After a six-year hiatus, the very popular Oregon Zoo Brew returns bigger than ever in 2019. The 2019 edition of the Oregon Brew Zoo will take place at the Oregon Zoo over two evenings; Friday, June 7th and Saturday, June 8th from 6:30-9:30pm.
This year’s Oregon Zoo Brew will bring together over 40 of Portland’s best breweries and cider houses. In addition to the beer pouring there will be live music, keeper chats, and wildlife viewing at the zoo for an adult only experience.
Though the Zoo Brew was quite popular during its initial six-year run, much needed improvements at the zoo derailed this event in 2013. It was also a great fundraiser for the Oregon Zoo Foundation. However, this fundraising event had a reduced financial return for the Foundation that worked against our goal of providing financial support to the zoo’s animal welfare, education and conservation programs.
Even without the Zoo Brew during the past six years, the Oregon Zoo sold a lot of beer and cider throughout the year. In 2018 alone, the Oregon Zoo purchased 903 kegs of beer and cider and 2,287 cases of beer to its 1.5M visitors per year. This is before wine kegs and spirit purchases. Looks like the adults visiting the zoo enjoyed a cold beer from time to time!
Now the zoo staff felt it was time to bring back a revamped Zoo Brew in 2019. “We have heard loud and clear from the community that they want more opportunities to enjoy the zoo without kids being present!” said Krista Swan, that handles marketing and communications at the zoo. “The zoo is a beautiful garden, and people of all ages enjoy seeing wildlife – so we are creating different opportunities for adults to experience the zoo, typically after hours. The first event we held like this was BrewLights, during ZooLights, and we were blown away by the positive response. And, the money raised from these events helps support our mission of creating a better future for wildlife.”
Attendees at Zoo Brew will be treated to live music from singer-songwriter Ian James, jazz band Purple Herons and variety band Bridgetown Getdown. Keeper talks and animal meet and greets will take place throughout the evening, as will lawn games and other activities. There will be plenty of food carts and other dinner options available, and you can keep an eye out for local celebrities: The Unipiper will be roaming the zoo during the event, and the newest Tiny Goats will make an appearance.
Rogue Ales will be introducing the new Red Panda IPA, and bringing back last year’s Condor Kolsch during Zoo Brew. Sales of both beers all summer will benefit the zoo’s wildlife conservation efforts.
Here’s a preview of the breweries and cideries that will be part of the 2019 Oregon Zoo Brew.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.