If you’re in Bend this weekend and you love beer, we have a huge treat for you.

Wait, why would you be in Bend if you didn’t love beer?

OK, here’s the news – Visit Bend just became the first destination marketing organization in the Pacific Northwest to launch a smartphone app. Its purpose? Helping Oregon travel hounds navigate the popular Bend Ale Trail.

You can download the free app (free! Did I mention FREE?!) from iTunes or right here on the Bend Ale Trail page. This fabulous travel app offers an interactive geolocation based map, one-touch access to brewery information, contact info for taxis, tours, and lodging, and even a quiz that lets you test your beer knowledge.

The app is available right now if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Android users will get their turn in April when we release a Droid version.

Not-so-coincidentally, the app is out there just in time for Zwickelmania this President’s Day Weekend. Sponsored by the Oregon Brewers Guild, Zwickelmania is Oregon’s statewide brewery open house and tour taking place February 19.

Because Bend’s breweries rock so hard they make me seasick, they’re all throwing open their doors this Saturday to offer tours, tastings, and more. Zwickelmania goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Wanderlust Tours is offering a free shuttle bus that will rotate between the breweries on a 70-minute circuit. Go here to see a map and schedule.

Want more great ways to navigate the Bend Ale Trail? Here are a few options:

  • John Flannery of GETIT Shuttle (also known as Green Energy Transportation & Intra-area Tour shuttle) offers both private and scheduled tours.
  • The Bend Brew Bus provides a behind-the-scenes “beerventure” experience along with some Bend area background and highlights. Reservations are required.
  • The Buckboard & Biscuits tour lets you explore the Bend Ale Trail in style while sitting atop hay bales in a horse-drawn carriage.
  • The Cycle Pub of Bend lets you and up to 15 friends pedal while sipping pints and taking in the sights of Central Oregon.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to take your Bend Ale Trail passport so you can collect stamps and earn prizes for visiting all the breweries.

Oh, here’s a special shout-out to Old Mill Brew Werks. They’re the newest brewer in town, which means they’re not technically part of Zwickelmania or The Bend Ale Trail just yet, but they’re still worth a visit if you’re bopping around the Old Mill District this weekend.

Do you have a favorite brewery in Bend? Have you tried out our new app? What do you think of it?

And most importantly, will you buy me a beer if I see you out on the Bend Ale Trail this weekend?

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