According to the German Beer Institute, the word Zwickel "stems from the sampling cock mounted at the outside of a cask or tank to take tastes for assessing the brew's progress during fermentation." Though not all of the Central Oregon beer poured during Saturday's Zwickelmania event will come from a "sampling cock," if past events are any indication, it will be delicious. And, more exciting, in many cases your bartender will be the person who brewed the beer. At least 11 Bend breweries are participating and, from 11 am to 4 pm, most pubs are throwing open the back doors to permit locals a peak at how the magic happens. Each brewery has its own programming, but many include "meet the brewer" events, special tastings and brewery tours. Here are a few to seek out:
Boneyard Beer: "Pickles and Zwickels" Full pints of beer, music, and burgers from the Patty Wagon.
Crux Fermentation Project: Brewery tours every 20 minutes, barbeque and samplings from the "Banished" barrel-aged series.
GoodLife Brewing Co.: Samples, brewery tours and corn hole!
Silver Moon Brewing: Take a ride on the Bend Cycle Pub.
Worthy Brewing: Tours, tastings and special beer releases.
McMenamins: Special releases, like Black Zombie Porter (available on nitro and made with whiskey-soaked oak spirals), $7 growler fills, and meet the brewer events.
Zwickelmania: Oregon Brewery Tour
11am-4pm Saturday, Feb. 15
Participating breweries: 10 Barrel, Bend Brewing Company, Boneyard, Crux, Deschutes, GoodLife, McMenamins, Old Mill Brew Werks, RiverBend, Silver Moon, Worthy.
Free entry, free samples, beers offered at regular prices
Avoid driving—check bendbrewbus.com for scheduled Zwickelmania shuttle times.
Platypus Pub, purveyors of fine beers, is teaming up with Columbia Distributing for a zany tap-takeover event, featuring local and regional brews.
Platypus Pub Winter Beer Show
5-10pm Thursday, Feb. 20
Platypus Pub, 1203 NE Third St.
Free entry, free samples, beers offered at regular prices.