Bend Brewfest will return this weekend for the first time since 2019.
The annual event took a pandemic pause and local breweries, like Bend Cider Company, are ready for it to make a return.
Bend Cider co-founder Tammy Roark calls it the “who’s who” of west coast breweries.
“Being at Bend Brewfest where there’s a huge population of cider lovers and we can be there to interact face-to-face,” Roark said. “It means a lot.”
The cidery opened just shy of the beginning of the pandemic, an interesting time to start a business, making Bend Cider’s first Brewfest that much more special.
“It feels like some normality is kind of returning,” Kelly Roark, head cider maker said.
This year’s Brewfest will take place on Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th in the Old Mill District.
The event is typically held at the nearby amphitheater, but the area is still under construction.
“About 15-20 taps at each place and people will be able to stroll along the river trail and sample,” Beau Eastes, Old Mill and Hayden Homes Amphitheater marketing director said. “We’ve got over 65 breweries from around the west coast that we’re really excited to showcase.”
Brewfest seems to have been well-missed by beer lovers and event veterans like Cascade Lakes Brewing.
“To get people back out and engaged with the breweries, and with the folks there pouring and trying new beers, and just enjoying a nice day,” Ryan Schmiege, Cascade Lakes Brewing brew master said. “Supporting craft beers is fantastic.”
Because the event is taking place in May versus its usual late summer date, attendees can likely expect smaller crowds.
Ticket prices have also increased, but a $40 pre-sale ticket will get you 10 tasting token instead of five.
Once the pre-sale period is over on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m., day-of tickets will be $50.
“We’re thrilled to be able to put this event on again,” Eastes said. “Really like the changes and the way it’s going.”
You can purchase tickets or learn more about Bend Brewfest here.