Monday, April 22, 2013

Oregon, the Rodney Dangerfield of Craft Beer?

There was an article in USA Today this morning that proclaimed itself--the bastion of American journalism excellence that it is--to be the ultimate authority regarding the top 10 craft beer states in America. I saw it referenced all over the Twitterverse. Arrrrgh! Once again, it appears the great state of Oregon has been slighted by yet another moronic mass media rag. Oregon is like the Rodney Dangerfield of craft beer. Where's the respect? Wasn't I just reading an article in another publication of ill-repute that listed the top craft breweries in the US of A? And wasn't some of Oregon's bestest and tastiest left conspicuously by the wayside? It's enough to make a proud Oregonian's blood boil (if it wasn't so gosh darn wet and rainy). 

As for the USA Today article, the only criteria they used was the number of craft breweries in each state. Excuse my abbreviated French, but WTF? Oregon came up number 4--behind California, Washington and Colorado. Poppycock! What a simplistic, flawed way to come up with a "10 Best" list. First, California is HUGE! Gigantic in both area and population. You could fit Oregon, Washington and Colorado INSIDE California. Hey, don't get me wrong, they make some great craft beer in California, but only in a few select areas. Have you ever been to Oxnard, CA? No craft beer in Oxnard. Second, since when did "most" equal "best"? I have three ex-wives. Does that make me better than a guy who's only been married once? I'm sure the former Mrs. Lindermans would say "no".

Los Angeles, the largest population center in SoCal, is a craft beer desert. Walk into almost any bar in LA and ask for a craft beer. Just see what you'll get. (It rhymes with Poo Goon.) And while San Diego is like the beer Mecca of the Golden State's nether regions, I dare you to find a craft beer bomber in that burg for under five bucks. I double dog dare ya. Additionally, the mysterious breweries of NorCal are in remote mountainous regions populated by Mad Max style maniacs, insane hippie pot growers and--dare I say it--zombies. It's true. People rarely come back alive from NorCal beercations.

Colorado also brews some decent craft beer, but that Rocky Mountain "air" makes people hallucinate and, really, they have a LOT to make up for--being the home state of  **shudder** Coors Light.

Washington? Come on...just come on. They've got some rogue legislators up that way trying to raise taxes on beer by about a zillion percent. It's true. Not a very craft beer friendly environment, if you ask me.

I believe that the only FAIR way to compile this list would be to compare the number of craft breweries to each state's population. Taking the top four, I came up with the following demographics:

124 craft breweries
3,899,353 population
= 31,446 people per brewery

130 craft breweries
5,187,582 population
= 39,904 people per brewery

136 craft breweries
6,897,000 population
= 50,713 people per brewery

268 craft breweries
38,041,430 population
= 141,945 people per brewery

As you can see, when calculated this way, Oregon comes way out on top of those other allegedly higher ranking states. Of course, I'm too gawd-damned lazy to do all fifty. If you think your crummy locale is the top craft beer spot, do the math yourself. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a grouchy ol' grumpy pants.

Finally, you know I'm just kidding. I love beer people from every corner of the US of A--except Asheville, NC. Just kidding! I joke! I joke! Every craft beer community has it's own different kind of awesomeness and I want to visit them all. Of course, I wouldn't live anywhere else but Portland, Oregon, THE BEST BEER CITY IN THE WORLD!

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