An annual tradition of Oregon craft brewers returns next month after a one-year hiatus. The 14th Annual Zwickelmania event hosted by the Oregon Brewers Guild will makes it return over two weekends during the month of February. COVID be damned, Zwickelmania will take place at Portland Metro Area breweries on Saturday, February 19th and then statewide on Saturday, February 26th.
“Zwickelmania has been a staple event for the Guild for over a decade and we are very excited to be able to transition back to in-person this year,” said Christina LaRue, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild, in a statement. “We made the pivot last year to an online platform, offering virtual brewery tours and panel discussions with brewers via Zoom and social media. Our members are looking forward to being able to offer guests an in-person experience and will be ensuring the safety of the public, as well as their teams is a top priority.”
The annual brewery open house takes its name from the zwickel, the sample port, sometimes a stainless curlyq located on a fermentation or brite tank. For years, brewers have participated in Zwickelmania by opening their brewhouses to the public and offering things such as beer samples right from the zwickel, specialty beer releases, brewery tours, educational talks, food and beer pairings, and meet-the-brewer opportunities.
“Zwickelmania is an opportunity for the public to get a sneak peek into brewery operations that they may not normally have access to. You may get to pull a sample right off of barrel-aged cask or meet your favorite Oregon craft brewer,” said LaRue, in a statement.
It’ll be interesting to see the brewery participation level for this year’s return of Zwickelmania during the midst of the pandemic that faces continued setbacks. The press release from the Brewers Guild states that the group will continue to monitor the current public health situation and adjust or cancel the event if deemed necessary. Each participating brewery may also have safety requirements specific to their location, which will be listed online so that attendees can be prepared ahead of time.
The current list of participating breweries is minimal bit will likely continue to increase. This list can be found by visiting the continually updated Google Doc by clicking here. Additional event information such participating breweries, their offerings, as well as COVID precautions can be found via the event page on the Guild website at: https://www.oregoncraftbeer.org/2022-zwickelmania.