Tasting Room a treat for visitors

Brenna Wiegand/For the Capital Press Seven Brides Brewery owner Jeff DeSantis, left, and taproom employee Adriana Smith line up brews. They'll be serving their locally sourced, handmade brews at the Northwest Ag Show Taproom.

The Northwest Ag Show’s Tasting Room is a great place to take a load off, raise a glass of regional wine or locally brewed beer and even sample local confections.

It’s a casual atmosphere conducive to socializing and business alike and where important connections are often made.

Seven Brides Brewing of Silverton, Ore., will man the taps again this year with a lineup of their top brews. Like every Tasting Room vendor, Seven Brides brew master Josiah Kelley values the relationships among the agricultural community that have allowed him and owner Jeff DeSantis to grow their business.

Since moving to its current location in 2010, the brewery includes a tasting room and full restaurant and can make beer in 600-gallon batches. They’ve also gone from making traditional pub-style beers to brews that spotlight local crops such as blueberries, raspberries, Marionberries and hazelnuts.

At present, Kelley is brewing a new beer in which primary fermented beer is cold-aged on hazelnuts that have first had their oil extracted.

Though he worked on grass seed farms as a teenager and worked several years in ag machinery manufacturing, Kelley has never felt closer to agriculture than now, whether he’s mingling hops and berries for a new microbrew or pulling taps for farmers at the Northwest Ag Show.

“It’s a good fit to demonstrate to other local ag producers that craft beer views itself as value-added agriculture and to reach a customer base that otherwise we might not,” Kelley said. “I really appreciate the opportunity to see so many of the people I’ve been involved with over the years in this way, and I almost always make 2-3-4 good connections for the brewery, whether in regards to brewing beer, events or for machinery and technology that can be cross utilized.”

Also in the Tasting Room, Wicked Good Chocolates & More of Salem will offer its wide variety of handmade chocolates including truffles, fresh caramel and toffee. The candy company is known for its innovative blending of Oregon bounty into small batch, handmade seasonal treats.

These pair nicely with wines by Nehalem Bay Winery, a longtime exhibitor at the show even before the Tasting Room’s inception. The historic winery is frequented by visitors to the Northern Oregon Coast.

Recommended for you