Tuesday, November 13, 2018


You'll see Alicia Baker, our leading solo accordionist for the past two years, on our 2019 poster and the cover of our 2019 brochure, both due out early next year.

Alicia has been squeezing since she was 6, and her musicianship shows it. Don't miss her at the 2019 edition of Oregon's Alpenfest Sept 26-29. In the video, she's playing the Pretzel Polka, her own composition.

She's originally from Portland but now lives in Denver and comes to play at Accordions at Alpenfest Thursday at Terminal Gravity Brewery as well as during each of our main shows Friday and Saturday.

Friday, April 20, 2018


Frank Helderman, brewmaster at Terminal Gravity Brewery in Enterprise, draws a sample. TG brews Alpenfest Ale in September for Oregon’s Alpenfest. 

Liquid refreshment will come from Eastern Oregon breweries this year at the only Swiss-Bavarian festival in the West.

Oregon’s Alpenfest in Wallowa County is shifting its beer lineup, jettisoning imported German beers in favor of artisan brews from breweries located in the shadow of the majestic Wallowa Mountains.  
In a major departure, Alpenfest will pour beers from Terminal Gravity Brewery in Enterprise, East Fork Brewery in Joseph, M. Crow & Co. in Lostine and Side A Brewing in La Grande.
“With all due respect to Germany’s excellent breweries, I don’t think anyone will be surprised that we’ve found Oregon beers to be more popular with our guests than the German brands,” said Chuck Anderson, the festival’s president/alpenmeister. “So, in the gem├╝tlichkeit tradition, we’re making our visitors happy.”

The festival, in its 40th incarnation this year, historically had sought to emulate the alcoholic offerings of a traditional Oktoberfest, but no longer.

 “Eastern Oregon has become a craft-beer destination, and we’d be blind to ignore what’s right in front of us,” Anderson said.

The exact beer styles will be determined by the brewers in consultation with Alpenfest organizers. “We intend to have local beers but in Swiss, German, Czech or Austrian style, and we hope to be forced to have a lot of tastings,” Anderson joked.

Terminal Gravity, the 20-year-old granddaddy of Wallowa County breweries, has provided a small-batch Alpenfest Ale for the festival every year since it was revived in 2012 following a four-year hiatus. TG’s Enterprise brewpub also is the home of “Accordions at Alpenfest,” the festival’s Thursday kickoff event that includes the ceremonial tapping of the first keg of the ale and music by accordion virtuoso Alicia Baker, alphornist Bruce Coutant and Swiss yodeler Shelby Imholt.

East Fork is a TG spinoff brewpub in nearby Joseph that opened last year to local acclaim and will be brewing its own beers this summer. Located in a picturesque town of shops, galleries and restaurants, East Fork advances a growing beer-lovers’ vibe started by Joseph’s hugely popular Embers Brew House restaurant, which boasts 17 microbrews on tap in addition to pizza, grilled sandwiches and frequent live music.

M. Crow is a recent addition to the county’s beer scene, unknown even to many locals. The historic general store in tiny Lostine was acquired in 2013 by Tyler Hays, a Wallowa County native who has an international following as a leading-edge furniture designer in New York and Milan. Hays added a small-batch brewery, which still operates even though he recently closed the store itself.

Side A has established itself with a brewpub in the downtown La Grande building that also houses the  city's fire department museum. Side A opened in 2017.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Shelby Aeppli Imholt of Hillsboro, Ore., a widely known Swiss singer, is the new official yodeler for Oregon’s Alpenfest.

She was chosen to succeed Arthur Brogli, who recently decided after four years of singing at the event that age now prevents him from traveling outside California.

“We can’t do justice to Swiss culture without a great Swiss yodeler,” said Chuck Anderson, the festival’s president and alpenmeister. “Shelby is a beautiful fit. She’ll sing at ‘Accordions at Alpenfest’ on Thursday and at each of our main shows Friday and Saturday.” 

Imholt learned to yodel from her father, a native of Zurich, Switzerland. She has sung at major Swiss gatherings on the West Coast for many years and performed in Switzerland in 2010. 

She also is a member of the Helvetia-Alpengl├╝hn Swiss Singing Society of Portland.

Other headliners at the 2018 Alpenfest will be The Polkatones dance band, the Tirolean Dancers folk dance troupe, alphornist Bruce Coutant and accordion virtuoso Alicia Baker. 
Free polka and waltz lessons will be taught by competitive polka dancers Randy and Ashley Thull from Wisconsin. 

The festival runs Sept. 27-30.

Friday, February 2, 2018


Bethany, an enthusiastic mountain hiker, climbed Oregon’s 9,826-foot Matterhorn in 2017 before performing with The Tirolean Dancers of Oregon at Oregon’s Alpenfest. The spectacular Wallowa Mountains are one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. Bethany and the Tiroleans will be back for our 2018 Alpenfest.