What the heck is zwickel? In Germany, “zwickel” is the name for the sampling tap that rests on a fermenter. Tasting from the zwickel is as up-close-and-personal as you can get during the brewing process. For your own hopped-up experience, the annual Zwickelmania in the ‘Burbs (February 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; free) invites beer lovers of all kinds to tour local breweries, sip from special tasting flights and, yes, try some in-process brew from the elusive zwickel.
Hillsboro’s Zwickelmania Beer Shuttle
Zwickelmania has plenty of breweries to choose from, including a throng of standout Portland options. That said, Tualatin Valley’s beer scene offers the unexpected without the inconvenience. In fact, Hillsboro’s participating breweries and taphouse are providing a free shuttle that begins and ends at the Orenco Station MAX stop. A built-in designated driver is always a good thing.
Ambacht Brewing defiantly goes against Oregon’s devotion to IPAs; instead, drinkers will find delicious, Belgian-style ales made with local ingredients. Owner Tom Kramer is teaming up with the popular Cousin Kenny’s BBQ for chili that goes especially well with Ambacht’s G++ brew.
While Ms. Frizzle’s magic school bus took students to the outer limits of the galaxy, the Hillsboro Zwickelmania shuttle will bring beer drinkers to the front door a new, space-themed brewery. The brewery has dubbed its beer list the “Starship Fleet.” We self-declare the fleet’s commander to be the Antimatter Cloud IPA with its four different types of hops.
Three Mugs Brewing is a family operation that’s not afraid to diversify its brews. Try a handful of beers from the onsite brewery—ranging from golden to Cascadian dark to extra strong bitter ales.
Before hopping back on the MAX or with your designated driver, sample from a wide array of other northwest brews.
Additional Zwickelmania Breweries
Where to Sleep and Post Instagrams
When posting pictures from your time tasting from the zwickel, use the hashtag #Zwickel18.