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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Not This Again

I give this three and a half yawns. Yet another rating of best beer cities, yet another selection of someplace other than Portland as best. For sheer chutzpah, the list (from Men's Journal--you're a reader, right?) includes Chicago and New York but not Denver, SF, or Seattle. Nicely done!
Men's Journal's Best Beer Cities
1. San Diego
2. New York
3. Portland
4. Philadelphia
5. Chicago
We have had this debate many times in the past, and we'll have it in the future. It's always a stupid exercise designed to sell magazines, and it usually works (which is why I won't link to it). The criteria is never clear, and the writers almost never know their ass from a hole in the ground. For what it's worth, I've already written about the criteria on which I'd judge a "beer city."

Hat tip to Seattle Beer News--and if you follow the link, it will take you to the Men's Journal article.


  1. Although your gripes are well warranted, at least one of the authors seems to know that his ass is not a whole in the ground:

    "Christian T. DeBenedetti

    A first-time contributor to BrewingTechniques and a home brewer since 1992, Christian Thomas DeBenedetti was born and raised on a hazelnut farm in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In 1996, he was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which allowed him to spend 12 months studying traditional brewing methods throughout West Africa and Europe. E-mail: "

  2. Yeah... Cause New York City is loaded with breweries

  3. Anyone ever consider Portland may not deserve number 1 anymore? Just asking.

  4. Jared,

    Deserving is one thing, that's personal opinion. But don't base the judgment on skewed stats about number of breweries.

  5. @DA

    I'm not basing it on numbers. I have never really understood what makes people think Portlands beer culture so special. Especially since many of my favorite beers no longer come from there. If Portlands great beer culture comes from it's pubs then I wouldn't know where it ranks. I'm not a huge fan of Portland so don't go up often. If it's flavor, quality, and variety of beer though then Portland is nothing special in my opinion.

  6. @Jared,

    No, I was referring to the article based on quantity of breweries and how off base it was.

    For people really into beer Portland may not be that unique, we have some great breweries, but almost any city/town has them these days. I agree with you in that a lot of my favorite breweries aren't in PDX, in-fact there are very few in PDX that really excite me. With that being said Portland does have a great beer culture, almost any establishment you walk into here has a good selection of craft beer, there are nonstop beer festivals, insane amounts of new beers released so you don't get bored, and even our unexciting beer is rather good.

    None of this is completely unique to PDX, but I think this city does it all really well.

    Do I wish we had the Bruery, Russian River, or Midnight Sun here? hell ya. Am I going to move? no way.

  7. Jared, follow the link in the article for my criteria for a good beer town. It's a lot more than just breweries. By those standards, no city I've been to even comes close.

    At any given time, I submit that you can find more local, national, and international beer in Portland (at grocery stores, bottle shops and on tap) than in any city in the country. So how you can say--about a city you admit not visiting much anymore--that the flavor, variety, and quality of beer isn't adequate escapes me.

    (And with Laurelwood, Roots, the Pilsner Room, the Gasthaus, Deschutes, and BridgePort's cask ales, I'd say our breweries are at least ... competitive

  8. @Jeff

    I wasn't saying it was inadequate. In fact if you reread my comment you'll see I said I feel Portland isn't anything special beer wise. Do some Portland shops have amazing beer selections? Yes.

    Just because I don't like Portland shouldn't disqualify me from having an opinion about wether it's number 1 or not.

    I would say Portlands beer scene is a sign of a bigger beer culture in the Northwest overall, and for Portlanders to think they deserve number one for what has developed regionaly and outside of Portland as well as in it is silly.

  9. Just because I don't like Portland shouldn't disqualify me from having an opinion about wether it's number 1 or not.

    Opine away, J.