There are breweries all across the U.S. that are making some truly great craft beers, but I find that I tend to favor those that come from the West coast: Washington, Oregon and California. I’m sure that’s probably due, in part, to what I guess you’d call regional loyalty. I live in Washington and grew up most of the way in California. It’s probably also party due to the fact my first introduction to craft beers was in California were I was drinking stuff from some of the early craft beer pioneers like Sierra Nevada, Mendocino Brewing and Anderson Valley Brewing, just to name a few.
Despite my general West coast preferences, however, please don’t ever ask me to pick a single favorite beer or a single favorite brewery. It’s just become too difficult with so many great craft beer producers out there today. There are, however, some breweries in Oregon that are doing some truly amazing work, particularly in the Bend area. I’m a big fan of Crux, Boneyard and, of course, The Ale Apothecary – who was recently named one of the best 25 breweries in America by Gear Patrol. Also on the list were other West coast breweries: de Garde, Lost Abbey, Monkish, Sante Adairius & Sierra Nevada. Personally, I’m a bit disappointed that Seattle’s own Holy Mountain Brewing didn’t make the list.
If you’re a fan of West coast and particularly Oregon beers too, then you’ll want to mark your calendar for August 10-12 and the 15th Annual Bend Brewfest. This 3-day festival showcases some of the best beers in the nation, including big West coast names like Deschutes, Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada as well as Northwest favorites like Crux, pFriem, Fremont and Hopworks.
Here is the full press release from the Bend Brewfest:
Bend, Oregon – 19 July 2017 – Get ready to raise a pint and toast all things craft beer for the 15th annual Bend Brewfest, scheduled for August 10-12, 2017 at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon!
Traditionally held the third weekend of August in Bend’s Old Mill District, this year’s event was moved up a week to avoid the highly anticipated solar eclipse, which will pass over Central Oregon on August 21.
The Bend Brewfest showcases some of the most innovative breweries in the country, large and small. West Coast heavyweights Deschutes, Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada will once again be at the Bend Brewfest, as will regional favorites like Crux, pFriem, Fremont and Hopworks Urban Brewery. Craft beer aficionados will also have the chance to sample some of the Pacific Northwest’s smaller standouts such as Sedition Brewing out of The Dalles, Oregon; Ashtown Brewing from Longview, Washington; and Incline Cider Company based out of Auburn, Washington. Overall, more than 200 beers, ciders and wine will be showcased during the festival.
One of the yearly highlights at the Bend Brewfest is its X-Tap program. Essentially a specialty beer festival within the Bend Brewfest itself, the X-Tap program is reserved for small batch and experimental beers. The X-Taps are where festivalgoers can indulge in big barrel-aged beers like Anderson Valley’s Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Aged Salted Caramel Porter or Deschutes Brewery’s Black Butte XXVII, both of which will be on tap at this year’s Brewfest. The 2017 X-Tap program also includes a number of hard-to-find sour and farmhouse ales, such as pFriem’s Kumquat Farmhouse Ale, Buoy’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Boneyard’s Gooze Cruze. Approximately 40 breweries and cider houses are participating in this year’s X-Tap program.
- Thursday, August 10 – Noon to 11 p.m.
- Friday, August 11 – Noon to 11 p.m.
- Saturday, August 12 – Noon to 11 p.m.
Note: Families are welcome during the day but the Bend Brewfest is 21 and over after 5 p.m. No dogs allowed.
Where: Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 SW Shevlin Hixon Drive, Bend, Oregon
Admission: Visitors can enter the event for free. A one-time purchase of a souvenir mug is required for tasting. Mugs start at $20 and include five tasting tokens. Additional tasting tokens can be purchased for $5 for five tokens. One token equals a 4-ounce taste.
When visitors drink beer at the Bend Brewfest, they’re also helping the community. This year’s charity beneficiaries will be the Deschutes River Conservancy, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, NeighborImpact and the Bend Fire Community Assistance Program. Money raised at the event will go to the nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their missions.
More than 1,000 volunteers power the Brewfest. To be become a volunteer, visit the website and sign up for a four-hour shift. In addition to having a great time while helping several great causes, you’ll receive a T-shirt, mug and tasting tokens.
For more information, visit www.bendbrewfest.com.
About the Les Schwab Amphitheater
The Les Schwab Amphitheater is Central Oregon’s premier music venue, providing a beautiful outdoor riverfront space for concerts, festivals, sporting events and more. Opened in the historic Old Mill District in 2002, the Amphitheater was named in honor of a legendary Central Oregon businessman Leslie Schwab. The venue accommodates approximately 8,000 patrons for some of the biggest names in entertainment, the Bend Brewfest in August, plus free concerts by local and national performers in the Bend Memorial Clinic Free Summer Sunday Concert Series. www.bendconcerts.com
About the Old Mill District
One of the Pacific Northwest’s most distinctive and dynamic mixed-use developments, the Old Mill District is located on 270 acres that formerly housed one of the largest sawmill operations in the world. The rich history of the land is coupled with spectacular mountain views, scenic river vistas and an extensive trail system to enjoy the outdoors. More than 55 local, regional and national retailers and businesses call the Old Mill District home. The Old Mill District – Bend’s most unique shopping, dining, living, and entertainment experience. www.theoldmill.com
As mentioned above, proceeds from this year’s festival will go to help the Deschutes River Conservancy, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, NeighborImpact and the Bend Fire Community Assistance Program. So why not come down to Bend in a couple of weeks, enjoy some amazing craft beers and help out some great causes while you’re at it?
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.