The biggest event in Oregon craft brewing? Yep: the Oregon Brewers Festival is huge, yes, but the tally for five days of the OBF is about 80,000 visitors total. More than 40,000 people are expected to heed the siren call of free beer and brewery tours of more than 100 Oregon breweries opening their doors this Saturday in Portland – and, for the first time, next Saturday for the rest of the state – for this year’s Zwickelmania.
Zwickelmania 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday Feb. 18 Portland; Saturday Feb. 25 for most other Oregon breweries & brewpubs; Free.Schedules and shuttle bus info here.
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. My friends at Burnside Brewing are releasing Saga Imperial Stout: Kristin White tells the story…
Saga began in 2010 when we did the whiskey wash for Bull Run’s “all Oregon single malt whiskey.” The whiskey was made with all Oregon grown malts & aged in oak barrels for 5+ years. Those same barrels were brought back to the brewery and filled with an imperial stout about 5 months ago. The project has come full circle and we are excited to be releasing this full-bodied yet graceful stout that melds the flavors of the oak and the grain.
They’ll be pouring samples of the Saga in addition to other Zwickelmania offerings Saturday, and Bull Run folks will also be sampling the whiskey as well. Both the Saga and the whiskey will be available for purchase…
Coalition has some special beers on tap, too:
Culchie’s Tipple (Test Batch) – Irish Red Ale
Space Funk- Space Fruit on Brett aged in a Syrah Barrel
Dark Horse – Russian Imperial Stout on Brett and cherries aged in a Pinot Noir Barrel
plus Two Flowers IPA; King Kitty Red; Roselandia Rose Petal Sour ; Dropping Science D-IPA; and Space Fruit Citrus IPA.
Zwickelmania Celebration 3-9 p.m. Saturday Feb. 18, Portland Brewing Company Taproom, 2730 NW 31st Ave.,
Portland Brewing is your one-stop Zwickelmania center: park at Portland Brewing all day, hop on a tour bus and check out all of Portland’s great breweries and end your tour at the taproom with a party that includes live music, free appetizers, beer specials, brewery tours, beer tastings, a blind tasting contest and raffle prizes. Live music from 3-6 p.m. kicks off the festivities.
Three Floyds/Boneyard Collabo IPA on Tap 5 p.m. Thursday Feb. 16, McMenemains 23rd Ave. Bottle Shop;
Boneyard Beer & Three Floyd’s Brewing got together to brew a mighty IPA: 3FBY IPA, which is 7.2 percent ABV and 55 IBUs with more than four pounds of hops per barrel. Citra, Centennial and Simcoe come together to create a citrus and piney hop monster, says the e-mail they sent me…
Massive! Imperial Bourbon Barrel Aged Release 2 p.m. Friday Feb. 17 Gigantic Brewing Co., 5224 SE 26th Ave.;
Ben Love sez: “This Friday we release MASSIVE! Bourbon Barrel Aged. Our beloved and overtly aged release spent almost 2 years in Kentucky Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. This 13 percent elixir has a huge and complex aroma and flavor with notes of maple syrup, burnt toffee, plum, boysenberry, vanilla, rich and spicy wood. Enjoy the richness and intensity now, or after years and years and years more of aging. In making MASSIVE! Bourbon Barrel Aged 2016 we used only British Golden Promise malt and boiled for eight hours, intensifying the sugar content, giving the beer a deep ruby color and rich malt flavor. There is a limited amount on tap at
Gigantic and 22oz bottles are available only at the brewery for $20 each.
UKfest Noon-close Saturday Feb 18, Bailey’s Taproom, 213 SW Broadway;
Bailey’s Taproom continues celebrating its 10th Anniversary Year with UKfest this Saturday, which is also the debut of their second in the Hausbier series, All Gold Everything. They teamed up with Baerlic Brewing to create this take on a British Golden Ale. Also know as an English Summer Ale, this light-drinking session ale will debut on firkin, live most of its life on a regular CO2 tap, then they’ll tap the final bit on a cask inoculated with wild yeast to replicate the Stock Ale of England’s pub past. UKfest is a nod to our crafty forefathers where Irish, Scottish, & English styles get a day of appreciation. Bailey’s Taproom has curated a draft list of American interpretations, which blend traditionalism with twists on the classics for a mix that plays to a wide range of tastes.
UK Fest Draft List:
CiderRiot! – Plastic Paddy
Liberty – Stonewall
Baerlic/Bailey’s – All Gold Everything (Hausbier 2)
Magnolia – Aliciella
Heretic – Bitter Truth
Breakside – Bergamot Special Bitter
Hop Valley – Mild at Heart
Double Mountain – Nitro Black Irish
StormBreaker – Oatmeal Stout
Machine House – Burton-style IPA
Stone – Emperial IIPA
Fat Head’s – ESB
Cascade Lakes – Painted Racer
Ancestry – Cafe Brown
Kells – Irish Red
The Commons – Dark Mild
Falling Sky – Coffee Dark Mild
Ex Novo – Scotch Ale with Heather
Gigantic – Mons Meg
GoodLife – Scotch on Scotch
Culmination – Trumpet Major
Against the Grain – Buffalohead
Firestone Walker – Bravo
Montavilla – 2015 Old Fellowship
Pelican – Mother of all Storms
Festival of the Dark Arts Noon-10 p.m. Saturday Feb. 18, Fort George Brewery Block, Astoria;
Fort George Brewery’s Festival of Dark Arts is not your normal Stout Beer Festival. Along with more than 55 of the best craft stout in the world, Fort George will host fire dancers, tattoo artists, blacksmiths, tarot readers, glass blowers and live music when Astoria’s Fort George Brewery Block becomes a one-day Carnival of Stout. It should be a perfect – rain blowing sideways, in other words – Astorian day to spend inside with a lovely glass of stout in hand…
Oyster Social Sundays Noon-4 p.m. Sunday Feb. 21 & 28, Gigantic Brewing Co., 5224 SE 26th Ave.;
Gigantic teams up with Tournant to bring you Oyster Social Sundays starting this Sunday with the release of Nevørmind Oyster Stout. They traveled to Netarts Bay for oysters from Nevør Shellfish Farm. They put 12 dozen oysters and 45 liters of oyster “liquor” into the boil to create a roasty and chocolatey stout, with subtle mineral and briny notes that pairs perfectly with fresh oysters on the half shell, shucked to order from Tournant.
New Belgium Lips of Faith Tasting 6-9 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 22, Bazi Bierbrasserie, 1522 SE 32nd Ave.;
Bazi’s special New Belgium Lips of Faith tasting is a fundraiser for the Immigration Counseling Service, a non-profit organization that for over 35 years has been dedicated to improving the lives of Oregon’s immigrant communities, and most recently expanded to include work with unaccompanied children and survivors of human trafficking.
The New Belgium collaboration series will highlight the following 4 beers: a four-beer tasting tray will be available for $8.
New Belgium Lips of Faith Allagash Fat Funk: 5.6% ABV, Fat Tire with a De Dolle house Belgian yeast strain that adds classic pear, banana and spice to Fat Tire’s malty goodness. The added brett provides a spicy finish.
New Belgium Lips of Faith Anne-Francoise Spiced Dark Strong Ale: 9.5% ABV, collaboration between Orval’s first female brewmaster Anne-Françoise Pypaert and New Belgium’s Peter Bouckaert. Spruce tips and medium-toasted American oak were added to this brooding chocolaty beer, and then wove deeply herbal French Sprisselspalt and spicy Liberty and Willamette hops into the mix.
New Belgium Lips of Faith Flowering Citrus Ale: 7.4% ABV, collaboration with Antwerp’s historic De Koninck Brewery is a delightful burst of citrus and flowers, keeping pace with the color and commotion of summer. Sit back and enjoy the pop of key lime and whole lemons; breathe in the fragrance of hibiscus, rose petals and strawberry-tinged Mistral hops; toast to life’s pleasant surprises.
New Belgium Lips of Faith Golden Ale: 7% ABV, collaboration with Belgium’s Hof Ten Dormaal blends modern Mosaic hops and malted sunflower seeds with Old World ingredients such as Saaz hops, spelt, and wild carrot herbs.
Sixth annual Cascade Brewing Sour Fruit Fest Noon- close daily, Wednesday Feb. 22 – Sunday Feb. 26, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont St. & Raccoon Lodge and Brewpub, 7424 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy;
Sour Fruit Fest features more than 50 exclusive Cascade sour fruit beers on rotation throughout the week, with at least 25 sour beers on tap each day at the Barrel House, and 10 at the Raccoon Lodge. The Barrel House will also offer a savory/sweet food pairing menu and vintage bottles for sale.
The following five beers will headline each day at both locations:
At the Barrel House, in addition to the above, Cascade’s lineup of fruit beers will be on tap daily, including Apricot, Elderberry, Figaro, Kriek, Manhattan, Noyaux, Sang Noir and The Vine, plus many more on rotating taps — and Cascade’s most popular — Honey Lime Ginger — will be pouring throughout the event.
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.