Three Creeks Brewing Facility,
265 East Barclay Drive
Sisters Fresh Hop Festival Photo Gallery
Central Oregon seems to spawn another new craft brewery about once a month, and while that’s an exaggeration, the region is home to some of the best and most popular ale producers in the Northwest. The Sisters Fresh Hop Festival, started in 2010, brings a bunch of them together in one great location at exactly the right time: when the hops are harvested. This convivial and pleasantly low-key festival focuses on flavor-packed fresh-hopped beers—in the words of F. Florian Klemp, “Supplied with fresh-picked hops, brewers fire their kettle to capture the hop in its most natural state. The jaunt from field to wort is harried, lest the precious and essential components lose their verdant charm, as Mother Nature waits for no brewer. Wet hop ales are both earthly and ethereal, and composed to flaunt their delicate, juicy character.”
Moreover, fall is idyllic in Sisters. This forested little mountain town, population 2,500, buzzes with tourists from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but quiets considerably come autumn—the perfect time for a brew fest.
This annual event held at the Three Creeks Brewing Facility also features breweries from other parts of Oregon, bringing the total up to about two dozen beer makers, assuring that attendees can find something they like. Unlike big-city beer festivals in the Northwest, the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival tends to be up close and personal: you won’t need to wait in long lines to get a sample or a pint, and many of the brewers themselves are on hand, eager to talk about their latest fresh-hop experiments. Festival attendees pay a small fee for a pint glass and $1 tokens are worth a four-ounce sample from any brewery.
Sisters Fresh Hop Festival features beers brewed with fresh-picked, rather than dried, hops.
This is a family-friendly event (children can attend with their parents; 21 and over to drink); the venue is within walking distance of the many unique shops and fun restaurants in Sisters, and the town offers a variety of lodging options, including nearby campgrounds, one of which—Sisters Creekside Campground—is in town, just a fifteen-minute walk south from the brew fest (handy if you’ve waded through samples from two dozen breweries) and not far from festival-sponsor Three Creeks Brewery’s pub (handy if you didn’t quite sate your palate at the festival). One thing about Sisters, however: even after the prime summer tourism season, the town’s hotel/motel rooms often sell out on weekends, so make reservations well ahead of time.
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