Tourists visit Oregon all the time to try out the local beer. This weekend, all the brewers are too.
Portland is the host city this year for the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC), an industry-only event attended by over 10,000 brewers, bar owners, and industry suppliers. It's not open to the public, but you can still experience the event through the dozens of beer dinners, tap takeovers, and other debauchery taking place across Portland—and in Bend, too, where Boneyard held a collaboration event last weekend at Velvet on Wall St. with UK-based microbrewery Beavertown.
Founded in 2011, Beavertown—no relation to Beaverton, Oregon—specializes in bold West Coast styles. Selections onoffer at Velvet included their Black Betty CDA and Bloody 'Ell, a blood-orange-flavored IPA that virtually popped off the tongue with citrus notes. "I first really got into craft beer when I used to tour around the United States with my band," Beavertown founder Logan Plant told the Source. "I think it's fair to say that beer is a big part of the social fabric across a lot of England, but you're only now seeing a new type of drinker who's really passionate about the tastes in the beer they drink. That's an audience you can immediately spot all across this state."
Plant was one of several CBC attendees who have stopped by Bend the past few days to check out the scene, hailing from places as far off as Lost Rhino (Ashburn, VA) and Salty Nut Brewery (Huntsville, AL). If you'd like to sample some of their wares, a car trip to Portland this weekend might not be a bad idea—Boneyard's sponsoring the Beergasm Fest at the Green Dragon in the southeast side of the city April 16, where craft-beer biggies like Surly, Crooked Stave, and 3 Floyds will all be on tap. Check out craftbrewersconference.com for a full event list.