Wow! Word out of Austin is that the bad feelings left by a botched beer festival last weekend is partly to blame for the cancellation of another festival there that was scheduled for later in the month.
Don't take what follows as gloating -- I swear it's not. But reading about the failed Austin Beer Festival -- described on a Beer Advocate thread as a complete disaster -- is a surprising reminder to me of how good we've got it in so many ways in Portland. I lived in Austin for almost 20 years, and I while I still love that town, I can say confidently that moving to Portland 9 years ago was the best thing that our family ever did. I love returning to Austin for visits, but it's a place I could never live again. Naturally there are more reasons for that than the beer festival situation, although reading the links above underlined some other differences between the two towns:
- It was 90 degrees there Saturday (Portland's high was in the low 50's)
- Everyone attending a Texas beer festival drives there in a car. OK, 99%.
- The organizers of the ABF aren't really plugged in to the beer community -- it's just another business to them
This seems like a good place to mention that Portland's red-headed stepchild of beer festivals, the Spring Beer and Wine Fest, is happening this Friday and Saturday. In the past I've been somewhat critical of the SBWF, though I attend almost every year, as I will this year. This time, though, I'll think how bad it could be, and I'll consider my taster glass half-full instead of half-empty.
If you share my interest in watching train wrecks and you didn't yet click on the ABF stories above, they are interesting reading. Glad I didn't get wind of it on April 1st or I would have thought it was a prank.