This, Saturday, February 17th, the recently renamed The Lodge at Cascade Brewing (previously Raccoon Lodge) in southwest Portland is opening its doors for Zwickelmania. Guests can enter to win a tour for four of the Cascade Brewing Blending House. Zwickelmania is a statewide open-house brewery event–more details here. The 10th annual Zwickelmania will take place in the Portland metro area this Saturday and the Lodge at Cascade Brewing will be open for tours from 11am – 7pm.
More from a press release:
Cascade Brewing has been in business since 1998, and has become known worldwide for its award winning sour beers. Its Eastside tasting room, the Cascade Brewing Barrel House, is a must stop destination for beer tourists visiting Portland. But few realize the brewery brews all of its beers at its original location at 7424 SW Beaverton HillsdaleHwy.
This Saturday, Cascade Brewing founder Art Larrance and the brewing/blending team will be on hand at the brewery to answer questions and offer brewery tours, complete with complimentary tastings of Vitis Noble 2016 and Sang Noir 2015. Zwickelmania will also feature special beer pairing appetizers in the downstairs Den, 22 varieties of bottled Cascade sour beers on tap, and select vintage bottles available for sale.
There will be hourly raffles – upstairs for shirts, hats, glasses and gift cards (minors welcome); and downstairs for bottles of its sour beer (must be 21+ and present to win). Attendees are also encouraged to enter to win a raffle with a grand prize giveaway of a “Ron-dezvous” at Cascade’s Blending House. Cascade head brewer Ron Gansberg will host a private tour for four of Cascade’s Blending House, its complex in Southwest Portland that houses nine oak foudres and 2,000 oak barrels and puncheons. This exclusive tour will allow guests to both see and taste the magic (need not be present to win the Grand Prize).
Zwickelmania is named in honor of the zwickel, a screw valve that mounts on the outside of fermentation or conditioning tanks and allows brewers to sample the beer inside for quality assurance and control. Similarly, Zwickelmania offers a unique opportunity to taste beers where they were produced and interact with the brewers who created them. Last year, more than 30,000 people toured 128 participating breweries statewide.
Cascade’s distinctive sour ales are developed with a house culture of lactobacillus bacteria, which produces the acid that makes the beer sour. The brewery also frequently incorporates locally grown fresh fruit into these ales, such as cherries, apricots, berries and grapes. The resulting beers offer a complex array of flavors and aromas derived from the acid, the fruit, and the residual flavors present in the barrels in which they age. Bacterial fermentation is a natural process that requires long-term maturation in oak barrels; Cascade’s beers are aged for up to several years. Each barrel produces a different effect, so the brewery blends the various barrels until it believes it has the perfect beer. Sour beers take an exceptionally long time to develop, but they are well worth the wait.
For more information visit CascadeBrewing.com.