Bev Curious? There's a Fest for That! | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Bev Curious? There's a Fest for That!

Silver Moon Brewing hosts second annual BevFest Saturday

Beer has a problem. Actually it has many problems, perhaps the largest of which is kids these days. Statistically, young adults are eschewing beer, either because it's got alcohol or carbs or both. But still, we all gotta drink.

In this era of "functional beverages," the fact is, every beverage serves a function from waking ourselves up to calming ourselves down. We also seem to like foods and drinks that come with a good story. And the slate of PNW-based drink makers slaking our collective thirst who will be on hand at the second annual BevFest at Silver Moon Brewing on Saturday, May 25, have lots of local stories to tell.

"We kicked the idea around and brainstormed a bit," says Silver Moon Co-owner James Watts of the returning event. "Last year was the time to pull it off. We had over a dozen vendors last year, same for this year." There are 14 such producers participating. "It's to get away from the good ol' beerfest that we all know and love. There are so many great beverages coming out around Oregon." The event will also feature Silver Moon's usual pod of food trucks and live music throughout the event from 1 to 5 pm.

click to enlarge Bev Curious? 
There's a Fest for That!
Courtesy Silver Moon Brewing

If that seems like an odd sentiment coming from a brewer, it shouldn't be. The craft beer industry has been chasing what it calls "beyond beer"—ciders, hard seltzers, non-alcoholic beers and hop waters—for a handful of years. Whether consumers are turning away from beer or simply exploring the variety of liquid arts in the same way they discovered the diversity of craft beer styles (if you're old enough to drink beer, IPA wasn't the dominant style when you were born), many consumers are searching for the new-new.

The alcoholic drink brands lined up, beyond Silver Moon, include Thorntail, 2Towns Ciderhouse, Palmy's, Lazy Z Ranch Wines, Sand Lily Sparkling Wines, Crater Lake Spirits and Thinking Tree Spirits. Thorntail is a new offering for hard agave (not quite hard seltzer, not quite "ranch water," which is tequila and club soda). Whereas whiskey is essentially distilled beer, hard agave is basically un-distilled tequila, making it as sessionable and carbonated as beer but with only 1 or 2 grams of sugar per can. For cider fans, Corvallis-based 2 Towns will help keep the doctor away with fermented apple-y goodness. And rounding out the lower-alcohol drinks is Palmy's, Bend's purveyor of hard teas — like if Arnold Palmer and John Daly had a canned baby.

While there are no traditional wineries in the lineup, Bend's all-draft sparkling winery, Sand Lily, will have a table, as will Sisters' Lazy Z Ranch, to introduce attendees to its "ranch wines," aka mead or honey wine. Finally, Bend distillery Crater Lake and Eugene's "women-led, farm-to-flask" distillery Thinking Tree will pour the booziest samples.

While the rest of the lineup is non-alcoholic, one is still very much for those who are 21 and over. Shift is the Bend-based THC-infused brand with a canned product that proffers 2 milligrams of THC.

As for the other bevs that eschew booze, a few pack something else derived from cannabis, besides psychoactive THC. Tropink is the newest local CBD beverage in the self-touted "better for you" space alongside Ablis and Altitude. The latter makes both mocktails as well as canned lattes. If you're looking to explore another innovative caffeinated beverage, Bend's only wood-fired coffee roaster, Bohemian Roastery, will be on hand, too.

Rounding out the vendors is a pair whose drinks contain neither anything boozy nor hempy. Be GOAT, the natural energy drink, and Compassion Kombucha (shout out to their lemon-ginger flavor) can perhaps provide the boost of energy needed to make it through the list.

"I'm a creature of habit. I love my go-tos," says Watts. "But I'm also a creature of curiosity. At Silver Moon, we do our best to support a number of these brands on a daily basis. We practice what we preach. The BevFest came from our own lineup beyond our beer."

Sat., May 25, 1-5 p.m.
Silver Moon Brewing
24 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend

Brian Yaeger

Brian Yaeger is a beer author (including "Oregon Breweries"), beer fest producer and beer-tasting instructor at COCC. Because he’s working on doughnut authorship, you’ll find he occasionally reviews our local doughnut scene. Yes, he absolutely floats all summer long with a beer in one hand and a doughnut in the...
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