The KLCC Microbrew Festival, Eugene’s first big beer event of the year, returns this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 10 & 11) to the Lane Events Center. The long-standing fundraiser for KLCC, Eugene’s public radio station, brings with it a few changes this year. First, I am proud to announce that, after a year hiatus, the homebrew festival is back. When I dropped off my beers shortly before the deadline last Friday, I was the 52nd entrant, with entries 126-128. Not a bad turnout following bye-year. Oh, and I should mention that this year’s Best of Show gets the opportunity to brew their winning recipe at the newly-opened Falling Sky Brewing.
This is also the first year that the festival will have extended Saturday hours, running 5-11pm Friday night and 1-11pm Saturday. Tickets are $12 at the door and include a single beer ticket. Advance tickets can be purchased through Thursday for $10 (plus a $1.54 service charge). Buying an advance ticket not only saves you $.46, but also nets you express entry into the event and 3 beer tickets instead of one.
The last big change of this year’s event is the annual Collaboration Brew. Past collaborations have focused around a single style, but this time around, the theme is simply, “Beers Aged in Bourbon Barrel.” Each brewery aged the beer of their choice in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels, resulting in the following, widely varied list of Collaboration Brews.
- Hop Valley – Ladder to Heaven
- Hop Valley – Stairway to 11
- Maui – Heaven & Hell Barley Wine
- McMenamins High St. – Hammerhog, Whiskey Aged Hammerhead
- Ninkasi – Bourbon Aged Imperiale Imperial Stout
- Ninkasi – Bourbon Aged Renewale Robust Porter
- Oakshire – Bourbon Barrel Aged Very Ill-Tempered Gnome
- Steelhead – Oak Aged Break Action Porter
- Track Town Ales – Whiskey Barrel Aged Common
Any bets on whether or not these beers make it to Saturday?
The complete list of 120+ beers can be found HERE, on the KLCC website. A few of the beers that have grabbed my interest are:
- Blue Moon – Vintage Chardonnay Blonde Ale – Yep, Blue Moon. So crazy I’ve got to try it.
- Falling Sky – Twisted Branch Juniper Rye Amber – First chance to try a brew from the new kids in town.
- Fort George – Spank Stout Pepper Stout – Not sure if this sounds good or bad to me, but it has my attention.
- Phat Matt’s – Phat Snowman – Been meaning to try a Phat Matt’s brew and a strong winter ales seems like a good place to start.
- Widmer – Kellerbier – A cloudy lager with some fruity Australian hops, I’ll bite.
I hope everyone has a great time at this year’s KLCC Microbrew Festival.