With the first week of February now behind us means another Oregon Craft Beer Zwickelmania is now only one week away and it’s time to prepare. Now in its 6th year, Zwickelmania is when many of Oregon’s Craft Brewers open their doors to visitors that allow them to meet the brewers, sample beers and explore areas of the breweries that are normally off limits.
Zwickelmania, the annual one-day event in Oregon when breweries open their doors to the casual and hardcore beer fans, takes place on Saturday, February 15th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. An expected 100 breweries, both big and small, are participating with meet the brewer events, beer samples and sales on merchandise at the breweries.
Not sure what to expect, you can read Brewpublic’s take from our ventures in Portland in 2013, 2010 and all the way back to 2009, a trip to Bend in 2012, and a venture out to Oregon’s Wine Country in 2011. It’s definitely a fun filled day for any beer fan to enjoy.
Since the weekend is also Valentine’s and President’s Day, an out of town trip may be something you’ll want to plan for. To assist in your itinerary building you can click on one of the seven regions of Oregon on the Zwickelmania event page to see which participating breweries are open that day celebrating Zwickelmania. Bus routes and schedules, itineraries and maps are listed towards the end of this post for the Portland, Eugene and Salem areas.
A couple special events are also taking place during Zwickelmania. In Eugene, Oakshire Brewing will be hosting Hellshire Day & Barrel-Aged Beer Fest beginning at 11am. For those wanting to make their way out to the North Coast, Fort George Brewing will be celebrating their annual Festival of Dark Arts on this day from 2:00 to 10:00pm.
“Out of nearly 200 breweries throughout the state, we’re shooting for 100 open breweries for Zwickelmania,“ says Oregon Brewers Guild executive director Brian Butenschoen. “So, there are many options in Oregon perfect for a romantic beery weekend getaway, whether you head to a city with a robust concentration of breweries or to a town with just one.”
Zwickelmania takes its name from the zwickel sample valve on beer conditioning tanks. This sample port is an essential tool in the brewing process and allows brewers to take quality control samples during the fermentation process.
Last year, more than 30,000 people toured 93 participating breweries statewide and Oregon Craft Beer, the public facing brand of the Oregon Brewers Guild, is expecting that number to increase in 2014 with Valentine’s Day kicking off a three-day Presidents’ Day weekend. Lets try to increase this number to show how much we all love Oregon Craft Beer!
For those of you wanting to take advantage of free shuttle buses between breweries we compiled a list of various shuttles that will be transporting Oregon Craft Beer fans around in Portland, Salem and Eugene. Make sure to thank Brewvana, Rogue, Kell’s Brew Pub and AleWays for their generous donating their bus services.
Brewvana’s Portland Bus Schedule
Kell’s Portland Westside Bus Shuttle
Rogue Portland East/West Bus Shuttle
Rogue Portland SE Bus Shuttle
Rogue Portland NW/SW Bus Shuttle
Rogue Eugene Bus Shuttle
AleWays Salem Zwickelmania Bus Schedule
For more information, head to Oregon Craft Beer’s Zwickelmania event page, Facebook page, and Twitter using the hashtag #zwickel14. Travel safely while zwickeling it up.