Monday, May 24, 2010

Beer City, USA

The laughable spectacle of Charlie Papazian's online poll to determine Beer City, USA has ended in only the second-worst outcome for Portland.  The most terrible thing that could have happened would have been for Portland to edge Asheville, NC by a few votes, so that it would have been us wearing the propeller beanie and not them.  (Photo credit: rbatina.)  In a contest to see who has the most insecure beer fans, it's better that we should come in second place than to suffer the humiliation of actually winning the prize.

Please, please, please, I beg of you Portland beer people: don't take the bait next year.  If this poll was moored in reality, you would have seen more people voting for one of the larger population centers with a decent beer scene.  Instead, it was just a wankfest between 7400 people in North Carolina and 6600 from hereabouts.  Check out how much interest this thing attracted in other beery places:
  • Chicago (metro: 9.6 million): 190 votes
  • Boston (metro: 4.6 million): 114 votes
  • San Francisco (metro: 4.3 million): 171 votes
  • Seattle (metro: 3.4 million): 362 votes
  • San Diego (metro: 3.1 million): 884 votes
If Portland had barely lost to a real adversary, like any of the cities listed here, or even had we been blown away by one or two of them, there would be some honor in that.  Instead, we only look pathetic, jumping up and down for attention on the internet.  The only consolation is that tiny Asheville -- which for all I know is a fine place with wonderful beer -- looks even more pathetic than we do.


  1. Hear, hear. We have to just content ourselves that we drink more craft beer--total, not per capita--than any city in America.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree on the banning of this survey. Fortunately, most of the hoptards in North County San Diego were too busy drinking good beer to vote.

  3. I agree with everything you said, Bill! It's a dick waving contest for insecure morons who like their local beer and wants everyone else to think their little spot on the map is important.

    As you displayed with the population numbers... Big Cities don't really care. Why do you think that is? Maybe a state that used to tote the statement, 'Welcome to Oregon... Come and enjoy all that we have and then go home,' has something to do with it? Do we still have that attitude? Are we trying to polish a tainted past or just painfully insecure?

    Look at the numbers:

    3. San Diego, CA 884 4.6%
    4. Philadelphia, PA 600 3.2%
    5. Missoula, MT 515 2.7%
    6. St. Louis, MO 421 2.2%
    7. Seattle, WA 362 1.9%
    8. Denver, CO 234 1.2%
    9. Milwaukee, WI 227 1.2%
    Fort Collins, CO 210 1.1%

    Can someone explain to me why this is so important to Asheville and Portland but no one else?

    It's beer for God's sake! There's lots of great beer all around the world. Who cares which city is better at the other? Do they have a beer I want to drink? Yes! THEN THAT MY FAVORITE CITY AT THAT MOMENT. ;-)

  4. @Jeff: So the per capita number must be huge. What is it?

    @mdolemite: You guys did well. But I'm worried that your 5% showing means that San Diegans will show up for this pissing match next year.

    @dr wort: That's a brilliant Fred-like (Fredian?) statement. My favorite beer city? The city that brewed the beer in my hand.

  5. I thought you'd like that.... ;-}

  6. Bill, I don't have the stats to do those numbers--it's possible Brian at the Brewers Guild does. I think San Francisco is number two and Seattle is number three.

  7. I think we should post a blog entry that states, "Portland is the number one Beer City." Then post the question for the readers to answer; "If you disagree tell us why."

    As long as Portland is ready to possibly take it on the chin with some negative answers (of course, many people here can't seem to take a shred of criticism), I think it would be interesting to see the responses.

    Of course, we'll have to expect the non-answers from some of the moronic public. Answers like, "Cause you're a bunch of Douche Bags." Isn't that the most overplayed insult you've ever heard? So overdone you wonder if that is the extent of the imagination of a generation. ;-}

  8. Well stated comments Bill. I agree, and thanks!