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The Eclipse: Another Excuse for Good Beer 

Brews to go with the week's once-in-a-lifetime theme—plus Redmond Brewfest!

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Just in case this is the first piece of media readers of this column have seen all year, there's going to be a total eclipse north of Bend on Monday morning. It's a lifetime event, the first total one the US has seen since 1979, and—this being the United States, after all—companies nationwide are seeking to cash in on it.

The craft-beer business is no exception to this, and it's probably to be expected that quite a few limited-edition releases are out now to commemorate. That's true from the Oregon coast, to central Idaho (where Mother Earth and Payette Brewing collaborated on the LUNARtic session ale, complete with Comet and Galaxy hops), all the way to Tennessee, where Yazoo Brewing out of Nashville has the Space and Time oak-fermented wild blonde ale for Southerners who want to avoid bourbon for lunch.

Residents of Central Oregon, of course, are anticipating the complete, Mad Max-style shutdown of all roads, infrastructure and general human decency before, during, and after 10:20 a.m. on Aug. 21. But at least there's good beer around!

Around Bend, North Rim Brewing is putting the most effort into the whole eclipse theme. For the first time in its history, they've canned a bunch of its beers—including the Blast Cap India Red Ale, Twin Citra IPA, and Fly Rock Session—all with a suitably astral motif on the label. Joining the lineup for this 85,000-can run is Moon Junky, a dark session IPA that, at 4.6 percent alcohol, won't put too harsh a buzz on the day while ensuring your beer is as dark as the sky above. Grab the cans now at C.E. Lovejoy's in southwest Bend, or check 'em out at Oregon Eclipse 2017, a sold-out gathering unfolding at the Ochoco National Forest for the week around the eclipse.

A

lso making the rounds is Chromosphere from Portland's Ecliptic Brewing, perhaps the most appropriately-named brewery in the U.S. for this event. Another sessionable ale like Moon Junky, Chromosphere has a bit of citrus to it, thanks to the Amarillo and Cascade hops inside—and while Portland proper isn't quite under the path of totality, Ecliptic will open its doors at 8 am on the 21st for beer, brunch, Bloodys, and a chance at a very dark morning.

Yes, the eclipse's morning visit might compromise serious drinking plans—but why not get really busy the weekend before at the Redmond Brewfest? Despite making its debut August 18-19, this festival already has 75 breweries and over 300 beers on offer, including a few (such as Milwaukie's Pono Brewing) that didn't make Bend Brewfest last week. It benefits Redmond Parks and Rec, among other groups—not to mention the city's growing beer scene, one that'll still be around after all the RVs leave and the sky goes back to normal.


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