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Monday, May 11, 2009

Hipsters With Beer

The New York Times discovers Portland (again):

One accessory, however, was ubiquitous: as breakdance crews windmilled and as the Portland legend Fogatron did his human beatbox routine, every hipster — male, female or otherwise — carried a plastic cup full of beer. Free beer.

And not just free beer but pretty good free beer. Next to the cash registers, barmen pumped kegs of hefeweizen and amber ale, both made by Widmer Brothers, one of the two oldest breweries in what has become the microbrew capital of America. (There are better beers in Portland, but compared with your usual party beer, Widmer’s is premier cru.)
Hipsters? Great, another trigger for Doc Wort's inner curmudgeon. But actually, the article is a pretty spot-on. Writer Matt Gross captures happy hour and brewpubs:

All that exertion justified the other indulgences, which would resume around 4 p.m. with happy hour. Portland requires that its restaurants serve a certain amount of food with their booze, so even the fanciest places offer high-end treats at a big discount. My friends and I ate briny-sweet Willapa Bay oysters ($1 apiece) and short-rib macaroni and cheese ($5) at Ten01, one of the city’s top restaurants, and at the pan-Asian Ping, in Portland’s dilapidated Chinatown, we had Thai-style dried cuttlefish (paradoxically juicy) and Macanese pork-chop sandwiches.

Happy hour didn’t always mean food. On Mondays, it meant $2.50 pints of the wonderful smoked-malt Lompoc Strong Draft, at the New Old Lompoc tavern, and on Tuesdays, it meant $3.50 IPAs at Hopworks Urban Brewery, an energy-efficient brewpub that’s a stop for cyclists on their way home from work.
As well as our other (mostly unmentioned, saltier) drinking establishment:
Finally, and because, as my friend Becky said, a visit to a Portland strip club is inevitable, I wound up one night at the Acropolis Steakhouse Plus, a Vegas-y joint with a $3 cover charge that had been recommended by — of all people — my little sister. She liked it, however, not for the performers (who earned it its nickname, the A Crop) but for the ludicrously cheap steaks. My eight-ounce sirloin cost $5.50 and came deliciously medium-rare. This being Portland, the meat was locally sourced, too, from cattle on the owner’s ranch.
The title tells you the orientation of the writer: to a New Yorker, we practically give stuff away here. (He raved about Thai food at Pok Pok that was $25.) Just no one tell him that salaries in town are also rock-bottom. Maybe we can lure some of those New Yorkers for a visit.


  1. Don't get me started on the Hipsters!


  2. Jeff,

    I think it is a misnomer to refer to Dr. Wort's "inner" curmudgeon.

  3. Dr Wort definitely has 'outer' curmudgeon.