Zwickelmania, the annual one-day event in Oregon when breweries open their doors to beer fans, lands on Saturday, Feb. 15th this year — the day after Valentine’s Day — from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. An expected 100 breweries, big and small, are participating with meet-the-brewer events, beer samples, tours, classes and more.
For those planning a special Valentine’s Day trip in Oregon, visitors are invited to click on one of the seven regions of Oregon on the Zwickelmania event page to see which craft breweries are participating in their area. Bus routes, schedules, itineraries and maps are also available for the Bend, Eugene, Portland and Salem areas.
“Out of nearly 200 breweries throughout the state, we’re shooting for 100 open breweries for Zwickelmania,” says Oregon Brewers Guild executive director Brian Butenschoen. “So, there are many options in Oregon perfect for a romantic beery weekend getaway, whether you head to a city with a robust concentration of breweries, or to a town with just one.”
In Southern Oregon, Standing Stone Brewing Company in Ashland is offering a “hang with the brewer” event, inviting interested beer-lovers to come walk around the brew deck with Brewmaster Larry Chase and taste free samples of housemade craft beer. Caldera Brewery in Ashland and Bricktowne Brewery in Medford are also offering special tours and discounts on beer for the occasion.
Zwickelmania takes its name from the zwickel sample valve on beer conditioning tanks. This sample port is an essential tool in the brewing process and allows brewers to take quality control samples during the fermentation process.
Last year, more than 30,000 people toured 93 participating breweries statewide. Oregon Craft Beer, the public facing brand of the Oregon Brewers Guild, is expecting that number to increase in 2014 with Valentine’s Day kicking off a three-day Presidents’ Day weekend.
For more information, head to Oregon Craft Beer’s Zwickelmania event page, Facebook page, and Twitter using the hashtag #zwickel14. Information about the event at Standing Stone Brewing Company is also available on the News on Tap blog.