Last week the Bend Brewfest announced the dates for this year’s festival, along with the call for participant brewery applications. This year marks the 15th annual Bend Brewfest, which has been taking place each year since 2004. (Except for 2009 that is—the Brewfest had been cancelled that year due to incidents the previous year. The Little Woody was launched in 2009 in part to fill in that gap.) While the Brewfest traditionally takes place the third weekend of August, this year it moves up a weekend to August 10 through 12 (Thursday to Saturday).
Why the change? It was moved to accommodate the total solar eclipse that is occurring on Monday, August 21. The path of totality passes over Madras and a good chunk of Central Oregon, so the region is preparing for the expected massive influx of visitors. My guess is, trying to schedule the Brewfest for the eclipse weekend looked like a logistical nightmare, and I wouldn’t be surprised if much local lodging is already booked up for it. As it is, the Bend Brewfest expects to see about 40,000 visitors attending the festival over the course of its weekend.
The brewery application form is online now, and they are taking applications through the end of the month (February 28). They only have enough slots for 75 breweries, and there was some controversy about enough openings for local breweries last year—so if you want a chance at pouring, get your application in now.
Here is the press release that was issued:
Get ready to raise a pint to toast all things craft beer for the 15th annual Bend Brewfest, scheduled for August 10-12, 2017 at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon’s Old Mill District. Traditionally held on the third weekend in August, this year’s event was moved up to accommodate the highly anticipated solar eclipse which will pass over Central Oregon.
Once again, breweries from around the region will apply to share their creations with nearly 40,000 patrons. Brewery applications are available on the Bend Brewfest website and are due by February 28, 2017.
“There is a huge amount of interest each year from breweries all around the region,” said Marney Smith, director of the festival. “With only 75 spots available, we always have a wait list. We will be announcing the final brewery lineup in late March.”
Last year’s event served up 190 craft beverages to 38,000+ visitors, raising more than $18,000 for charity. The money was divided equally among three local nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their respective missions:
- Deschutes River Conservancy – to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes Basin.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon – to provide mentoring programs for area youth.
- Neighbor Impact – to help families access skills for success, family services, financial assistance, food, housing, heat and energy assistance.
Smith continued, “For us, one of the most important parts of this event is giving back. Each year, we are able to support our beneficiaries in a significant way and we want to thank everyone who came out, bought beer and helped raise money for our community. Let’s do it again in 2017!”
Each year festival visitors can taste both incredibly rare and popular beers from nano-breweries to some of the most highly recognized craft breweries in the region, in addition to hand-crafted ciders and wine. The X-Taps showcase low-production, specialty beers not available in stores or restaurants.
Mark your calendars!