Zwickelmania, the MOTHER of all beer events, is this weekend

Zwickelmania, the MOTHER of all beer events, is this weekend »Play Video
Photo courtesy johnjoh on Flickr (Creative Commons).

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PORTLAND, Ore. - Beer lovers rejoice - breweries across the state will be throwing open their doors this weekend for special tastings and behind-the-scenes tours.

It's all part of the annual Zwickelmania Oregon Brewery Tour, which runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event gives you a chance to take tours, meet the brewers and sample your favorite beers. Admission to all events is free and there are even shuttle buses to get you from place to place.

Why is it called Zwickelmania? The event gets its name from the 'zwickel,' or sample valve, which is mounted on the outside of fermentation or conditioning tanks. The valve allows brewers to take samples for quality assurance and control.

On Friday we met up with the owners of Gigantic Brewery to get a preview of what you can expect at Zwickelmania.

Co-owner Van Havig took us into his brewery to show off the zwickel on his brewing tanks.

"Zwickelmania was the idea we wanted people to come in the breweries," he explained. "If you come through the brewery the way the brewers taste the beer is this way, off the zwickel.

"It's all about letting people get to know you through your beer. What makes every beer different? The brewer."

KATU reporter Emily Sinovic contributed to this report