By Jon Abernathy

For The Bulletin

If you go

What: Redmond Brewfest

When: Noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: American Legion Park, 850 SW Rimrock Way, Redmond

Cost: $25 through Thursday; $30 during event

Contact: redmondbrewfest.com

Unless you’ve been in a news blackout in recent months, you’ve been preparing for the upcoming total solar eclipse occurring on Monday. With hundreds of thousands of visitors projected to travel here, hunkering down with some specialty beer to celebrate the eclipse sounds like a great option.

Pairing beer styles with the eclipse — what would you choose? Possibly your first instinct would be to select dark beers — stouts and porters, for example. Three beers that spring to mind right away are Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery, Dark Side Stout from Silver Moon Brewing, and Terminator Stout from McMenamins. Other dark styles to explore include schwarzbier (German-style black lager) and American black ale (also known as Cascadian dark ale or black IPA).

Many of our local breweries brewed specialty eclipse-themed beers in honor of the celestial phenomenon, and not all are dark in color. Many of these beers were brewed for the inaugural Redmond Brewfest, itself sporting an eclipse theme. If you attend the Brewfest, taking place Friday and Saturday at American Legion Park, you’ll find them pouring on a specialty “eclipse” tap.

I reached out to the local breweries to learn about the various eclipse-inspired beers they have to offer. If you aren’t able to taste these beers at the Brewfest, you should be able to find them at the various brewpubs and taphouses around the region. Not all of the breweries produced an eclipse beer, and I had not heard from several as of my deadline.

Three of the Redmond breweries, Silver Moon, Cascade Lakes Brewing, and Wild Ride Brewing, collaborated to brew Wild Cascade Moon, a sessionable blonde ale with additions. Silver Moon’s new head brewer Jacob Zuchowski explained, “Our eclipse beer was a collaborative effort and great direction and input came from Wild Ride and Cascade Lakes. It was brewed at Silver Moon. We all decided we didn’t want to do something simple and obvious like a dark/black ale since it will be consumed in the middle of summer. We ended up brewing an approachable session with meyer lemon and purple sage, Sorachi Ace and Rakau (hops).”

McMenamins Old St. Francis School brewer Mike White also brewed in a lighter direction with Eyes to the Sky Solar Pale. White chose ingredients whose names reflected a solar or celestial theme, including Optic pale malt, and Horizon, Meridian and Ekuanot hops (the latter was formerly named Equinox).

Deschutes Brewery’s Bend and Portland pubs each brewed commemorative eclipse beers. The Bend pub named theirs Totality Dark Lager, described as, “Light and dry with a slight bready and nutty character, it’s clean lager character is crisp, refreshing and safe to view without eye protection.”

From Deschutes’ Portland pub comes Black by Hopular Demand, a hoppy Cascadian dark ale (CDA). Portland assistant brewmaster Jake Harper wrote via email, “The dark malts were cold steeped to provide a subtle, slightly roasty and smooth coffee malt character combined with Chinook/Sorachi Ace hops for aroma and bittering.”

North Rim Brewing got a head start on the summer with their eclipse beer, Moon Junky, billed as a dark session IPA. North Rim released the beer in June, riffing on the idea of a lighter “black IPA” designed to be drinkable and flavorful all summer long.

Both Three Creeks Brewing and Crux Fermentation Project have beers sharing a name — Shadow Chaser. Sisters-based Three Creeks’ version is a dark wheat ale. “We wanted a dark beer obviously for the eclipse but at the same time it’s August in Central Oregon so we also needed something suited to summer drinking,” said head brewer Zach Beckwith via email. “We settled on a Dark American Wheat, almost like an American Dunkelweizen, with the concept that the dark malts create almost an eclipse effect with the cloudy wheat beer base.”

Crux went in a different direction with a dark lager, a “special version of our schwarzbier,” according to marketing manager Jason Randles. Crux bottled this beer as well as offering it on tap, with a limited run of only 40 cases available at the taproom.

From Immersion Brewing comes Bend Moon Rye’sn, a rye CDA, and RiverBend Brewing released an imperial IPA named Total Eclipse of the Hop. Bend Brewing Company has long offered an occasional Cascadian dark ale named Eclipse, and head brewer Josh Harned brewed a fresh batch in time for the solar event. Steve Anderson of Kobold Brewing aged an imperial stout in Oregon Spirit Bourbon barrels to produce Veil of Darkness Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.

10 Barrel Brewing has a one-year-old imperial porter with orange, Moon Walker, that brewer Tonya Cornett brewed for the eclipse. And Bridge 99 Brewery owner Trever Hawman is sending Hoppy Lunar Lager to the Redmond Brewfest for his eclipse beer (Hawman renamed his Hoppy Lager for the event).

And finally, Mecca Grade Estate Malt, located in Madras, brewed Broken Yarrow, a hop-less style of beer known as a gruit, to celebrate the eclipse. You won’t find this beer on tap at the Redmond Brewfest but at a special eclipse party the malt company is hosting on Monday.

If you make it out to the Redmond Brewfest, be sure to sample these special eclipse beers. Planning on staying in? Pick up some eclipse growlers to enjoy while watching the show from home.

—Jon Abernathy is a Bend beer blogger and brew aficionado. His column appears every other week in GO!

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