The growing success of this event brings up a couple of questions. First, who came up with the idea in the first place and what's it all about? Second, and perhaps more importantly, what's a zwickel?
As the above poster indicates, Zwickelmania is the invention of the Oregon Brewers Guild. The mission of the Guild is to promote craft beer throughout the state. Zwickelmania does that by opening breweries statewide for tours and tastings. Did I mention this is a free event? Alrighty then.
|Mike Wright manned the bar at The Commons|
And so, Zwickelmania features breweries showing people around and often providing beer samples directly out of fermentation tanks or barrels.Along the way, beer fans have the chance to rub elbows with brewers and other beer industry folks. Win vs win! There's a lengthy list of breweries and what they were doing here.
|They were tasting 3-day-old Flemish Kiss from the tank|
Such is certainly the case at The Commons Brewery. It was my main stop on Saturday. This place is quite small. The brewery and tasting room are mashed together. An official tour isn't really needed. Anyway, Mike Wright was toiling away at the bar while the other guys poured fresh beer tasters. The space was crowded, but the ambiance was buzzing and pleasant. I suspect that was a common theme.
Hats off to the Oregon Brewers Guild and all the breweries who participate in Zwickelmania. What a great promotional gig! I suppose the biggest downside to this event is there will surely be calls to expand it. I'm not sure that can or will happen, but it's a nice example of what success can do. I suspect all states where craft beer is flowing have or soon will have a version of Zwickelmania.