By Joseph Ditzler
Local breweries participating
10 Barrel Brewing
ATLAS Cider Company
Bend Brewing Company
Cascade Lakes Brewing Company
Doc Fields Cider
GoodLife Brewing Company
Juniper Brewing Company
McMenamins Old St. Francis School
North Rim Brewing
Ochocco Brewing Company
Red Tank Cider Company
Rimrock Cider Company
Riverbend Brewing Company
Shade Tree Brewing
Silver Moon Brewing
Sunriver Brewing Company
Three Creeks Brewing Company
Wild Ride Brewing
Worthy Brewing Company
Local breweries which aren’t
Oblivion Brewing Company
Bridge 99 Brewing
Crux Fermentation Project
Smith Rock Brewing Company
Monkless Belgian Ales
Craft Kitchen and Brewery
Far Afield Cider
Even though it says Bend right in the name, not every Bend brewery will get a spot at the Bend Brewfest this year.
Event staff at the Les Schwab Amphitheater, where the event is held, in the past tried to guarantee spots for local brewers, said Chelsea Woodmansee, event and sponsorship director at the amphitheater.
“We did that for two years in a row,” Woodmansee said, “and found we were getting the same issues.”
One brewer sent the wrong types of beer in too few kegs, for example, she said. Others didn’t apply on time or couldn’t supply the right amount of beer.
Small breweries that deliver their own products, rather than rely on a distributor, sometimes had trouble delivering the right amount of beer, usually eight to 10 kegs in all, three to four kegs of each flavor, she said. So the organizers did away with the local preference.
Small inconsistencies, like beers in the program not being available at the event, detract from the patrons’ experience, Woodmansee said. Plus, larger beer festivals, upon which the brewfest models itself, don’t guarantee space to local favorites either, she said.
The festival expects 40,000 people over three days, Aug. 18-20, and flubbing the details “makes us look uncoordinated,” Woodmansee said. She said patrons in the past, for example, complained that the festival featured too many IPAs. So the organizers look for a variety of other beer styles.
“Not every local brewery gets in, and we don’t want the same brewers every year,” Woodmansee said. “We’re truly just trying to be as unbiased as possible.”
However, the Bend Brewfest will always have room for local breweries, she said. This year, Deschutes, Boneyard, Bend Brewing Co., Kobold, 10 Barrel, North Rim, Shade Tree and others share the lineup with Lagunitas Brewing Co., Elysian Brewing Co., Ballast Point and other Oregon and out-of-state brewers. Seventy-five breweries take part each year; hundreds apply for a spot, Woodmansee said.
But don’t look for Bend’s Bridge 99 Brewery. Bridge 99 owner Trever Hawman said he’s somewhat disappointed, but has other worries. He participated in the brewfest the last two years in a row.
“I get it,” he said. “They have a bunch trying to get in and want to get in.”
The Crux Fermentation Project won’t be there, either, but not because the event staff passed it over. Apparently, the email invitation to apply for a spot went overlooked at the Bend brewery, which missed the application window, said Crux founder Paul Evers.
“We don’t recall ever receiving that email,” Evers said Thursday. “We inquired three weeks ago, wondering what happened.”
Woodmansee said the event staff was surprised Crux didn’t apply for a spot this year. Maybe the brewery is too busy or its managers didn’t feel the need to take part, she said she thought at the time.
“Then, Paul called and asked, ‘Did I do something wrong?’” said Woodmansee. Evers called too late, however, and Crux is relegated to the waiting list. Unlike last year, when Crux didn’t have enough beer for the event, “this year, we’re ready to go,” Evers said.
One of Bend’s newest breweries, Monkless Belgian Ales, was in the opposite situation. With plans to move their operation from its original home in owners Todd and Robin Clement’s garage to a larger space on High Desert Lane and growing from a one-barrel system to a 10-barrel system — on which work began last month — Robin Clement says the pair knew their company wouldn’t be ready to participate in time.
“Because we’re in transition and our production was low because our beers take a little longer to brew, we knew the timing just wasn’t right and we wouldn’t be able to make it work this year,” Clement said.
Monkless does plan to ramp up its production, though, and Clement says the company hopes to apply next year.
Brewfest staff emails brewers in February seeking applications and picks the lineup in March, Woodmansee said.
“We love our local brewers, but we need to streamline the process,” Woodmansee said, “and have a little more efficiency when it comes to communication.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7815, email@example.com
Reporter Clare Duffy contributed to this report.