January 15, 2011

Six weeks in. Still smitten.

Portland is just so damn great. I've heard of people who move here from San Francisco and then have to move back. Naturally, I'll forever love SF. And we certainly miss our friends. But our plan is to proselytize them into moving up here. Seriously guys, quit your job, buy a food cart on the cheap, and make a go of it. That's the Portlander way. P-town may be called Bridgetown, Beervana, Cartopia, and Rose City, but it's also DIY-ville. Have something you love doing and wanna make it your job? I've seen that everywhere I go here (says the freelance beer writer). Beyond the chefs popping up at food pods, there are co-ops for art galleries, bike shops, music schools, etc. Oh, and more nanobreweries than you can shake a mash paddle at.

I wish I'd jotted down every feel-good encounter I've had in my first two weeks. It started less than 24 hours into being a Portlander when I volunteered at the 15th Annual Holiday Ale Fest. Let's just say the 2nd Annual Holiday Ale Fest I attended my last weekend in the Bay could pick up a trick or two. Nearly 50 breweries--mostly from Oregon and Washington--poured rare treats. Somehow I lucked out and manned the jockey box pouring Hair of the Dog "Jim" 2008 (next to Jim '09).

What's great and scary is that with all the exploring I've done, I feel like just my left pinky has scratched the surface. With thanks to Ezra "Samurai Artist" Johnson-Greenough who blogs at The New School and a rotating beer-obsessed posse as well as Lisa "Beer Goddess" Morrison, and some old-fashioned huffing it around the neighborhoods, I've imbibed at at least 10 beer bars that're worthy of being the best place to drink a beer. Meaning I only have at least 20 more to get to.

To play catch-up at this point would take forever. Because also in this time, we hiked around waterfalls in the rain, marveled that we're living in a place where the water in birdbaths freezes into large pucks of ice, spent a week in Hawaii escaping said ice, find ourselves in escrow on a house(!!!) and I've added 3 new publications to continue obsessing over beer in including the PDX alt-weekly Willamette Week.