December 2, 2010

So long Beer Area, hello Beervana

It is bittersweet that I no longer find myself a San Francisco resident, tempered by the fact that I'm now a Portlander. The Bay Area is the undisputed birth place of American craft brewing (thanks to Anchor, New Albion, Sierra Nevada, Buffalo Bill's, Triple Rock, and more) but Portland didn't become known as Brewtopia for nothing (thanks to pioneers like Bridgeport and Widmer Brothers and the dozens of brewing brethren such as Hair of the Dog, Cascade, Amnesia, H.U.B., Laurelwood, McMenamins, and on and on).

In truth, because good beer is to be found everywhere these days, what I'll miss most is the community of beer lovers. I didn't go to beerfests and special tappings for the beer so much as the people at them. It's not that I only gravitate to those who appreciate good beer, but, quite
the other way around--it's that fun, adventurous people tend to be the ones who appreciate the finer-yet-affordable things in life and beer inhabits exactly that crossroads. "Beer" can be almost anything these days but it's certainly much more than the one-brand-fits-all stuff that most people continue to perceive it as. Maybe that's why only 5% of Americans always call for craft beer, or at least that's what the numbers would suggest since craft beer only constitutes roughly 5% of the total beer market.

Fortuitously, these same beer-lovin' riff-raff populate Portland. I can't wait to meet 'em.

The story of how Half Pint and Dunkel and I arrived here is simple. We love SF but as my wife says, "she's expensive." Between being priced out of the housing market, a job recruitment from a big o'l company up here that she couldn't say no to, the fact that we love PDX and new adventures of all sorts, and sure, toss in all the amazing breweries that are now within walking, biking, and bussing distance, and, well, here we are. The odyssey continues.

I've been a little negligent of this here blog, primarily because I did most of my beer blogging for the SF Weekly's SFoodie blog as well as the SF Craft Beer Examiner. I hope to right this wrong and chime in more often, even if just posting tidbits whenever I seek out any of the 35 breweries in PDX or our plans for "Foodcart Fridays" wherein we intend to kick off each weekend with dinner at a different food cart, pod, truck, or airstream. I should beerify it by offering beer pairing suggestions.

In any event, this is the start of a new, exciting adventure, full of new breweries and beers to explore, new brewers to befriend, and of course to kick work on my next book project about homebrewers into high gear. So look for me and Dunkel at the Lucky Lab hard at work and if you're there at the same time, I'm easily distracted.