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Why Portland is Amazing, Redux

The now-famous Portland Beer Truck.

The now-famous Portland Beer Truck.

I know I raved about Portland a couple of months ago and how incredibly amazing the place is for craft beer. Well, the columns I wrote about my trip have been trickling out, giving me another opportunity to wax eloquent about Portland’s charms. (You can read the Planet S version here).

In short, it is what all other cities aspire to. Huge local beer culture, craft beer in virtually every pub, and a friendly competitiveness that spurs quality and innovation. I know, the prairies feel like a million light years from that place. And while we have a long way to go, I actually think we can get there quicker than we think. It will take effort and some major re-thinking on part of government/business/consumers, but it is doable.

So, what were my favourite parts of Portland. For one BEER TRUCKS!! Best thing ever (see the post here). I wish we had them everywhere. Beyond that it was simply the ubiquitous presence of craft beer. Sure, I drank some amazing beer in some amazing beer pubs – which I chat about in the above-mentioned columns. But I was most struck by the sheer availability of local craft beer. As a test, I walked into an average sports bar – you know, the kind of place that has too many TVs and who think they are being edgy by offering a tap of Shock Top. I was floored. Despite a plethora of Bud and Coors paraphernalia on the wall, half the taps were local breweries and they even had 4 IPAs. I found that amazing.

That is why I find Portland to be an exemplar for the rest of us. It shows us where craft beer can go given enough time and support. For god’s sake, 45% of all beer sold in that city is craft! Imagine that!

I am not saying Portland is the be all and all. Every city and region  has its craft beer highlights, and we need to support and value our local craft breweries, since they are our neighbours and friends. But you will forgive me having a bit of a Portland crush right now.



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