President’s Day weekend marked the return of Zwickelmania, a day long, state-wide celebration of Oregon craft beer. Sponsored by the Oregon Brewers Guild, Zwickelmania gives craft beer lovers a behind the scenes look into their favorite beers and the breweries that make them. This is a day when breweries open their doors to the public offering free tours and samples, often times right from the fermenters. The name Zwickelmania actually comes from the term zwickel, which is the valve on a fermenter that brewers use to pour samples and see how the beer is coming along.
By this time it was early afternoon, we had tasted many delicious beers and everybody was in really good spirits. But the day was far from over as we had a few more stops ahead of us. Nikki from Brewvana showed up, so we piled onto the bus again for the short drive up to Hopworks Urban Brewery.
|Christian Ettinger of Hopworks|
The day was winding down, but far from over. The next stop on our tour was at Base Camp Brewing. Base Camp is one of the newest breweries here in Portland, having just opened in October. Don’t let the newness fool you though, Base Camp has garnered a strong, loyal following in that short amount of time. The place was absolutely jam-packed by the time we showed up to celebrate their first Zwickelmania.
|Base Camp Brewing|
At this point, the sun was beginning to fade and Zwickelmania was officially coming to an end. Although the crowd stuck around Base Camp to continue the party and celebrate the greatness of Oregon craft beer. If you are a lover of craft beer, or even just a casual drinker, Zwickelmania is one yearly event you do not want to miss. As I mentioned earlier, the best part of the event is getting the backstage glimpse into the beers you love and the people who make them. It gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with the brewers and experience craft beer in a whole new way. I think you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for the beer you already love to drink anyhow. Definitely mark your calendars for next year’s Zwickemania, I have.