July 11, 2017
The Bend Brewfest: Must-Know Terms
By: Marlena Williams
You’ve heard it from us once and you’ll hear it from us many times again: Bend is a city that loves its craft beer. For three days every August, Bend even puts on its own festival dedicated entirely to beer. The 2018 Bend Brewfest takes place this August 16th through 18th at the Les Schwab Amphitheater, located just a few minutes from the Pine Ridge Inn. The Brewfest is the best time to sample creations from Bend’s big players like 10 Barrel, Deschutes, and Crux as well as to explore up-and-coming breweries from across the state. Over 50 of Oregon’s best breweries will make their way to the Old Mill District to show off their latest concoctions and keep your glasses full of ales, lagers, ciders, sours, and more.
Navigating the vast terminology of the beer-world can be confusing and intimidating, so we have made a helpful glossary of some of the things you should know before heading to Brewfest. Of course, you don’t have to be a beer-expert to enjoy the Brewfest, but we promise it’ll be helpful to have a few of these facts in your back pocket. At the very least, you’ll wow someone with your knowledge and savvy. This is Bend: We can promise you’ll impress someone.
- Hops: Green, coned-shaped flowers that grow on the hop plant. They are what give beer its bitter taste and citrusy aroma.
- Malt: Grains made to germinate by being soaked in water and then dried with hot air. Malted grains can be used to make beer, milkshakes, vinegar, whiskey, and certain baked goods.
- ABV: Alcohol by volume.
- IBU: International Bitterness Units, due to hops.
- ABW: Alcohol by weight.
Ale is the oldest brewing method known to man, dating back over 5,000 years. Ales use a warm fermentation brewing method to create a taste that is sweet, full-bodied, and often fruity. There are many different types of ales, including:
- Pale Ales: Though pale ales are generally lighter in color, they aren’t exactly “pale.” They are typically golden or copper in color with medium maltiness.
- India Pale Ales (IPAs): These strong, bitter beers are one of the hoppiest beers you’ll find. When the English were colonizing Indian, they found that their beers often went bad during the long sea voyage from Britain. They realized that if they added heavy doses of hops and alcohol, the beer would be better preserved by the end of the journey. And hence, the Indian Pale Ale was born.
- Belgian Ales: With over 180 breweries in a country roughly the size of Maryland, you could say that Belgium is the Bend of Europe! Beer is an important part of Belgium’s cultural heritage and one of their greatest contribution to the world. Belgians are so meticulous that each type of beer is supposed to be served in its own, specifically designed drinking glass.
- Saisons: Historically, Saisons were brewed in Belgium farmhouses and then stored for drinking during the hot summer months. Thankfully you can now get this light, citrusy, and highly carbonated beer any time of the year. They are great options for anyone looking for a lighter, fruitier beverage closer to a cider.
- Scotch Ales: At about 6-8% ABV, Scotch Ales are comparably high in alcohol content. Matly and full-bodied, they tend to have a smoky or peaty flavor.
- Hefe-Weizen: “Hefe” means “unfiltered” or “with yeast.” This light-colored German wheat beer is highly carbonated with a low hop level.
Lagers were invented by accident, when researchers found a specific strain of yeast (Saccharomyces eubayanus, if you are interested) that was perfect for brewing beer. Lagers are fermented and stored at cool temperatures. Their crisp, clean flavors make them the most popular type of beer in America. If you have drank Miller, Budweiser, or Coors, you’ve had a lager. Brewfest is a great place to branch out and experiment with some of the traditional European varieties.
- Pilsner: Pilsners are a traditionally German and Czech beer with a light, golden color and sweet taste. The first Pilsner was made in 1842 in Plzen, a city in Bohemia that is now part of the Czech Republic. Pilsner Urquell was the world’s first Pilsner blonde lager and it is still in production today.
These are just a few of the terms you need to know if you want to arrive at Brewfest informed and prepared. However, even if you don’t master the history of brewing or commit these term to memory, we can guarantee that you’ll still be able to enjoy Brewfest’s unbeatable selection of diverse and delicious craft brews.
Admission to the fest is free. The fest is open to children before 5pm and 21 and over afterwards. Visit the website for more information on directions, parking, and hours.
Coming to Bend for the Brewfest? Book a stay at the Pine Ridge Inn for easy access to the Les Schwab Amphitheater and many of the excellent breweries in the area!