Fundraiser offers chance to sample regional drinks and learn about brewing
On the evening of June 1, the Oregon Zoo concert lawn will be transformed into a hub for artisan beer and cider, regional music, fun workshops and activities – all to benefit the zoo programs and animals. The reason behind this transformation? Zoo Brew, the annual fundraising event hosted by the Oregon Zoo Foundation.
This year marks the sixth for Zoo Brew, which raises funds for the zoo's animal welfare, conservation and education efforts. Like many things made with alcohol, it has only gotten better with age. Sponsored by SELCO Community Credit Union, this year's event features more than 60 regional beer and cider choices – including BridgePort's commemorative Packy Porter, brewed in honor of the famous pachyderm's 50th birthday this year – and live music from Seattle party band Cool-Ade.
"Zoo Brew is the perfect way to kick off the summer, try something new and support a great cause," said Beth Smith, events organizer for the Oregon Zoo Foundation. "We have some of the best breweries and cideries around, great entertainment and fun workshops, so there is something for everyone."
The festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m. on the concert lawn, rain or shine. In addition to the music, attendees can play carnival-style games with prizes, vote for the best brew, and stroll through the zoo to check out animals (exhibits stay open until 7 p.m.).
The brew-curious can participate in any of five workshops, including "Debunking beer myths," which focuses on beer basics, myths surrounding beer and getting the most out of your festival experience, and "Wild brew: exciting styles and additions," which covers beer ingredients and crazy additions. Workshops are included in ticket price.
Tickets to Zoo Brew are $30 if purchased before May 15, and $35 after that. Oregon Zoo members receive a discount, redeemable with an access code sent via email. All ticket prices include a commemorative tasting glass, 10 tokens and admission to the zoo after 4 p.m. Only guests 21 and over will be admitted, and all use of tobacco will be prohibited, following Metro's tobacco-free policy.
Participating breweries include Ace Cider, Blue Mountain Cider, BridgePort Brewing, Burnside Brewing Co., Cascade Brewing, Carlton Cyderworks, Deschutes Brewery, Fort George Brewery, Full Sail Brewing Co., Kona Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Lompoc Brewing Co., MacTarnahan's Brewing Co., Migration Brewing, Mike's Hard Lemonade, Natian Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing Co., North Coast Brewing Co., Oakshire Brewing, Omission Beer, Phatt Matt's Brewing Co., Pyramid Breweries, Redhook Brewery, Reverend Nat's Hard Cider, Rock Bottom Brewery, Rogue Ales, Seven Brides, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Southern Oregon Brewing Co., Teiton Cider Works, 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Trumer Pils, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks, Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. and more.
The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, western pond turtles, Oregon spotted frogs and Kincaid’s lupine. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.