This Saturday, January 17, in Bend, Oregon is the second annual High Gravity Extravaganza hosted by McMenamins Old St. Francis School—a mini-brewfest celebration of high gravity (strong) beers, featuring 22 breweries in all—10 McMenamins breweries, and 12 Central Oregon breweries.
The Extravaganza runs from 1pm until 10pm, with brewers on hand to pour and talk about their beers until 5pm. The package is a special glass and tasters, like the traditional brewfest, but the taster management is fairly unique: you purchase a punchcard with 10 punches, one per taste which costs $1.50 (so $15 in all), which gets punched each time you get a sample—no need to manage tickets or tokens. They did the same last year and I have to say, it worked really well. If you want additional tasters, you will need to purchase an additional punchcard however.
This is a fantastic invitational fest. I attended the inaugural High Gravity Extravaganza last year, and it was a great event, and I expect this year to be as well. Besides the beers and brewers there will be live music starting at 3pm. And food is available of course from McMenamins.
They have the beer list posted on the event page; here’s the roundup, by brewery/location, beer name/style, and strength. If you want the full description, go to their site.
- Crux Fermentation Project (Bend): Snow Cave Winter Warmer, 10%
- Sunriver Brewing (Sunriver): Shred Head Winter Ale, Northwest-style strong ale, 8.7%
- Solstice Brewing (Prineville): Winter Schnocker, Winter Warmer, 9.25%
- McMenamins OSF (Bend): Shadow of The Dark Belgian Strong, 8.3%
- Deschutes Brewery (Bend): The Must Have, Belgian-style Tripel with grapes aged on grape must, 9.2%
- McMenamins Thompson Brewery (Salem): Red Riser IRA, India Red Ale, 7.1%
- McMenamins West Linn (West Linn): Angry Reindeer IRA, India Red Ale, 8.51%
- McMenamins Edgefield (Troutdale): Double Dragon DIPA, 9.55%
- GoodLife Brewing (Bend): Comatose Imperial IPA, 9.5%
- McMenamins Monroe Brewery (Corvallis): Wade’s Choice Oak Aged, Oak-aged Double IPA, 8.75%
- Boneyard Brewing (Bend): Notorious, Triple IPA, 11.5%
- McMenamins High Street Brewery (Eugene): Day Tripper Double IPA, 9.68%
- RiverBend Brewing (Bend): Right Said Red, 10%
- Wild Ride Brewing (Redmond): XR7 Triple IPA, 11%
- McMenamins Concordia Brewery (Portland): Hibernator Doppelbock, 7.22%
- McMenamins Roseburg Brewery (Roseburg): Locomotivator, 7.74%
- Bend Brewing (Bend): Baltic Porter, 10.2%
- McMenamins on the Columbia (Vancouver, WA): Pistol Pete Porter, 8.51%
- Three Creeks Brewing (Sisters): Ten-Pine Double Chocolate Porter, 8.4%
- Worthy Brewing (Bend): Navy Strength Barleywine, 9.5%
- Silver Moon Brewing (Bend): Trainwreck Barleywine, 10.9%
- McMenamins Crystal Brewery (Portland): 13th Avenue Barleywine, 12.77%
Bend is the place to be this weekend, and this is going to be a terrific event! If you can possibly make it to this Extravaganza, do so—you won’t be sorry.