Happy start of Oktoberfest weekend! Tomorrow, September 19, is the first official day of the traditional harvest festival, and it runs through Sunday, October 4. Of course there are other things going on this weekend too, so here’s the news for this weekend; as usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.
Of course the big O-fest is the Mount Angel Oktoberfest located in Mount Angel (northeast of Salem and just north of Silverton), which is in full swing right now. That will continue through the weekend (and if you’re in Bend, there’s still time (today on Friday, anyway) to sign up for the COHO charter bus going on Saturday), but it’s not the only Oktoberfest fun taking place this weekend—see my round-up post of the various events going on; it’s also The Bier Stein’s Oktoberfest, the Bend Oktoberfest, Hop Valley’s Hoptoberfest, and more. Prost!
Today is the McMenamins-wide release for their annual fresh hop beer, Thundercone! This is the beer that the McMenamins brewers participate in the “Running of the Brewers” to gather the fresh hops they use to brew, and this year they used Simcoe hops from Sodbuster Farms. You’ll now find it on tap today (Friday the 18th) and lasting until, well, it’s gone!
And McMenamins Bagdad Pub (Portland) has a special beer tasting as part of their monthly “Reel Beer Series” today starting at 5pm, featuring Duskbringer – Pumpkin Spice Ale: “Duskbringer celebrates autumn with its darker color and seasonal ingredients. This beer was brewed with 200# of squash and pumpkin that was hand cut, cubed, roasted, and pureed by the brewers before it was added to the mash tun and kettle. It’s authentically hand-crafted and spiced with just enough allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger to accentuate its rounded, earthy malt character.”
Rock Bottom Brewery (Portland) has a special Chef and Brewer Dinner (PDF) taking place tonight from 7 to 10pm. It will be five courses paired with five beers, but unfortunately I don’t have much more detail than that; keep an eye on their Facebook page, there might be additional details posted there.
Pelican Brewery (Pacific City) welcomes the Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic this weekend, which starts today, with a special brewfest added to Saturday’s schedule: “From 2pm-6pm the beer garden will be open to anyone 21 years or older. Commemorative glasses will be given to all Brewfest attendees to purchase tasters or full pints from the following breweries: Pelican Brewing Company, Bouy Beer Co., Fort George Brewing Co., Seaside Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Two Kilts Brewing Co. and Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider.”
Wild Ride Brewing (Redmond) has the second of three fresh hop beers being released today (Friday) starting at 5:30pm, their 3 Sisters Wet Hopped Red Ale: “The first in what we hope is a long line of Bine to Pint craft beers made exclusively with nearly 150lbs of bine fresh hops from Cascade Hop Farm.”
Laurelwood Brewing (Portland): Saturday the 19th from 3 to 9pm is their annual Laurelfest celebration! It’s a day of fun that includes: “Fresh-hopped beers on tap; Cornhole; Live music, 4-8 PM; BBQ specials; Kid-friendly activities, including a bouncy house!” It takes place at their Northeast Portland pub, don’t miss it!
Kells Brewery (Portland) is celebrating their 3rd anniversary on Saturday the 19th (tomorrow), not only throwing a party but also releasing their first-ever bottled beers. “The event will feature $3 Kells beers all day, including its three flagship beers – Kells Irish Red, Kells Irish Lager and Kells IPA – as well as its stout on nitro and current seasonals. To complement the beer, head chef Travis Stark has created $3 Kells bites for the day: a stuffed lamb slider, a falafel slider and meatballs topped with Kells stout sauce. The celebration will feature live music by Bridgid’s Cross from 6 to 8 p.m. and local favorite Sami Rouissi from 9 p.m. to Midnight. There is no cover charge. At 7 p.m., owner Gerard McAleese and lead brewer and pub manager Garrett McAleese, will raise a toast in honor of the occasion.” Congrats on 3 years!
Silver Moon Brewing (Bend) has partnered with the homebrewing residents of Bend’s Aspen Ridge Retirement Community to brew up this year’s version of Machine Gun Maggie Imperial IPA (last year’s was with Worthy Brewing)—a beer whose proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s. And tomorrow, Saturday the 19th, from 1 to 4pm they are hosting the release party for the brew: “Machine Gun Maggie Imperial IPA is a recipe born out of Aspen Ridge’s Home Brew Program, brewed in our brewhouse, with the label designed and hand-applied by Aspen Ridge Residents! Following the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, come back to our taproom and get a 22 oz bottle, case, or snifter of Maggie and enjoy $2 off any appetizer from 1-4pm.” It’s for a good cause and the beer will show up at various other brewpubs afterwards as well, so stop by if you can.