse Ale, Buoy’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Boneyard’s Gooze Cruze. Approximately 40 breweries and cider houses are participating in this year’s X-Tap program.

There is a lot of beer and cider pouring this year, and that X-Tap schedule looks pretty great.

If you’re planning to go, my best tip is to go early on one of the first two days and try to beat the crowds. Admission is free, and to drink the tasting package is $20 for the souvenir mug and five tasting tokens. Additional tokens can be purchased five at a time for $5. One token gets you one taster (X-Taps cost more).

The Brewfest runs from noon to 11pm each day, and kids under 21 are welcome until 5pm. No dogs are allowed.

And remember to drink responsibly, and don’t drive! We have Uber in town now as an alternative (for example). Also, it’s going to be hot, so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated as well.