Oregon Beer’s backstage pass, Zwickelmania leads the week of February 12 -18 craft beer events.
Zwickelmania 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday Feb. 13, most Oregon breweries & brewpubs; Free.Schedules and shuttle bus info
There are a few ways to experience a working brewery, but only Saturday’s Zwickelmania skips the rubber boots, cleaning beer kegs and schlepping 50-pond sacks of grain. In 2009, the Oregon Brewers Guild held its first statewide brewery open house to celebrate 150 years of Oregon statehood. They called the new event Zwickelmania after the sampling tap on fermenters and tanks that allows brewers and visitors to try a beer while it’s still conditioning – a perfect name that nicely captures the spirit of generosity that prevails among most brewers, who seem always to have a little something special tucked away that they want you to try. This year, Zwickelmaniacs can also sample Oregon beers paired with another Oregon chocolate thanks to special chocolate pop-ups with members of the Portland Chocolate Mob at select breweries in the metro area, which should make the event even more popular: the first year included about three dozen breweries; in 2014, nearly 40,000 people toured 105 participating breweries statewide and Zwickelmania is now firmly enshrined as the most popular day in Oregon beer.
The One Motorcycle Show 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday Feb. 12, 11 a.m.-Midnight Saturday Feb. 13, 11 a.m.-3 p.m Sunday Feb. 14, 831 SE Salmon St., free admission.
When we think of Portland as the craftiness capitol of the world, we’re often thinking in terms of beer, coffee, chocolate, great bread, handmade bicycles and guerrilla knitting circles. But there’s a thriving alt motorcycle culture, too, one where coolness can’t be bought in a showroom, where you have to roll your own. Builders take old bikes as a starting point to cut, weld, modify and construct their own personal statements about what a motorcycle should be, whether that be chopper, bobber, cafe racer, rat bike or full-on trailer queen custom. The results are fascinating. Craftmanship ranges from sublime to downright dodgy, and one builder’s dream bike may be a nightmare to the rest of us, but the tenets of DIY/maker society – authenticity, passion, craft, all those fine words – are scrupulously adhered to.
And yes, PBR will likely be the beer of choice. Craft beers are sometimes regarded in this demi-monde as snooty and pretentious, though it seems to me that the principles of craft and authenticity apply equally to both worlds. Whatever the beer on tap, you should check it out – it’s a vivid scene.
Sweet/Tart – A Celebration of the Dark & Sour Sides of Beer Noon-11 p.m. Saturday Feb. 13-Thursday Feb. 18, Belmont Station, 4500 S.E. Stark St.;
February seems like the perfect month to celebrate both the dark and sweet beers alongside tart and sour ales, so Belmont Station will be featuring four taps of stouts and other dark beers and another four taps pouring sour ales. Grab a flight of your favorite type or one of each and hunker down for this leap year’s extra day of cold and dark days.
Migration Sixth Anniversary Saturday Feb. 13, Migration Brewing, 2828 N.E. Glisan St.;
As Migration partner Colin Rath puts it, “six years ago we were digging trenches in a heatless building with only a dream guiding the way. In those years we have gone from brewing 250 barrels a year to more than 1400…We were four friends with a vision who have brought our experiences and passion for craft beer together to create a neighborhood-gathering place…”
And they’ve made a good job of it, too, thanks to the friendly feel of the pub and to beers such as those on Saturday’s specialty beer list: 2014 Black Hearted IPA aged in a House Spirits whiskey barrel; 2015 Frankie Claus Belgian chocolate imperial stout aged in a Cabernet franc barrel; 2015 Frankie Claus Belgian chocolate imperial stout aged in a House Spirits whiskey barrel; and 2016 Liquid Bread Doppelbock
My Beery Valentine VII Noon-6 p.m. Sunday Feb. 14, Bazi Bierbrasserie, 1522 S.E. 32nd Ave.
Those fine folks at Brewpublic and Bazi bring you the seventh Annual My Beery Valentine because they want you to spend your Valentine’s Day with a great craft beer, crème brulee beer pairing and specialty V Day themed cocktails, so bring someone special or come make new friends because Valentine’s Day is so much better with a beer in hand.
The draft list includes:
Alesmith My Bloody Valentine
Breakside Pomegranate Gose
The Commons Brotherly Love
Ecliptic Electra Framboos Raspberry
Gigantic Something Brown
Hopworks Vishnya Babushka
Ninkasi Sour of Love
Oakshire Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout
Sierra Nevada Ovila Brown with Mandarin and Cocoa
Wingman Chocolate Raspberry Brett Trios Saison
Avery Beer release 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 16, McNally’s Taproom, 370 E Main St., Hillsboro;
Join the McNally’s crew for the release of some new beers from Avery, including: White Rascal: An authentic Belgian style white ale, unfiltered and cleverly spiced with coriander and Curaçao orange peel producing a refreshingly zesty classic ale, 5.6 percent; Liliko’i Kepolo: A spicy traditional witbier with a tropical island flair. 5.4 percent; Tweak: Imperial coffee stout aged in fresh Bourbon barrels, 17.5 percent; Raja Double IPA (the only keg in Oregon): Brazenly bitter. Dashingly dry-hopped. Raja is an audacious addition to Avery’s tradition of intrepid IPAs, 8 percent; and The Reverend Belgian Quad: A complex and layered beer with hints of dark cherries, currants, and molasses, complemented by an underlying spiciness, 10 percent.
Fort George Stout Month Road Show Celebration 5-7p.m. Thursday Feb. 18, Belmont Station, 4500 S.E. Stark St.;
The Station closes its Sweet/Tart celebration with the help of Fort George bringing its famous Stout Month to Stark Street for a night, They’ll have Cavatica Stout (with some special surprises inside) on the bar top and a couple of their (57!) Festival of the Dark Arts kegs pouring in the taproom.
The Beers of Culmination 6-9 p.m. Thursday Feb. 18, Hoplandia Beer, 8600 N. Ivanhoe St.;
Hoplandia celebrate Culmination Brewing with a taplist that includes Euphoric Brett IPA,
4 & 20 Black IPA, Chocolate Stout and Blackberry Kaffir Lime Sour.
John Foyston is Oregon’s longest serving beer writer, and wrote a
weekly beer column for The Oregonian until just recently. His
work has appeared on CNN, and in Beer Connoisseur, Celebrator Beer
News, Oregon Beer Growler, Mix Magazine and other publications and
will occasionally appear on these pages, at least until Angelo and DJ
get tired of him too…He can be followed on Twitter at @beerherejohnny.