Northwest Brew Culture

Oregon is fed some of the cleanest, and freshest water in the United States, and luckily home to one of the most lush environment for growing both hops, and grain; two necessary ingredients for beer production.  In 1933 Portland, Oregon established one of the first, and most popular large-scale breweries after the prohibition of alcohol in 1919.  Although not the first, Blitz-Weinhard used the local ingredients to its favor, and started creating some of the first craft brews in the Northwest.

Today, Portland is home to over 20 breweries just within the metro area, and well over 100 in the entire state. With numbers like that, it becomes almost impossible to come home empty handed. Just like restaurants, breweries have been known for having a hard time making it, in most part because there is so much competition in the area. It’s a sad case for Portlanders, as locals say goodbye to Roots Organic Brewing company for good as of this month [August, 2010]. Roots was just another perfect example of how beer can bring people closer together, as the brewery would host a handful of local musicians, with a friendly atmosphere all throughout the year.

There are numerous events throughout the year all around Oregon for beer nuts, one of the largest being the Oregon Brewers Festival, which takes place every August in Portland. Along with that, breweries often times open their doors to the public and give walking tours of how their beer comes to life. Rogue Brewery in Newport Oregon, and Oakshire Brewery in Eugene all invite people to come check out, and taste the new flavors and atmosphere brewing in their alehouses.

A fun way a variety of Oregonians spend their evenings are by putting together pub crawls or pub pedals. Where they get groups of friends together to either walk or bike to a few of the various local breweries and see what they have to offer. Beer making has come a long way since the first batches were concocted, but the people all remain the same—enthusiastic, curious, and thirsty.

By Tucker Leverton

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