Saturday saw a really good turnout for Zwickelmania here in Bend; between strong offerings from the established breweries and interest in the new ones, it was easily the best open house event yet. We weren’t able to make it to all the breweries, but we managed a good number and picked up a few interesting tidbits along the way.
GoodLife Brewing: Our first stop of the day (four of us in our group: me, my wife, and our friends Paul and Sandi), we were also the first tour of the day for GoodLife. We got an up-close look at their 30bbl brewing system (the same one that Chad Kennedy will be installing for Worthy Brewing) and got a taste right off the zwickel of their new India Brown Ale which is soon to be released: a very tasty hopped-up American-style brown.
Deschutes Brewery: The next stop, Deschutes had their Zwickelmania event spread out from the production brewery down to their warehouse. The production brewery featuring a self-guided tour, tasters of beer (of course), and a “wort tasting” which appealed to me as a homebrewer: samples of unfermented wort from various beers to sample. (Black Butte Porter wort would reduce down to a fantastic syrup!). At their warehouse, they were pouring samples of Black Butte XXII (the recalled year) and I grabbed some pictures of some special barrel-aging beers: Hair of the Dog Fred and Adam! Along with the Deschutes beers I’m quite sure these are destined to be blended for the Conflux #1 collaboration.
“Yet To Be Named Brewery“: This is former Deschutes Brewmaster Larry Sidor’s new brewery, and work is underway in a former transmission shop in an industrial park not far from Deschutes. They were pouring some 21st Amendment brews for the day and we got a look at the brewery plans—most interesting to me are the open fermenters! in those plans—which give a good idea of how the space will transform. (Much of it is torn up to install plumbing.)
Boneyard Beer: They were offering pours of their RPM IPA at various stages of its fermentation: 1 day, 6 days, 10 days, 14 days, and complete. (The in-progress samples were free, the rest were $1 which included everything on tap in their tasting room.) The 1-day taste was the most interesting: all full of apricots, which is not something you would expect from the finished brew. The other days in the progression were more as expected, getting hoppier and brighter as the fermentation finished and the beer conditioned. I also enjoyed a taster of Suge Knight, their 12% abv imperial stout.
McMenamins Old St. Francis School: I really enjoyed our stop here last year, and this year was even better (and busier!). Brewer Mike “Curley” White was pouring a dry-hopped Gunslinger Pale Ale and Whiskey Barrel Brown: both fantastic pours and I believe someone remarked that the Brown could be served at the next Little Woody.
10 Barrel Brewing: The final stop of the day, at their new 50bbl brewery on the north end of Bend. We met up with the Cox brothers and new brewers Shawn Kelso (from Barley Brown’s) and Tonya Cornett (from Bend Brewing), enjoyed some grilled burgers and walked the impressive new brewery. Kelso generously shared a growler of some special beer he’d brought over from Baker City (a Belgian yeast fermented Sled Wreck), and I got a peek at a barrel-aging Pumpkin Lambic!