Over a decade ago, three-dozen Oregon breweries opened their doors on a Saturday in February for the first-ever Zwickelmania, a free statewide craft beer celebration that allowed visitors to tour Oregon breweries, meet the brewers and sample beers. About 4,000 craft beer fans took part in the inaugural event, which was designed as a way to promote Oregon’s craft beers and the brewers who make them.
This year, the 11th annual Zwickelmania will span two different weekends to accommodate an estimated 120 breweries that will participate around the state. Over 60 Portland Metro area breweries will kick off the event on Saturday, Feb. 16, while breweries across six more Oregon regions – Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, Mt. Hood/Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Coast, Southern Oregon, and Willamette Valley – will welcome guests the following Saturday, Feb. 23. More than 30,000 visitors are expected to attend the free event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
For the first time, 37 breweries from across the state have teamed up to craft a Zwickelmania beer. Collab West Coast IPA is a 500ml, limited-run bottled beer that will only be available for purchase at participating breweries starting on Zwickelmania. Proceeds from sales of the beer benefit the Oregon Brewers Guild, which supports breweries, suppliers, education and collaboration.
“Collab West Coast IPA is a celebration of the friendly and collaborative nature of the Oregon beer scene, with breweries from Yachats to Boardman and everywhere in between working together,” explained Tony Roberts, co-executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild, which organizes the event. “Zwickelmania deserves its own beer. The event grows and changes every year, and this felt like a natural step in that evolution. Also, I may be a bit biased, but it’s a great beer.”
Zwickelmania is named in honor of the zwickel, a screw valve that mounts on the outside of fermentation or conditioning tanks and allows brewers to sample the beer inside for quality assurance and control. Similarly, Zwickelmania offers a unique opportunity to taste beers where they were produced and interact with the brewers who created them.
“The brewing industry is built on community, especially here in Oregon. What better way to build on that sense of community than to hold an event where we open our doors to beer lovers?” added Christina LaRue, co-executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “Zwickelmania is an opportunity for them to get a peek behind the curtain, meet brewers, perhaps learn something new, and taste some great beers. It’s an all encompassing experience––something Oregon breweries excel at.”
Visit the Oregon Brewers Guild Zwickelmania event page for a regularly updated list of participating breweries and cities in Oregon’s seven brewing regions, as well as maps, brewery listings and itineraries that can be viewed online or printed out. Follow the event @OregonCraftBeer on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, using the hashtag #Zwickel19.
About the Oregon Brewers Guild
The Oregon Brewers Guild is Oregon’s non-profit trade association for the state’s independent breweries. The Guild, which receives no state funding, comprises 165 brewing companies, 133 associate or supplier members and more than 4,000 enthusiast members or S.N.O.B.s (Supporters of Native Oregon Beer). For more information, visit OregonCraftBeer.org.
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