Did you make the rounds for Zwickelmania this past Saturday? We did, of course, here in Central Oregon, and I thought I’d share a picture or two from each stop, along with some notes.
Three Creeks Brewing
Three Creeks had their pre-Zwickelmania breakfast taking place early at their new production facility, so we made the trip over to Sisters to check it out and sample Crowdpleaser IPA and FivePine Porter right off the zwickel (legit pours, as you can see in my first picture above). Impressive space, tasty breakfast items (doughnuts, scones, fruits, bagels and cream cheese, with coffee), and a nice crowd early on. Good start to the day.
Sunriver Brewing – new Galveston Pub
Next stop, back in Bend: Sunriver Brewing’s new pub space, formerly the Oblivion Brewing pub. They’ve been building out the back patio, which is where they were pouring samples of their beers, including the new Rippin Northwest Ale and their chocolate milk-like Cocoa Cow Imperial Stout. No zwickel pours here, obviously, but a nice preview of what they’ll be doing at this new location.
McMenamins Old St. Francis School
McMenamins is always a favorite stop for our zwickeling and we make it a point to always visit. They had three beers pouring, including one from the John Barleycorn’s pub—in fact, that is brewer Tim Proctor from John Barleycorn’s who was visiting with his beer. The pub also put together the best food accompaniment of the day: wings, jalapeno poppers, beef skewers.
Bend Brewing Company
Bend Brewing is another good stop on the tour, in part because you’ll marvel at the tiny space that brewers Ian Larkin (pictured, hard at work refilling growler samples) and Josh Harned have to brew in—and how they manage to make so many delicious beers is nothing short of amazing! We also got a bit of the lowdown from Ian about BBC’s anniversary party which will be taking place in April this year… think lots of beer, including some amazing-sounding sours!
Technically this stop wasn’t on the official Zwickelmania route—Deschutes’ production brewery on Simpson Avenue was—but since we were downtown two blocks away, we decided to stop by the Pub to sample the new Pub Reserves that were being released: Murder in the Rye and Rum Wowzenbock. We all agreed that the Wowzenbock was the tastier of the two.
Silver Moon Brewing
It’s always fun to see what Silver Moon has going on, and we did the tour even though we’ve been through there a bunch of times before. And bonus, head brewer Jeff Schauland got to embarrass me as a “celebrity” with the tour group because of my book. Lunch in the restaurant followed, washed down by a pint of their Unkle Pilsner.
Believe it or not, this was our first visit to the actual brewery facility for RiverBend, which is located in the building across the parking lot from the restaurant/sports pub. It’s an impressive space for what they have, and have just expanded into additional space next door; with the beers coming out of the system under the guidance of head brewer Kyle Schwenk, expect RiverBend to be popping up on the radar more often.
Bridge 99 Brewery
Our final stop of the day. Bridge 99 isn’t on the “official” Zwickelmania route because they are not a member of the Oregon Brewers Guild but they were on the Bend Brew Bus route and they were definitely happy to participate. Good stuff coming out of this little brewery; we sampled several beers and finished with a pint (I had the Green Ridge Lager).
A good day! There’s never enough time (or sobriety) to visit every participating brewery but that’s okay, there’s always next year.