It has been 122 years, but it looks like Henry Weinhard's vision may finally come true: if the Portland City Council approves the measure, the Skidmore fountain will flow with BridgePort IPA on July 4th in recognition of Oregon's sesquicentennial.
Henry Weinhard originally proposed the idea to commemorate the fountain's creation back in 1887:
The most well-known story of Weinhard’s generosity to the Portland community came with the unveiling of the Skidmore fountain in 1887. When speaking to C.E.S. Wood, Weinhard offered to pay for the additional hose length that it would take to link the fountain to his largest lager tank in order to have the fountain spout free beer on its first day of operation. Although the offer was declined, it still remains part of Portland’s collective memory.Apparently, the proposal was rejected because the city council was worried horses would drink the beer and get drunk.
The current proposal comes from Mayor Sam Adams, well-known for his love of microbrews. His idea is to have the fountain run for just one hour, and none of the beer will be consumed due to health concerns. Adams has the support of Nick Fish and Randy Leonard. Dan Saltzman and Amanda Fritz are both on the fence, but will probably support the idea if the city can ensure children won't get the beer.
"I thought it would be a fun idea. This is the city of beer, and this is one of Portland's most cherished stories. It's been a long time that people have been thinking about running beer through the fountain. I thought we should just finally do it."BridgePort, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, it taking a page from the Widmer's notebook. They'll be serving IPA at both their pubs for the same price it was back in 1887--6 cents a pint (limit two).
Ha, take that, Asheville!