The Little Woody festival is the beer event I wait for all year long. It's my happy place—my Christmas, if you will. It's truly a beer geek's dream. Basically, it's the best beer festival EVER! Barrel-aged beers from all over the place are served up. Not convinced yet? That's fine. Read on for further temptation.
- A token from The Little Woody, ready to be traded for a barrel-aged beer, cider or whiskey.
The Little Woody benefits the Deschutes Historical Society. In fact, the festival location is the parking lot and lawn of the Deschutes Historical Museum in downtown Bend. There will be live music on Friday and Saturday night. Play a little corn hole while sipping on a delicious barrel-aged beverage. People can even dig deep into their lumberjack tendencies and throw axes (sober, of course... come on, now).
With the purchase of a VIP pass, visitors can learn about the barrel-aging processes directly from 24-year veteran homebrewer Spencer Williams, a member of the Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization. The VIP pass also includes early entry into the festival both Friday and Saturday (meaning waaay fewer lines), extra tokens and a Little Woody shirt.
There is something new every year at The Little Woody. This year (besides the axe throwing), they have beer coming from as far away as Grand Rapids, Michigan (Founders Brewing Co.). Also new this year is Pfriem, from Hood River, Oregon, bringing beer for the first time. When I found out about this I began jumping up and down, squealing, just like I did when I was 6 or 7 years old and got a roller-skating baby doll for Christmas. Besides Founders and Pfriem, the brewery tents I plan to hit up first are Fort George from Astoria, Oregon, Kobold out of Redmond and—ALWAYS—The Ale Apothecary from Bend.
What's that you say? You love beer but your significant other only likes cider? No problemo! There are four cideries participating, as well. I'm looking forward to trying what WildCraft brings from Eugene. Tumalo Cider will also be present, and they're on fire right now with unique flavors—why I must go both Friday and Saturday. There are just too many choices and I must try them all (with much help from my hubby, of course).
If the end of the festival comes before you've had your fill, don't worry about it. Buy a Big Token (if you're one of the lucky ones) and from 9:30 to 10 pm you can fill a growler with one of the brews remaining to take home and keep the party going! And hey, don't forget to stop at the whiskey tent to taste whiskey and talk to the experts in the field of spirits.
OK, admit it. I've totally convinced you to give the Little Woody a shot. Grab your gnome hats (because there is a costume contest) and, according to Volunteer Director Karin Roy, other "gnome shenanigans" will also be at hand. Watch beer geeks in their natural habitat, with their cute little notepads, writing tasting notes about each of the beers they drink and comparing those notes with others.
Editor's note: The Little Woody is an event produced by the Source's sister company, Lay It Out Events—but we assure you, we made no push for Howard to get this excited about the festival...
The Little Woody
Fri., Aug. 30, 5-10pm. Sat., Aug. 31, Noon-10pm.
VIP entry at 4pm both days
Deschutes Historical Museum
129 NW Idaho Ave., Bend
Festival Entry $15; Designated Driver $5; Tasting Package $20; VIP Tasting Package $40; Big Token $20