The Little Woody Barrel-Aged Brew Festival out of Bend, Oregon differentiates itself from other festivals in its unique approach to connecting the attendees to the brewers as well as featuring craft beers that are brewed in wooden casks. I was lucky enough to speak with Lee Perry, the event director. Perry told me that this year is going to mark the third annual festival.
Perry informed me that all the breweries that are present at The Little Woody are requested by invitation to share their beer. Most participants are local, but there are a few choice invites from out of the area. This means that all the breweries that are featured at the festival are carefully chosen. Each brewery is required to bring something that is not available at any other brew fest that they participate in. Perry told me that this among other unique factors gives The Little Woody an added edge.
The Little Woody celebrates the art of craft brewing. The majority of the beer that they offer at the festival is aged in bourbon casks, and this year they will also have beer that is aged in whiskey casks. This brewing technique of using wooden casks makes the beer much stronger with a 14-15% alcohol content. In addition to having the barrel-aged beers, The Little Woody also has a selection of regularly brewed beers with lower alcohol contents. Perry made it clear that this festival is the wine tasting of beer festivals, and individuals who attend are serious beer enthusiasts.
Not only does the festival feature creative brewing techniques, the atmosphere is definitely something to be aware of. The festival takes place on the lawn of the Des Chutes Historical Museum, where the large and beautiful trees that cover the lawn shade those who attend the festival. There is also live music. The Little Woody invites many bands from Blue Grass, country, and other genres to perform at the festival. The only requirement that they have for the bands is that they must use all wooden instruments. This is to add to the organic feel of The Little Woody.
This year’s festival will run from September 2-3, 2011. The Little Woody Barrel-Aged Brew Festival is an event for beer connoisseurs, and those who are interested in the true enjoyment of beer. As if you weren’t excited enough, most of the brewers of the breweries that are featured attend the festival, so you can converse with them while sampling their beer, soaking up the sun, and jamming out to some great tunes – what’s not to love! So head over to http://www.thelittlewoody.com/ and grab your tickets fast!
Thank you Lee for taking the time to talk to me about this fascinating festival!