Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beervana Blasphemy

Warning: What you’re about to read will probably come across as blasphemy. If you choose to continue reading I beg you won’t hold it against me.


Here we go.

One last time…are you sure?

Today is Zwickelmania in Oregon. Described as, “a free statewide event that offers visitors a chance to tour Oregon breweries, meet the brewers and sample their favorite beers,” by the Oregon Brewers Guild it is no doubt a massive event. And it is truly statewide, not just the Portland metro. That IS pretty cool.

I appreciate the effort of everyone involved in organizing the event, all of the places opening their doors and especially the foresight of Brewvana and Rogue to offer shuttles, FREE shuttles around Portland. With so much going on there seems to be something for everyone and if the excitement that has been building all week on the interwebs is any indication, this is a day to clear your calendar and dive in.

So what’s my issue, you’re wondering? I feel like a stick in the mud for saying this, but when I ponder the question of what I’m going to do today my first thought is: avoid any place that is participating. I know. I can hear you screaming as you’re reading this. You’re asking me, “Why? What? But you love beer. What is your F-ing problem? Don’t you want to enjoy all this fun?”

While I don’t claim any of these reasons are great ones, here’s why:
  • I’m not fond of crowds.
  • I’m really not fond of crowds that mean I have to wait in line for beer.
  • Unless I’m on a brewery pilgrimage vacation I don’t like having an agenda or multi-stop drinking. I’d much prefer to pick a place and settle in.
  • With a few exceptions I’ve been to all of these places and having been to about 150 breweries/brewpubs I’m not interested in another tour.
Sure, my beer geek friends are going to be out in force today and I’d probably be hard pressed to show up anywhere without running into at least one, possibly 10 at any given location. I’d enjoy chatting over beer, as long as the crowd wasn’t overly loud. I’d probably also enjoy a few special tastes that some of the places are offering. But it’s not enough.

There it is. I’ve said it. I’ve rained on the beer parade in my new home. I hope you can forgive me. You’ll also know what’s up if you don’t see me today.


  1. I expected more blasphemy than that. We did Zwicklemania the first and second years, the first year because it was new and sounded like a great idea, the second year because we had friends in town. Last year, we went to none of the events because it was just going to be more of the same. I don't need five or six brewery tours, unless someone's pouring something special I can't get another time (or haven't had already) I don't see a need to trek across the city. Maybe next year I'll approach it from the perspective of going to places I haven't been in a long time, but I think this year I might wander down to one of the inner SE places and just have a beer.

  2. Don't feel bad, I'm right there with you. All though it is a great day for people to get out and learn the love of the craft beer scene here in Oregon. Don't let us rain on your parade though. Go forth and enjoy!

  3. Ha! I expected way more blasphemy than that!! I'm not going out either - we went last year to a couple stops, and while it was cool in aspen house-ish sort of way, I agree with mmcooljam that it's great for people to learn about beer, for those who might not have the regular access to brewers or breweries like some of the veterans. I'll try to find somewhere to settle in too, later this afternoon, with a friend from out of town, and hope that it's not too nutty!!

  4. Glad I'm not the only beer geek that feels this way!

  5. Thanks, everyone, for making me feel like less of a wet blanket!