Get ready, beer-loving Eugene: The Lane Events Center will host the first Big Tree Beer & Cider Festival this weekend, Sept. 16 and 17.
“Beer is king in this town,” says Rachel Bivens, marketing manager for the Lane Events Center. According to Bivens, the events center worked in tandem with its new beverage provider to create the new event.
Ninkasi plays a prominent role at the fest and will bring four of its brews, including Easy Way IPA and Dawn of the Red. Bivens says other, yet-to-be-confirmed vendors will provide summer and autumn brews, with a total of about 50 different taps for visitors to taste.
The festival will raise money for local animal shelter Greenhill Humane Society, with $5 of every admission donated to the nonprofit. Greenhill plans to bring its “Kennel Olympics” to the festival, which includes “Dog Bowl Shuffle Board” among other activities.
Bivens says the events center staff came up with the “Big Tree” name because of six giant trees that adorn the facility. She says the staff couldn’t quite decide if they are cedar or Sequoia trees, so they settled on “Big Tree,” which also gives the festival a sort of Northwest feel, she says.
Lane Events Center will host an outdoor food court, including Lani Moku Grill, Bacon Nation and Viva! Vegetarian Grill, and the event will also include live music.
“When we’re doing events, we just like to see happy people. That’s the goal,” Bivens says. “In this case, we also want to raise some money for a great organization in our community.”
Admission tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 at the door, and include a souvenir pint glass and three tastings.
The festival begins 4 to 11 pm Friday, Sept. 16, in the Lane Events Center auditorium, and continues from 1 to 11 pm the following day.
For more details, visit bigtreebeerfest.com.