There are many great beer cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia and Boston. You’ll even find incidences among beer enthusiasts in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and Denver, Colorado often battling over bragging rights as “Top Beer City, USA.” They’re all out of contention for top honors when it comes to actually calculating the number of breweries per capita in America’s towns.Guess what? He concludes that based on a per capita basis, Colorado towns finish 1-2 as best Beertowns. Portland finishes fifth. We're going to be having this argument 'til the cows home for their spent grain, but I don't think anyone is really going to buy Durango, Colorado as the best beer town in the country.
First, the factual errors. According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, there are 38 brewing facilities in Portland--for a ratio of 1 in 14,484, moving us up to 4th place. He also misses Bend, with 7 breweries and a ratio of 1 in 10,270 (it'll be 1/9000 in the spring when Brewtal opens). That's good enough to edge Boulder for number 2. The real problem is that small towns have a huge advantage over larger ones. It's no wonder that there's only one actual city in Charlie's top five. (And no wonder that it's Portland, either.)
Looking at cities through a single data point doesn't hardly begin to answer the question. Portland drinks more craft beer than any other city (not per capita--total) and we have the most breweries of any city in the world (not per capita-total). If you're running the stats, you gotta run these, too.
Personally, I think there are far more convincing reasons why Portland's the best beer city in the country:
- Horse Brass Pub/Bailey's Taproom
- Ducks games at the Mission
- Organic beer
- Meet the brewers at local pubs
- Oregon Brewers Festival
- Fred Eckhardt
- Lucky Lab porch on a summer afternoon
- Fresh hop ales
- Six winter ales at the Lompoc
- Cheers to Belgian beers competition