Zwickelmania is the Oregon Brewer’s Guild‘s open house event. The zwickel (SWEE-kel), as I learned last year, is the little tap on the side of the tank used for sampling.
There are events across Oregon, including Rogue running a shuttle bus in Portland Metro and Eugene. You can find a complete list of events at the ever-thorough Brewpublic.
Last year, I made it to five breweries. The highlights for me were Widmer, where Mr. Kurt was checking IDs at the door, and Rock Bottom, where dozens of people tried to cram into that little room above the bar as Mr. Van was giving rapid-fire lessons in Belgian styles. Of course, Mr. Van is no longer at Rock Bottom, but I hear Mr. Kurt’s still going to be checking IDs this year…
Scrolling an eyeball down the list in an attempt to plan a transit-friendly tour for this year (don’t drink and drive, seriously, just don’t), Laurelwood has firmly ensconced itself as a must-hit spot, as they are doing cupcake and beer pairings.