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Best Beer City USA
May 8, 2009 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Asheville, NC and Portland, OR have tied in the contest for Best Beer City in the USA. It was a heated contest (scroll down for the comments) done in conjunction with Craft Beer Week, an event we can all support. Asheville is a beer city, it is true and clearly, so is Portland.
posted by mygothlaundry (57 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm going to hell but I don't care:

This is like winning the Special Olympics.
posted by GuyZero at 1:47 PM on May 8, 2009


You'll be joining Obama in hell.
posted by gman at 1:50 PM on May 8, 2009


Excellent. Another worthwhile East Coast / West Coast rivalry.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:55 PM on May 8, 2009


Yeah, GuyZero! Cultivating and roasting barley, harvesting and drying hops, selecting the perfect strain of yeast, months of labor and hundreds of scratch beers wasted, all in an effort to find the best recipe, with the perfect mix of ingredients and the right temperature, I mean, how fucking retarded can you get!
posted by billysumday at 2:00 PM on May 8, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is like winning the (one-legged race at the) Special Olympics.

probably over-hopped.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:03 PM on May 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


mygothlaundry, you are the perfect person to make this post, and this is the perfect site to post it. Thanks!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:09 PM on May 8, 2009


P'shaw... Anytown, Wisconsin still kicks these two towns to the curb.
posted by Rykey at 2:10 PM on May 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


No, I mean being the best US beer city. You may have heard some jokes about American beer at some point in your life.
posted by GuyZero at 2:10 PM on May 8, 2009


I was just about to post saying how St Louis does not deserve #4 on such a list. But then I thought about the 7 brewpubs, dozen or so beer bars, numerous festivals and vibrant homebrew community and thought hell yeah, this is a pretty good beer town!

Suck it, Milwaukee.
posted by slogger at 2:11 PM on May 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


No, I mean being the best US beer city. You may have heard some jokes about American beer at some point in your life.

protip: if you find yourself having to explain your joke, it probably sucked.
posted by dersins at 2:12 PM on May 8, 2009 [5 favorites]


The standard was set by American beer.
posted by GuyZero at 2:14 PM on May 8, 2009


Asheville was always the best beer city when I was a kid, because we had to drive almost all the way to Asheville to buy beer because Buncombe was the nearest county that wasn't dry.
posted by squalor at 2:19 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine visited Asheville, he said it was the only place he's ever seen with three headshops next door to each other.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:30 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


God
grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference
posted by item at 2:33 PM on May 8, 2009


protip: if you find yourself having to explain your joke, it probably sucked.

Unless you explain it into a novel. Then it's fucking brilliant. (Or at least you get points for determination.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:34 PM on May 8, 2009


Did somebody say beer? Sure, don't mind if I do...
posted by uncleozzy at 2:37 PM on May 8, 2009


Also, American beer rules! Suck it, rest of the world!
posted by uncleozzy at 2:40 PM on May 8, 2009


quick! what college campus ranks #1 as biggest beer drinking/partying campus in the world?
posted by msconduct at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2009


Portland? Yeah, I can see that. Portland's a great beer town.

A great beer city, though... I humbly submit Seattle. And it's Beer Week here in Seattle.
posted by gurple at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2009



No, I mean being the best US beer city. You may have heard some jokes about American beer at some point in your life.


This was a good joke. (20 years ago)

American beer has come a long way, and besides, the biggest target (Bud) is now owned by a Belgian company. Damned Belgians and their crappy unflavored piss beer.

/sips Chimay.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:43 PM on May 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Seriously? American beer not being good as imports? What is this, 1980? Try a Bell's HopSlam or Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout or anything from Jolly Pumpkin and then show me a better beer produced anywhere in the world. American craft beer rocks.
posted by revgeorge at 2:50 PM on May 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Plus, just go ahead and try to tell me Prima Pils isn't the best pilsner in the world. I will punch you right in the mouth.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:55 PM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the way that http://www.examiner.com redirects to whatever city it thinks you're in. Now, mygothlaundry, who lives in Asheville, is posting about a poll where Asheville comes out on top. But me, I live in Seattle, and I swear that the article says that Seattle won the poll.

Okay. Okay. I'm kidding. But it could happen.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:57 PM on May 8, 2009


When any of these cities have secret tunnels underneath them specifically designed for keeping beer cold, then I will believe that they are the best beer city in the US.
posted by drezdn at 2:58 PM on May 8, 2009


Anyone who has ever been to both of these cities knows that Portland is - by far - the king of all beer towns. And in fact, we do have tunnels underneath our city for this purpose.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:06 PM on May 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


When any of these cities have secret tunnels underneath them specifically designed for keeping beer cold, then I will believe that they are the best beer city in the US.

The winner: Hoboken in 1891!
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:07 PM on May 8, 2009


GuyZero clearly isn't up to date on the international reputation of American beer.

Just so you know, Belgium and Germany are importing beer from the US, now, not just the other way around.
posted by paisley henosis at 3:15 PM on May 8, 2009


Also: Yay, beer thread!
posted by paisley henosis at 3:15 PM on May 8, 2009


I didn't realize Portland had any competition. That place practically has microbrew flowing from the water fountains.
posted by mullingitover at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just so you know, Belgium and Germany are importing beer from the US, now, not just the other way around.

It's worse than that. Budwieser is a Belgian Beer now.
posted by eriko at 3:47 PM on May 8, 2009


That is a bit like saying that a Chrysler is an Italian car. Foreign ownership doesn't change shittyness overnight.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:57 PM on May 8, 2009


Asheville is awesome -- it's this artsy hippie town in the middle of the deep south, nestled safe from Republicans in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. I don't get up to visit nearly often enough; I just love knowing it's there. Makes me happy.
posted by LordSludge at 4:36 PM on May 8, 2009


Very cool. Didn't know about Asheville's beer scene at all (lived there in the early/mid-80s, when pickings were probably slim...not that I was drinking...much...at age 8-10). We are certainly spoiled here in Portland. I still wish someone would open a decent Belgian bar here, with a huge selection, decent food, good ambience, and service, ala Monk's or Eulogy in Philly.
posted by medeine at 4:39 PM on May 8, 2009


Good god almighty it is a pleasure to enjoy both the Rogue and Deschutes breweries in a single night! Hail Portland!
posted by bepe at 4:47 PM on May 8, 2009


C. Philadelphia.
posted by mollweide at 4:50 PM on May 8, 2009


Philly doesn't usually fare well in these "best city" lists, so on behalf of my great city, we gladly accept third place!

Johnny Brenda's, here I come!
posted by orme at 4:53 PM on May 8, 2009


I just love that Asheville is in the Blue. I miss you, sometimes.
posted by zach4000 at 4:53 PM on May 8, 2009


Although Asheville continues to refer to itself as the Paris of the South, I've always thought of it as the Portland of the East.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 5:56 PM on May 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


Good. Portland's in the top ten. No, not that Portland. The real one.

The selection of quality beer is outrageously good here, given Maine has a relatively small population.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 6:02 PM on May 8, 2009


No, I mean being the best US beer city. You may have heard some jokes about American beer at some point in your life.

It's apparent you know fuck all about beer.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:29 PM on May 8, 2009


That's only because my homebrew hefe is still bottle conditioning. Check again next week.

The ripple wave of suck emanating from it might reach Portland and untie the competition
posted by qvantamon at 6:31 PM on May 8, 2009


Gman, I thought you didn't like beer!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:33 PM on May 8, 2009


Lutoslawski, I lived in Asheville for 14 years and moved to Portland a year ago. My experience so far is that AVL had way more local (and top-notch!) microbrew brands for sale in the grocery store than PDX has. I've tasted two or three local brews that are as good as the best of Asheville's, but I'll be danged if I can find a one of them in the grocery stores here. It's always the same few larger brands, none of which measure up to the routinely-offered best back east.

Benjamin Nushmutt, mostly it's tourists and their associated magazines that call Asheville that; most of the hipper locals called it "the Sedona of the South"...it wasn't necessarily a compliment. And other than that, in all non-snarky honesty, they're very different in vibe from each other. Asheville never stops being a big Small Ttown; Portland is the smallest Big City I know.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:53 PM on May 8, 2009


Or...y'know..."town" with one 't'. It's all good, man.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:57 PM on May 8, 2009


Gman, I thought you didn't like beer!

Yeah... I'm not explaining my joke up-thread. Having said that, MaryDellamorte force fed me some really nice tasting beer the other day. As far as I could tell, she didn't hate me.
posted by gman at 7:03 PM on May 8, 2009


Portland is Beervana . MGL, what does Ashville have for a catchphrase? Because that's the most important!
posted by Danf at 8:00 PM on May 8, 2009


It's completely unfair that Vermont gets knocked out of this on account of having the many many delicious breweries (most per capita in the US) spread out over a tiny state with no real cities.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:16 AM on May 9, 2009


Oh Asheville has a bunch of dumb catchphrases, stuff like Ashevegas and Asheville: 20,000 Lesbians Can't Be Wrong - you know, the usual. The thing that was interesting about this poll to me was how fanatic people got about it - there were exhortations everywhere telling people to vote, vote, vote! Being contrary, I refused to vote, so this post is untainted by my direct involvment. And I'm glad we tied - remember that Asheville has a population of roughly 70,000 and Portland is what, 600,000 or something? Yet Asheville luxuriates in no less than 6 local microbreweries, which is to say, 1 for every 11666.666 people (the breweries of the Beast!) That seems about right. Add a wide variety of bars, brewpubs, tasting rooms, beer stores and even the supermarkets and little bodega markets have a staggering selection of beers from all over, which is awesome and directly related to the expansion of my waistline and relaxation of my lifestyle.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:27 AM on May 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, Portland has more breweries than any other city in the country, if not the world -- regardless of size. (NB: article from 2006. The number of breweries has increased significantly since then). Hell, McMenamin's alone, as mediocre as they can be sometimes, have 30-some brewpubs in the area. Also, we've been dubbed (by no less a personage than George Bush the Elder) "Little Beirut," which may not have anything to do with beer, but is no doubt the best nickname EVER for a city-- eclipsing even "Baghdad By the Bay".
posted by dersins at 10:50 AM on May 9, 2009


Plus, just go ahead and try to tell me Prima Pils isn't the best pilsner in the world. I will punch you right in the mouth.

I'll tell you eagerly, as long as I can ice my fat lip against the rim of whatever's on tap at any random Gasthaus in the Black Forest right now. Then a Jaegerschnitzel with spaetzle swimming in its extra gravy, accompanied by a hefeweizen.
posted by gompa at 1:26 PM on May 9, 2009


As someone who lived most of their life about an hour from Ashville, and now lives in Portland. I can say without a doubt that Portland is ninety times the beer city Ashville is. While it is true that Ashville is a hippie oasis in the deep south it really only has 2 main drags downtown.

Portland is a city, despite what Seattle haters up thread are saying. There is in any given neighborhood at least one if not twenty restaurants serving a massive list of locally brewed insanely hopped beer. Most of the bars near my house don't even serve domestic.

I hit up Seattle several times a year, you guys do have great food and beer, but it's not as plentiful as it is down here in Portland and we tend to pay a lot less. I think most of you know it too, which is why you tend to hate on your funkier sister in Oregon.

And just because it's relevant:

Ashville Walkscore
Portland Walkscore
posted by sourbrew at 2:14 PM on May 9, 2009


"Most of the bars near my house don't even serve domestic. "

edit: Most of the bars near my house don't serve any of your traditional domestics, like bud light, coors, MGD, of course PBR is in ample supply.
posted by sourbrew at 2:18 PM on May 9, 2009


I didn't realize Portland had any competition. That place practically has microbrew flowing from the water fountains.
Perchance you refer to the Skidmore Fountain?
posted by Skwirl at 10:16 PM on May 9, 2009


In Maine, you have lobsters. In Gilroy CA, you have garlic. In Peru, you have guinea pigs. In Asheville, we have beer. And those of us who consume gladly, genuflect in adoration to the craft-brewers, or are zymurgists ourselves... we are merely living off of our fair crop. We are not alcoholics, we are human beings toiling gladly for our portion of barley, malt, hops and yeast daily. We are a simple people, a good people. And we are shitfaced.
posted by moonbird at 8:32 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


At the end of every beer contest, there's a pissing match.
posted by klangklangston at 11:17 PM on May 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nobody will ever read this, I know, but here's a take on the contest from one of Asheville's readers of the local nightmare Gannett rag that calls itself a newspaper. Be sure to check out the comments. It's a bargain - you can laugh and cry.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:56 AM on May 15, 2009


I don't hate Portland (though that may change when your Timbers enter the MLS)...and the beer is pretty ossem. I will have to visit Asheville someday, but my favorite brew is Manny's, made right between my home and my job.
posted by black8 at 10:10 AM on May 15, 2009


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