▶️ Zwickelmania goes virtual; local breweries gear up for couch-bound customers

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Virtual brewery tours, panel discussions, and beer tastings all from the comfort of your couch.

That’s what this year’s Zwickelmania will look like.

The annual open-house event gives beer lovers a behind-the-scenes look into Oregon breweries.

“Compared to years past it’s going to look drastically different,” Michael “Curly” White, Wild Ride Brewing head brewer said. “Usually Zwickelmania is a time where everybody just piles into the brewery, comes and checks everything out, gets to talk to multiple brewers at a time, taste new beers, and gets to see a lot of the behind the scenes aspect of the brewery.”

“They’ll describe the tasting notes, how they made it, ingredients they use,” Valarie Doss, Bevel Brewing co-owner said. “So I think that’s the interactive part, but the brewery tours will just be posted throughout the day.”

Wild Ride Brewing in Redmond and Bevel Brewing in Bend are two Central Oregon locations that will be participating.

Both can agree that while the lack of in-person interaction isn’t ideal, the event is a great marketing opportunity.

“Because it’s statewide, we do get to share this with everybody,” Doss said. “Including the people that have never heard of Bevel or have never been to the brewery.”

“It’s still a way for us to kind of connect and get to talk to customers,” White said. “Even though we’re not there in the same building so to speak.”

The event is hosted by the Oregon Brewers Guild and everything will be posted to its Facebook page.

Because the event is all online, it’s tough to say how turnout will compare to previous years.

However, that doesn’t seem to be downing the spirits of some of our local breweries.

“We just wanted to make sure we’re still keeping in touch with the beer enthusiasts, the customers, and other brewers in general,” White said. “Just to let them know that we’re still here.”

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