Being in the midst of summer here in the Pacific Northwest we get our fair share of beer events. It’s great for those of us that live in the Portland metro area but for those from afar you have to put in some time and miles to attend many of these fun filled festivals. But later this week is the time of the year for those beer seekers from Central Oregon to shine brightly.
The Bend Brewfest is now 10 years strong and begins on Thursday, August 15 and runs for 3 days along the banks of the Deschutes River at the Les Schwab Amphitheater. Beginning on Thursday and Friday at 3pm and at Noon on Saturday you will be able to enjoy beers from over 60 breweries, a few cideries, a meadery and a winery. From the beer list that is provided after you scowl down there are 140+ craft beers from the 60+ breweries predominately from our bountiful Pacific Northwest region. For all things moderate in ABV, Bend Brewfest has you covered.
One of the highlights of the Bend Brewfest for us at Brewpublic is the very casual atmosphere that the Les Schwab Amphitheater offers its festival goers. Les Schwab’s lush grass lawn, unlike the sand and dust pit at the overworked Tom McCall Waterfront Park during OBF, is a very inviting setting. You can actually walk the grounds with cushioning grass below you.
As each year passes the Bend Brewfest keeps growing. Brewpublic was last at the fest in 2011 and if memory serves me correctly there are some new faces at the festival this year. First time pouring at the fest in Bend this year include Smith Rock Brewing, Worthy Brewing, Rat Hole Brewing, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Rusty Truck Brewing Co. among a few others.
Returning once again this year is the X-Tap. Now in its 3rd year, the X-Tap booth at the festival features specialty beers from many different breweries. This years X-Tap beer list includes Bend Brewing’s Ching Ching, Anderson Valley’s Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout, Oakshire Brewing’s Bier de Mars, Logsdon’s Far West Vlaming Flander’s Red and many others. Be sure to check out the X-Tap schedule on page 13 of this year’s guide to keep up with the day’s special beers.
Another feature here at the Bend Brewfest is what the organizers call the Brewtality Tent. The Brewtality Tent gets better every year, this year it will be hosted by The Brew Shop scheduling a great line-up of guest speakers. Sierra Nevada is brewing a special beer with The Brew Shop and will debut the tasty beverage at our Brewfest! This beer that the fellas from The Brew Shop brewed down in Chico is Beer Camp 99 India Farmhouse Ale. And it will debut at the X-Tap on Thursday at 4pm. We are looking forward to sampling this beer.
That sure is a plethora of beer choices at the fest this weekend. So what do you do when you bring a friend that is still on the fence about craft beer? Yes, the beerfest is offering a few options that do not contain malted barley. Cider and gluten free fans will rejoice on the cider options at this year’s Brewfest: 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Nectar Creek Honeywine, Red Tank Cider, Wandering Aengus Cider and Woodchuck Cider. There will also be Wine by Hood River’s Naked Winery and locally made mead by Nectar of the Gods Meadery.
And when you need the time to get some food, there will be plenty of options. This years food vendors include Cuppa Yo, Famous Kettle Corn, The Pizza Cart, Camerons Smoke Shack, Parilla Grill, Parilla Fries, Demetri’s, Dumpcity Dumplings, Spork, Jumbo Tamales, Bend Burger Co., Family Dogs Corndogs – Bison Blue Corn Corndogs and a Lil bit of Texas Sausage – Sausages. So if you arrive on an empty stomach one of these options looks satisfying.
And if these are not enough reasons to visit the Old Mill of Bend later this week you may want to visit some of the newly opened breweries in Bend and the surrounding area. A great adventure that the Visit Bend Tourism offers is the Bend Ale Trail. As the quantity of Bend Breweries continues to increase, the Ale Trail also increases in the amount of breweries that you need to stop in at to win your free gift. The Ale Trail now requires you to visit 11 Bend Breweries with a 12th bonus brewery in Sisters. It now seems a bit more challenging to complete in one day so take your time and complete in a couple of days.
You can check out the 2013 Bend Brewfest Guide here. If not, they’ll have plenty of copies when the festival kicks off on Thursday. This 40-page guide is definitely well thought out and put together very nicely.
And prior to leaving, please don’t forget to vote. The Bend Beerfest offers their patrons to vote for their favorite beer being poured over the weekend. Last summer GoodLife Brewing’s Mountain Pale Ale and Klamath Basin Brewing’s Vanilla Porter were Bend Brewfest People’s Choice Award winners. Be sure to vote for your favorite beer this summer at Bend Brewfest.
2013 BREWFEST LINEUP
Visit Bend Brewfest for more information or to volunteer at the event. Brewfest t-shirts, growlers and more will be available at the Ticket Mill prior to the event.
- Thursday, August 15 – 3:00 to 11:00pm
- Friday, August 16 – 3:00 to 11:00pm
- Saturday, August 17 – Noon to 11:00pm
ALL AGES and furry family members are welcome until 7pm each night with a parent or guardian in attendance. Parent/guardian is required to sign a pledge acknowledging the responsibility of preventing children from consuming alcohol and the penalties for the parent and child. Pet owners will be required to sign a pledge acknowledging the responsibility of keeping your pet safe and hydrated, and guarantee the pet will be under your control at all times.
Re-admittance is permitted.
Fee and children are welcome until 7pm each night. For beer tasting, you’ll need to make a one-time purchase of a 2013 Brewfest tasting package for $12. Tokens are required for each beer tasting (sold in packs of five for $5) good for all three days. Bend Brewfest runs Thursday & Friday from 3 – 11pm and Saturday 12 noon-11pm. A variety of food carts from outstanding local vendors. Cash required for food, mugs and tokens with an ATM on site.
- Twitter: @bendbrewfest #BBF13
- Facebook: facebook.com/BendBrewfest
- Instagram: #bendbrewfest
344 SW Shevlin Hixon Drive
Bend, OR 97702
From The Parkway take exit #138 following signs to Colorado Ave and the Old Mill District. Head southwest on Colorado Ave to the roundabout at the corner of Simpson and Colorado. Free parking is available in the Mt.Bachelor bus lot, located just two blocks from the Les Schwab Amphitheater.