The fifth annual Oregon Brewers Guild’s Zwickelmania will throw open the doors of more than 86 Oregon breweries on Saturday, February 16th for free tastings and tours to help beer lovers understand the labor of love behind their favorite brews.

More than 40 Portland-area brewers are participating in the big event (almost a dozen more than last year), and activities are set to include beer and food pairings, brewer-led discussions, and plenty of beer samples. In honor of the event's fifth year—aka it's wood anniversary—Zwickelmania 2013 will showcase barrel-aged beers, like those from Full Sail Brewing, Breakside Brewery, and Oakshire Brewing. 

To prepare for a long day of tastings, gird your gullet at a $10 pre-Zwickelmania brunch from Rogue at Rogue Hall (1717 Southwest Park Ave) or the Green Dragon (928 SE 9th Ave) beginning at 10 am, then hop on a shuttle for a city-wide crawl all afternoon. Shuttle routes and times in Southeast Portland and NW/North Portland are available on the website.

Last year's open house event drew over 23,000 visitors to breweries throughout the state, and this year's President's Day weekend shindig is expected to be even bigger. Free Zwickelmania shuttle buses will be making the rounds in Portland, Bend, Salem and Eugene to ensure safe sipping, and will be stopping at dozens of participating breweries offering a backstage pass to the beer-making process.

If you’ll be outside of PDX for the weekend, breweries throughout Oregon are also getting their Zwickelmania on. Check the event website for a full list of participating breweries in Hood River, Bend, Astoria, Ashland, Eugene, Corvallis, and more.

So, er…What’s a zwickel? A zwickel is a spigot on the side of a tank that a brewer uses to taste the beer for quality control during the fermentation process, and Zwickelmania brings the secrets of those tastings to the consumer one day a year—for free. Cheers, and happy sampling!

It's all going down Saturday, February 16th from 11 am to 4 pm throughout Oregon. Check out the full list of participating breweries here.