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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vote Portland

This is a silly thing, but I still have to draw your attention to it. Charlie Papazian has a poll asking people to vote on "Beer City, USA"--a particular hobby horse of his. Someone in Asheville, NC is directing readers to the poll, because it's got half the votes. While I find the whole idea a little silly, the idea that Asheville might be bragging about being best beer city is a little hard to take.

Go vote for the real beer city, folks. You know who it is.

14 comments:

Stan Hieronymus said...

I just went and voted for Portland because it is the sensible thing to do. If Asheville weren't making a run I would have voted for home (Albuquerque-Santa Fe).

But when we were in Asheville just a couple of day ago I thought about Portland (much bigger) and Bamberg (about the same size). So you can see I was very impressed.

DOSiR said...

I don't understand why someone wouldn't vote for Portland. We are the microbrew capitol of the world and produce the finest craft brews as well. Anyone who doesn't vote for Portland is just holding their own like they would a sports team.

Jared said...

I went to vote and noticed Portland and Ashville are really the only two places getting votes. While I don't think Portland is the be all end all leader in beer shure as hell better beat Asheville. I'll put up the link on my blog also. If us Oregonians band together we should defeat podunkville

DOSiR said...

Jared, why don't you think Portland is the be all end all leader in beer?

:-))

Don't make me send you beers and make a list of stuff you need to try from here lol.

aleconner said...

DOSiR: I'm rooting for Portland too, but... be all end all leader? Just for the sake of the argument, name me a Belgian style ale (any Belgian style) made in Portland that can't be beat by another of the same style made elsewhere in the US. We could do that for other styles too. ;-)

dr wort said...

Aleconner,

Did I see someone "Stirring the Pot?" ;-}

Watch out! You might get chastised for free thinking! :-O

You mean Portland doesn't make the equivalent of a Schell Pils, Sudwerk's Dunkel or anything close to Capital BC's Bock, Dopplebock, Maibock, Vienna or anything else close to their 6-8 quality lagers?

I'm just shocked!!

Are you saying we don't routinely produce a quality Belgian or Danish Ale of any kind in Portland? Nothing equal to 'Unibroue's' La Fin Du Monde (Hell they're Canadian!), RR Damnation, Ommergang, New Glarus or Lost Abbey brews???

Damn!

Maybe a Eisenbock, a Roggen, a real German Hefe Weizen, Dunkelweizen? How about a Mexican Negra Modelo (Vienna) clone? No? !

Oh wait; these are all Lager type beers.... Our locals don't usually drink those quality German lagers..... they drink PBR! What a strange duality! We’re to propose Portland to be "Beer City, USA" and the local drinkers thrive on PBR! Where is PBR made again? Uh, yea.... not here in Portland.

OK... So, I guess were saying Portland must be the leading city for ales? Ah, yes…! There's nothing like a nice session ale, like a Mild, Bitter or Best Bitter! What? You don't see those beer styles routinely on the local brewery chalk boards? But, those are classic Ales!

Oh Well.... someone must routinely make a 60/-, 70/- and 80/- shilling Scotch ale? Wee Heavy? No???

Oh wait! MacTarnahan's! That's a Scotch ale! Ugh, no... They dropped the Scotch nametag long ago and now call it an Amber ale.

Wow, this is getting depressing!

So....we do have lots of breweries in the Portland Metro area! According to the Oregon Brewers Guild we have about 30+ McMenamin's in the area! I'm sure they all represent a nice chunck of quality beers! Damn! OK.... Scratch those 30 off the list! :-O

But, we still have a lot of breweries and Oregon does grow all those Hops.

Portland does kick some ass on most beers in the Blonde to Stout ranges on a regular basis, but is that enough to be considered Beer City, USA? I think Sam Adams single-handed routinely makes a more diverse selection of beer. Is Boston on the list???

Does 52 IPA’s qualify a city as “Beer City, USA?” ;-}

As Jeff said, "This is a silly thing," as is diluted false pride. If we want to rate "Beer City, USA" based on quantity of Beer and quality base Ale styles, I'd say Portland has a walk away win. But, if we define it as a city that routinely produces Beer of a wide diversity and quality? I’m not too sure. We might win for Hop diversity! How many different Hops can you throw into a boiling kettle? ;-}

There's a lot of "????" marks here. I think can safely say that, the statement "We are the microbrew capitol of the world and produce the finest craft brews as well" is possibly a narrow and bloated statement of false pride.

So, aleconner... yep, point well made!

I'm still voting for Portland for the local pride, but I do have my reservations.

Jeff Alworth said...

Doc, this is a constant theme of yours--and misplaced, to my thinking. Beer is local. The reason great beer cities emerge is because a culture develops around the local style of beer. You to go Prague looking for a wide range of English ales and Northwest IPAs, you're not going to find them. To suggest that their absence means Prague is a bad beer city is absurd.

I also think you're off the mark a bit on the prevalence of diverse styles. It's true that the average pub has a constrained range. But let's reframe things. If you go to a city and want to find someone with three or four dozen different foreign taps, how many do you think there are? Among the various beer bars in the inner core, Portland regularly has this many. The Horse Brass has 11 on tap right now.

I also think your sense of diversity is off a bit. Scan the tap lists of the pubs I link in the right-hand column. It's actually startling diversity. How many cities have multiple pubs with those kinds of lists?

dr wort said...

Jeff,

My rant was based on the vague concept of "Beer City." What determines and defines the title? Breweries? Pubs? Local following? I ran with the Diversity concept, as I often do... ;-} I could have argued the subject in three or four different realms...

"I also think you're off the mark a bit on the prevalence of diverse styles."

It's MY chosen perspective. I don't really give a shit if you think I'm off YOUR mark. ;-} I prefer diversity, so what?


In regard to great BEER cities... You can easily say Prague is a Bohemmian Pils mecca or London is an English ale mecca, etc. I guess you can say, Wisconsin could be an American Lager mecca.... whatever.

Expanding on ALeconnor's concept was my goal. I don't think the POLL was supposed to be based on narrow terms of Ale cities vs. Lager cities, but the overall beer experience.... Of course, this is just my interpetation.


"If you go to a city and want to find someone with three or four dozen different foreign taps, how many do you think there are?"

Whose talking about pure foriegn taps? I was talking diversity of style.

"I also think your sense of diversity is off a bit. Scan the tap lists of the pubs I link in the right-hand column. It's actually startling diversity. How many cities have multiple pubs with those kinds of lists?"

MANY..... what's your point? I can find some beer diversity in pubs here, but I can find the same in other cities. What exactly do you see that sets us apart from other beer cities? If you are "Startled" by Portland's local pub diversity, I can send you an eye-opening list of pubs around the country you need to check out.... ;-}

Brouwers Cafe in Seattle and Toronado in San Francisco blow any local pub out of the diversity water in one fall swoop... Plenty of others.... If we're just talking diverse beer lists.

So, here's my question to you... What exactly qualifies Portland as "Beer City, USA" to you? Other than the number of breweries.....

DOSiR said...

One, I haven't had a better IPA than a local micro here in Portland... those other beers and ales, and Belgians you mentioned... I could care less about... same with the majority of beer drinkers out there... so you have very specific tastes.. good for you :-))

I would say it's an entire culture in the city... a larger one, and a more diversified one even whether it involves beers from another area.

Micros here or much more in touch with staying local because they can. We have micros like Laurelwood that in actuality make some of the best beers in the world and people around the US never even hear about or drink. In Portland we know how lucky we are... outside of Portland, you don't know how unlucky you are ;-))

Portland has long been dubbed the "microbrew capitol of the world". I sure as hell didn't give it that title... the world did.

Show me one IPA that is better than Laurelwoods Workhorse? Yes it's my own personal taste.. but it is shared by many. Belgians to me all taste like burnt and spoiled garbage.. so to all their own! And I know for a fact that there are many actual "MICRO BREWERIES" here that make top notch belgians etc. We're not talking craft here... MICROS! Your Alamedas and Laurelwoods of the world. Not your Widmers and Full Sails...

I like this stirred pot because it can be so easy to point out how far off the mark the Dr.'s comments went. You can have your favorite tasty beers.. but there is a whole hell of a lot more to it than just that!

dr wort said...

Dosir,

So, you basically don't really know much about beer, correct? Just what the locals or what your buddies tell you taste good?

When you have a real appreciatation and understanding of the diverse styles of beer, maybe then you can make a real comment, other than:

"those other beers and ales, and Belgians you mentioned... I could care less about... same with the majority of beer drinkers out there... so you have very specific tastes.. good for you :-))"

This is just sad...

aleconner said...

DOSiR: I'll certainly agree that there are some very fine IPAs made here in Portland, and Laurelwood's Workhorse is an excellent example. I've had others I like as much or possibly more (Bear Republic's Racer 5, Russian River's Blind Pig, and Green Flash's West Coast IPA come to mind), however that is as you said a matter of personal taste. But if IPA is really the only beer style that matters to you, I'd say that _you_ are the one with the very specific taste! I picked Belgian style beers as an example of one area in which Portland is hardly the 'be all end all leader', not because they are the only beers I like to drink. As for what 'the majority of beer drinkers out there' like, lets face it: they like Bud, Coors and PBR, so they're really not the best folks to turn to when trying to make a point about which beer styles matter while debating the merits of Portland as 'Beer City USA'. Frankly, I don't believe there is any such thing. Portland is _a_ great beer city, one of several in this great nation, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses.

DOSiR said...

aleconner: Great points... and i'm not here to stir a bad yeasty barrel..

Yes, I drink specifically IPA's, Pales, and the unfavored stytle name "American Strong Ales"... but I really favor IIPAs/DIPA's.

To the Dr., I have had more beer styles than I can count, and from different countries and just about every beer brewing city in the nation (U.S.).

I learned young that I hate Pilsners, and hate Lagers (and later figured out the entirely different method and temps. in brewing them.) I think I have a little more knowledge than you think taste bud.

I am for sessionals... and have no room for Porters, Stouts, Belgians... etc.

I hate Stone Vertical Epic 08.08.08... does that tell you something? Sure it's a great Belgian... but how far off does a beer have to go? I am from the old school... my roots go back to old English Ales... i.e. Brown Ales, Red Ales, IPA's, and the now ever so popular American Strong Ales. It's what my stomach likes as well as my tongue. And being in a great location for fresh hops... it just doesn't get better. How many brewers grab hops from Oregon and California?

Good point on the macros.. but never really drank them as I was born and raised in NE Portland. Had a few Hamms and Heidelbergs... Olympias.. etc... played tons of quarters with Rainier Pounders.. but really started with Henry Weinhards.. moved to Crafts w/ Widmer etc... then took my consumer ass to some nice local micros who deserve my talents and taste... as does the rest of the thankful world!

dr wort said...

Wow! The Doctor is speechless!

I think Dosir sums up a lot of my thoughts in regard to local beer drinkers... A nice cross section of our local beer knowledge and personal exploration....Classic!

A bowling shirt and redundant baseball cap would fill the bill!

:-O

dr wort said...

It appears Ashville is pulling way ahead.... for those who are interested in this frivolous poll... ;-}

This is interesting considering the Portland Metro populous vs. Ashville's.

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