Being from Nebraska, I’ve missed green. Spring and summer bring about these vivid greens in plants that don’t exist in Southern California. Flying into Portland, I got a taste of those vivid greens that come from actual rain and seasons. And then I got a taste of a bunch of different beers.
I was in Portland for my honeymoon. Stop looking at the screen weirdly for a second and I’ll explain. My wife and I live in San Diego. Beaches. Beautiful weather. This is where some people come to for their honeymoon, so where do you go for yours when you live here? Apparently Portland. It helps that we’re both beer drinkers, and Portland is the city with the most breweries in the US and world. I’ll take a moment to point out that while Portland has 54 breweries within the city proper as of this writing, San Diego county has 88. And yes, I know that comparing a county to a city seems unfair, but if you’ve ever traveled to San Diego you know that San Diego county is the city proper, its suburbs, and a bunch of desert, making it a completely fair comparison. Oregoncraftbeer.org cites the Portland metro area as having 74 breweries, which is less than 88, but I digress…
With all of these breweries to choose from, which ones did we hit up in our two days? Sadly, not that many. All of the wedding stereotypes are true; you spend the whole night feeling as if you’re spending three seconds with each person, and then it’s over and you’re exhausted. As such, we couldn’t muster much more than a trip to a liquor store for two beers the first night. The second day we hit the ground running and went to (drumroll)…Bridgeport, Widmer, and Gigantic.
Bridgeport and Widmer may bother some of you. Hell, Widmer is publicly traded. I think of it like this; the Eiffel Tower in Paris is probably this obnoxious tourist trap at this point, where you’ll stand in line for three hours and end up not thinking it was that cool, but you can bet your ass I’m going to go see the Eiffel Tower the first time I go to Paris. It’s an institution, as are Widmer and Bridgeport. While they’re big shiny breweries now, they were once the little guys in the industrial park. And as you’ll read in later posts, neither place has forgotten how to brew beer despite their successes.
Gigantic was a little taste of home; a brewery in an industrial park. Roll up the door and serve beers. You may not read too much about them in later posts because I was quite, what’s the word, shitfaced by the time we got there, so much so that I couldn’t keep my tasters straight despite being told what they were three times as well as receiving a chart (they were in a plastic basket thing, and there was like a straight line and a semi-circle, and I didn’t know which one she thought was beer #1…just shut up). I remember the overall experience being pleasurable, I took a neat Instagram picture, and I apparently purchased a t-shirt (too small) and a bunch of stickers, one of which now resides on my laptop. That’s probably not that helpful to any of you and I apologize for my irresponsible drinking habits at times. Not really.
Overall, it was a great city. My wife and I agree that this fling will become an affair, and who knows where that will lead. Fortunately, it has presently lead us to the point of this post; while I may challenge Portland’s designation as the #1 brewery city in the world, it’s certainly got to be on your beer bucket list. The people are great, the beers are great, and there are a lot of them (beers, that is). Airfare is cheap. They have great public transportation. The city was really clean. There were a lot of homeless people but even they were nice. I don’t know what else I have to say to convince you to also vacation there but go do it. Now.