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The Bend Brewfest is boldly going where no brew festival in Central Oregon has ever gone before.
For the first time in its hop-soaked history, the Bend Brewfest will pour more than 200 different beers and ciders, giving festivalgoers more options than ever at the three-day beer fest held at Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater, Aug. 10-12 of this year.
“There’s just a huge amount of interest each year from breweries all around the region,” said Brewfest director Marney Smith, whose event drew nearly 40,000 people in 2016.
Now in its fifteenth year, the Bend Brewfest will feature 85+ breweries, cider houses and winemakers, a record number of participants for Oregon’s largest craft brew celebration east of the Cascades.
“It’s a really great mix of breweries you know and love along with those newer, upstart beer makers you’ve been dying to try,” Smith added.
Photo Courtesy of the Old Mill District
The Bend Brewfest traditionally highlights a Who’s Who of West Coast breweries, large and small. Regional favorites such as Deschutes, Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada will once again be at the Brewfest, as will Pacific Northwest standouts like Cascade Brewing, Crux, Fremont and Breakside.
Equally impressive is the number of up-and-coming smaller breweries at this year’s Brewfest. Craft beer aficionados will have the chance to sample nano rock stars like Sedition Brewing out of The Dalles, Oregon; Ashtown Brewing from Longview, Washington; and Ordnance Brewing out of Boardman, Oregon.
One of the yearly highlights at the Bend Brewfest is its X-Tap program. Almost like a specialty beer festival within the Brewfest itself, the X-Taps are reserved for small batch and experimental beers. Think of concoctions like Anderson Valley’s Salted Carmel Porter aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels or a one-time version of Fort George’s Matryoshka Stout infused with cocoa nibs and raspberries.
We’re not gonna lie, life in the Brewtality Tent, home of the X-Taps, is pretty fantastic.
Admission to the 2017 Bend Brewfest is free but to sample the goods you’ll need to purchase a mug—which includes five tasting tokens—for $20. Additional tokens are five for $5. You can also get a fancy mug for a little more.
“Honestly, we’re just excited to expose people to some of the great beer we have in the region,” Smith said. “We have so many exceptional brewers in the Pacific Northwest doing truly amazing, artisanal things with beer and cider right now.
“To help them show off their craft in a place we think’s pretty special in its own right,” she added, “well, it just makes for a pretty spectacular event.”