Bend’s premier specialty beer event is coming up next week for Labor Day weekend: The Little Woody Barrel Aged Brew and Whiskey Fest! It’s taking place Friday, August 31st (from 5 to 10pm) and Saturday, September 1st (from noon to 10pm), located as always in the parking lot of the Des Chutes Historical Museum in downtown Bend.
This year is the fourth incarnation of this festival, and it is looking to be the best one yet. Each year it has grown a bit—starting out with all local breweries, adding ones like Block 15 and Ninkasi the second year, adding the whiskey tasting in the Museum library, and this year there’s a cidery (Carlton Cyderworks) among the breweries present.
Central Oregon’s ten oldest breweries will be on hand (and Silver Moon holds the record of most beers with four being offered), along with guests Block 15, Carlton Cyderworks, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Oakshire, and Ninkasi. (The local breweries not represented—due to size or youthful age I imagine—are Below Grade, Phat Matt’s, The Ale Apothecary, Crux Fermentation Project, and Sunriver Brewing. I’m hoping they’ll be able to participate in subsequent years!) The beer list so far (which I’ll post separately) looks stellar, and yes, there will be a showing of Boneyard‘s insanely popular Suge Knight—at 1:30 on Saturday.
Of course there will be food vendors on hand, and live music too.
It’s a 21-and-over event, and it will cost $7 entry (which includes the commemorative glass), or $16 for a package which gets you the glass and 10 tokens. (Buying online shows there’s also a $21 package which gets you 15 tokens.)
If you can attend no other Bend-based beer event this year, The Little Woody should be the one! Why? Let me sum it up from last year:
Unlike some beer festivals I’ve attended, this one is focused on quality, not quantity, with a carefully curated selection of beers that highlight both the diversity of what beer can be, as well as the amazing number of breweries that Central Oregon has to offer.
This is one of the key points of The Little Woody as a beer festival for me, in that it’s a smaller, more intimate venue that wasn’t pervasive with any of the party-goer atmosphere that you’d encounter at, say, the Oregon Brewers Festival on a Saturday late afternoon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—it’s part of the experience—but at the same time you’re not dealing with the noise or the jostling crowds or the long lines you’d encounter at a bigger festival.