The Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival celebrates craft barrel-aged beer, cider and whiskey from across the Northwest. The Little Woody takes place on the lawn of the Deschutes Historical Museum at 129 Northwest Idaho Ave. in downtown Bend, Oregon.
To commemorate one of Central Oregon’s hallmarks—craft beer—and lend a nod to the historic techniques used by brewers with oaken casks, The Little Woody features small-batch beers aged in wood barrels by top Northwest breweries.
The 2022 Little Woody will also feature a tasting of small-batch American rye whiskeys and bourbons from Westward Whiskey and other regional favorites, live music and local food vendors.
Additional drink tokens can be purchased at the event for $1. Samples range from 2-6 tokens.
Westward American Single Malt Stout Cask
A celebration of Oregon’s legendary brewing culture, this whiskey grew out of our longstanding cask-trading tradition among a select group of beer producers in the Northwest. For as long as we’ve been making whiskey, we’ve traded our freshly-emptied barrels with some of our brewing friends in and around the Northwest, who have in turn “seasoned” them with Stout before returning them again. Our Stout Cask Finish begins with our Westward American Single Malt, and is then aged for one year in Stout casks.
Bottled at 46% ABV / 92 proof
Westward American Single Malt Pinot Noir Cask
A tribute to Oregon’s legendary Willamette Valley wine country, this elegant whiskey is influenced by the region’s premier grape varietal: Pinot Noir.
This cask-finished whiskey reflects the vibrance of the Valley’s signature grape while allowing the bold, robust notes of our whiskey to shine through. Our Pinot Noir Cask begins with our original Westward American Single Malt, which is then finished for up to two years in French Oak wine casks from a handful of award-winning producers in the region.
Bottled at 45% ABV / 90 proof.
Westward American Single Malt
Single Malt, reimagined. Born of the unique culture, climate and abundant resources of the Northwest, this elevated American original demonstrates our craftsmanship and creativity. Our distinct, rich, and brazen American Single Malt — the pinnacle of whiskey. Created from locally malted barley, brewed with ale yeast for exceptional flavor, and matured to perfection in new, lightly charred American Oak barrels right here in Oregon, where our hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters are the ideal environment to raise a world class whiskey.
Bottled at 45% ABV / 90 proof
Crater Lake Rye Whiskey
A true American rye whiskey, Crater Lake Rye revives the tradition of pre-prohibition small town family brands. Distilled from 100% rye grain then aged in American Oak to a rich honey color, this classic spirit starts smooth with notes of creamy toffee and vanilla, followed by peppery spices and a soft oak character.
More spirits coming soon!
About Barrel Aging
So, you like beer — why else would you be here, right? Perhaps you love the limited-release barrel-aged beers that your favorite breweries pump out once in a while, but you’re not quite sure how they’re made. Well, you’re in luck — Jon Abernathy, the president of the Central Oregon Homebrewers Organization, gave us the low-down on these rich brews, notorious for their high ABV and depth of flavor.
Abernathy has lived in Central Oregon for most of his life. He’s a web developer, who writes about beer on the side — and has been brewing his own beer since the mid-’90s after being introduced to the hobby by a friend.
The first characteristic is the wood itself, which can range from subtle and mild to quite strong in character. From a flavor perspective you’ll find notes of wood (of course), but you may also find vanilla, spice, characteristics of tea, smoke, bark, and even astringency. Depending on the type of wood and if the barrel was previously used, you’ll then find different aromas and flavors that can be all over the board. Used spirit and wine barrels will typically impart strong characters reminiscent of the previous liquids they held, while new oak barrels will lean into the wood notes.
Typically it adds the step of aging the fermented beer in the barrels for a period of time that can range from weeks to years, so a standard brew might be ready to drink in 3 to 4 weeks from brewing, whereas the barrel aging will add quite a bit more time before the finished beer is ready.
While any style can be barrel aged, it doesn’t necessarily mean any style should be barrel aged. Typically strong, robust styles that can stand up to the wood and/or spirit (if previously-used barrels are employed) are among the best, such as imperial stouts and strong ales. On the other hand, many sour beer styles that might be quite a bit lighter also age quite well in barrels, because many of the organism used in the souring process thrive in a barrel environment and can produce amazing characteristics you would not get otherwise.
Any type of barrel that can be used to age spirits or wine (or other food-grade products) can be used, and are. With previously-used barrels, the beer will pick up flavors and aromas from the liquid that preceded it in the barrel– so bourbon barrels will impart bourbon characteristics to the beer. If new barrels are used, the beer will pick up character from the wood depending on what type of wood is used and how the barrel is prepapred; for instance, neutral American oak will have a minimal impact on the finished flavor of the beer, while barrels that are charred inside (as would typically be prepared for whiskey) will impart stronger flavors of char, smoke, vanilla and similar by-products of the charring process.
Yes! There are barrels available in homebrew-friendly sizes such as 5 to 15 gallons, which a single homebrewer can use quite easily. Full-sized barrels can be used as well, and in fact COHO has done some group projects where the club acquired a full sized barrel and members all brewed batches of the same recipe of beer to fill it. It can be quite a fun process with very rewarding results!
It’s hard to pick just one! One I always come back to is The Abyss from Deschutes Brewery, which is a big imperial stout that is aged in a variety of barrels including bourbon, wine, and new oak. But I also really enjoyed Crux Fermentation Project’s In The Pocket, which is a rustic saison aged in Pinot Noir barrels. There such good stuff out there from many breweries that it’s always hard to choose.
2022 line up will be announced closer to the event date. Check out who took to the stage in 2021!
2021 - Friday's Line Up
Thomas T fell in love with the Blues after discovering that so many Rock Guitar players were all inspired by Blues giants like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and BB King. He started going to Blues Festivals and playing at Jam nights at legendary Clubs like the Kingston Mines and Rosa's Checkerboard Lounge, jamming with Sugar Blue, Joanna Connors and many other artists. Joined by a Cascade Blues Association Hall of Famer, Stu Kinzel on Guitar and Vocals, this is the Real Blues at its best!
Coyote Willow is an Americana band hailing from Bend, Oregon. This exciting artistic partnership joins Tim Coffey’s soulful guitar, Kat Hilst’s powerful cello and the duo’s rich vocal harmonies, creating a unique blend of folk, roots, blues and intricate instrumentals. Their beautiful music with grit celebrates the magical rhythms of life.
A group of passionate, fun loving, musicians based in Bend, Or. We play rhythmic music that moves your body, mind and soul. The energy exchange is what we're about. Come share a taste of Victory Swig and you can experience it for yourself. Cheers!
2021 - Saturday's Line Up
Dave & Melody Hill
Dave & Melody Hill, playing fine guitar, close knit harmonies. Original Americana, Blues, Country & Southern Rock. With covers from Patsy Cline to Tom Petty and everything in between!
Jeshua Marshall & Seth Acquarolo
Jeshua Marshall & Seth Acquarolo of Guardians Of The Underdog perform stripped down, duo style!
Larkspur Stand from Bend, OR is an Americana/Indie-bluegrass band. Performing country blues, folk, rock, and bluegrass. While creating new songs in these styles, they enjoy taking a traditional song and just making it their own.
The Big Token Growler Fill
Fell in love with one of our limited edition, barrel-aged brews? Don’t dismay gnomies. Purchase the Big Token and fill a growler (or two!) with the remaining brews.
On Saturday from 9:30-10pm attendees who have bought The Big Token will be allowed to fill a growler of their choice from the remaining beer available on tap. Why let all of the great tasting beer go to waste?
Be a Gnomie Homie — buy The Big Token.
*Growlers cannot be consumed on the premises. For take home only.
We gnome you want one! All merchandise is available for purchase at The Little Woody merchandise tent at the start of the festival. Prices below.
Check out previous years designs and keep an eye out for our 2022 merch!
Check out the 2021 Little Woody tasting glass, included with your festival wristband purchase.
2021 Little Woody T-Shirt | $22
T-shirt included with The Big Woody ticket.
The Little Woody Hoodie | $48
We want to see beards, hats, over-alls—perhaps even a wooden pipe. Your costume has to be COMPLETE, gnomies—a hat alone won’t cut it (even if it’s a really sweet hat).
We’ve got a special goblet for the first 200 gnomies that show up in the proper attire—dressed like a gnome!