For a town that needs little more than a clock striking five o'clock (or, really, the noon hour whistle) as a reason to raise pint glasses of craft brews with friends, Bend residents still scheme an awful lot to justify even more sipping—or chugging—of the town's central export. The crowning jewel of these schemes is the Bend Brewfest, which happens each August at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.
Well, if Bend Brewfest has a little brother, the third annual Fermentation Celebration, going down June 19 in the Old Mill, is it. And just like an overshadowed sibling, the Fermentation Celebration is making great effort to be noticed by focusing on some the town's best nano-breweries; perhaps giving less efficient beer drinking Bendites the chance to experience some brand new flavors.
"The impetuous was to do a kickoff for craft brew beer month which happens in July and to celebrate the economic impact that these breweries bring to the area," said Noelle Fredland, marketing director for the Old Mill District. "We're trying to get as many of the breweries to provide things that are normally hard to find. It's a really great way to celebrate our local culture."
Artisans from Bridge 99 Brewing, Red Tank Cider and Atlas Cider—among 24 others—will be on hand to provide a total of 31 different tasting experiences of their small-batch concoctions with Deschutes Brewery pouring the never-before-drank Dopple Dinkel Distelhauser Collaboration for revelers.
Another standout among those robust tasting notes is sure to be Golden Aurora Ale; a crisp beer made with whole flower Cascade hops from Bend's upstart husband and wife operation: Meg and Darin Butschy's Oblivion Brewing Co.
The event takes over the Shops at the Old Mill, intertwining the different breweries among the storefronts, cozying up to the libations' source, namely Bend water and the Deschutes River, an integral—and very special—Central Oregon ale ingredient that the Source profiled earlier this year in our Beer Issue.
And since no event in Central Oregon can ever be complete without live music, there's that too, courtesy of local favorites like The Rum & the Sea, Second Hand Soldiers and the rollicking alt-country Wilderness.
Third Annual Fermentation Celebration
4 pm, Thursday, June 19
Shops at the Old Mill, Powerhouse Drive
Entry $20 (includes pint glass and nine tasting tickets)