Let’s get beer geeky.
The Old Mill District hosts its sixth annual Fermentation Celebration on Thursday, June 8. Thirty Central Oregon breweries and cideries will be on hand pouring a combination of select seasonals, hard-to-find small batch brews and local summer favorites.
What: Fermentation Celebration
Where: Old Mill District
When: Thursday, June 9; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Info: Sample beverages from 30 different breweries and cideries.
Cost: $20 for 5.5 ounce glass and nine tasting tickets
Here’s a rundown of who’s going to be at this year’s Fermentation Celebration, what they’re pouring and why they’re worthy of one of your hard-earned tasting tickets:
- The Ale Apothecary (Bend); La Tache: The chance to sample one of the country’s truly great table sour beers is alone worth the cost of admission. La Tache spends up to a year fermenting in an oak barrel before undergoing a month-long dry hopping process. Not for those not down with the funk.
- Monkless Belgian Ales (Bend); The Trinity: Sneaky big at 8.1 percent, this easy to drink Belgian Tripel goes down like a lawnmower beer but surprises you with its complexity. Is that banana? Pear? It’s tasty – and potent. A great introduction to one of Bend’s better under-the-radar breweries.
- GoodLife Brewing (Bend); Secret Stash No. 3: You had us at “secret stash.” And the fact that the first two versions of this experimental IPA series were great certainly helps.
- Deschutes Brewing (Bend); American Wheat Ale: What the Widmer?!? Deschutes, the granddaddy of all Central Oregon breweries, is making a wheat beer? And it’s set to be part of their year-round lineup? Whoa, Nellie! We’re in.
- 10 Barrel Brewing (Bend); Out of Office: Skip out of work early and grab one of the Cox brothers’ hoppy Pilsners. Good beer that promotes the time-honored tradition of bailing out of the office early on a gorgeous summer day.
- Sunriver Brewing (Sunriver); Hop Shop Series, Indian Summer Ale: Is anybody on a hotter streak than Sunriver Brewing right now? If you loved their Electric Avenue Session IPA and D’Bomb Fresh Hop IPA as much as we did, you’ll want to grab some of this limited-edition ISA, ASAP.
- Cascade Lakes Brewing (Redmond); Cherry Blonde: To quote the immortal rock gods Warrant: “She’s my cherry pie, tastes so good makes grown men cry!” Drink this one-off cherry version of Cascade Lakes’ classic Blond Bombshell and don’t sing “Cherry Pie.” Not possible.
- Wild Ride Brewing (Redmond); Belgian Cloak Dark Strong Ale: From the brewery that perfected the peanut butter beer, this Belgian dark ale somehow packs in hints of toffee, raisins and chocolate. Not so much a summer beer as much as a a “drink this whenever you can get your hands on it” beer.
- Bend Brewing Company (Bend); Annex IPA: New owners Packy and Leslie Deenihan have injected Bend’s second-oldest brewery with energy and purpose. The first beer produced in the BBC’s new brewery annex, Annex IPA drinks clean and smooth, almost like a super hoppy Pilsner.
- RiverBend Brewing (Bend); Life is a Peach and Then You Die: You’ve been waiting for a creamy, milkshake IPA made with lactose sugar and peach puree, too? Well, you’re in luck.
- Silver Moon Brewing (Bend); Salty Bog Cranberry Gose: Part of Silver Moon’s Lunar series, this unfiltered wheat beer makes for good river and/or shower drinking.
- Ochoco Brewing (Prineville); Raghorn Brown: Who knew the British invasion made it all the way to Prineville. This British-style brown ale will take the mick out of any rough day.
- Crux Fermentation Project (Bend); Half Hitch Imperial IPA: Big Boy beer alert! Checking in at a robust 9.5 percent, Half Hitch, one of Crux’s most decorated beers, is not for the feint of heart. That being said, it’s one of the best beers being poured on a regular basis in Bend right now. Get a tasting in early before the keg blows.
- Worthy Brewing (Bend); Stoker Red Ale: A big red ale with tastes of tangerine and lemon, Stoker Red is the summer beer for beer drinkers who want something with a little more pop than a session IPA or hoppy Pilsner.
- Boneyard Beer (Bend), Bone-A-Fide Pale Ale: RPM’s unappreciated little brother, Bone-A-Fide nails that sweet spot of a hoppy pale that doesn’t quite go into the IPA zone.
- Bridge 99 Brewery (Bend); Rock Crawler Red: The only amber at this year’s event, Rock Crawler is a nice nod to some of the classic amber ales that helped launch the craft beer movement.
- Craft Kitchen and Brewery (Bend); Central Oregon Common: Crisp and clean, Central Oregon Common makes for a great cool-down beer after a long day.
- Kobold Brewing (Bend); Crooked Fate IPA: A true West Coast IPA, Crooked Fate proudly hangs its hat on its citrus highlights. Great chance to try a beer and a brewery that’s growing its footprint in Central Oregon.
- McMenamins Old St. Francis School (Bend); Firefly Kolsch: On the seventh day, when God rested, he most likely did so with a Kolsch. Light and refreshing – dare I say soul soothing? – McMenamins’ Firefly Kolsch hits the spot whether you’ve spent a long day on the trails or created the known world and the cosmos. Either or.
- Three Creeks Brewing (Sisters); Stonefly Session Ale: Rye malt, honey malt and Liberty hops, oh my! Stonefly is superfly with its spicy lemon notes and rye profile.
- Shade Tree Brewing (Bend); Scottish Wench: A nano brewery with a knack for making great beer, Shade Tree just started bottling brews this January. Be one of the first to sample their take on a traditional Scottish ale.
- Oblivion Brewing (Bend); Oblivious Blonde: Last on our beer list but first in our hearts. Great pre-game beer to get the Fermentation Celebration going.
Cider Houses Rule
You didn’t think we forgot about cider, did you? Here’s the complete list of cider participants and their drink of choice at this year’s Fermentation Celebration:
- Atlas Cider Company (Bend); Pineapple-Mango Cider: Tasty goodness in a bottle that’s surprisingly not over-the-top sweet. Does the mango mellow out the pineapple? Isn’t that like Mick calming down Keith? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE!?!
- Doc Fields Cider (Bend); Strawberry Kiwi: A semi-dry cider that’s sweetened with strawberries and kiwis. Super drinkable, enough so that you have to remind yourself that it’s booze.
- Red Tank Cider (Bend); White Cherry: A limited-run seasonal, this White Cherry cider blends sour Montmorency cherries with sweet fresh-pressed apples right from the Pacific Northwest
- Rimrock Cider Company (Bend-ish); Huckleberry: The chances of you misquoting Val Kilmer with a bad Southern accent after consuming this delightful cider with a touch of huckleberry is approximately 100 percent.
- Tumalo Cider Co. (Tumalo); Tangerine Coconut: Well this sounds interesting. Apples … Coconuts … And – sing it, sing it – tangerines! They uuuuuuuse tangerines! In whatever seriousness you can muster at the end of a 1,300-word beer blog article, this might just be the most original beverage at the entire event. We’re in.
Enjoy the festival, drink responsibly, sample beverages out of your comfort zone and have fun at the 2017 Fermentation Celebration!