I had the chance to make my first visit to Bend for the Little Woody Barrel-Aged Festival with Brewvana over the holiday weekend. While I was technically working, I still had the opportunity to see Bend - beautiful from my brief peek at it - and see the Little Woody in action.
For those that haven't been, this is a small festival by most, especially Portland, standards. There were less than two dozen breweries represented but what they brought was pretty special. Basically anything that was poured at the festival was a one-off and would be hard if not impossible to find anywhere else. That by itself is enough reason for many serious beer geeks like me to go. Add to that a festival with a very relaxed feel in a beautiful setting and you've got more than enough reasons to make the drive.
I did have a chance to sample a handful of beers while I was there. All were good however it was the first beer that passed my lips that was my favorite - Framboise White by Block 15, a sour beer that spent 12 months in Chardonnay barrels with golden raspberries. This beer, among a few others, were lighter offerings that provided a refreshing change from the heavier, more typical barrel-aged beers in attendance.
I saw quite a few familiar Portland beer geeks at the festival and met a fair number more Portlandians that came by the Brewvana booth. Did you make it to this year's event or have you been in the past? Got any tips you'd like to share for when I plan my visit?