Seven Useless Facts I Learned from "Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana".

Seven Useless Facts I Learned from "Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana".

As a brewer, I’m always interested in learning more of the science behind brewing and fermentation. As a beer enthusiast, however, I always love a good history lesson about beer and brewing. American Palate has published a series of historical books on beer and as I have traveled I have come across a few of the titles to supplement my, often dry, beer science knowledge with the more colorful story of beer around the world.

Having recently visited Portland, aka “Beervana”, and other parts of Oregon on a summer family road trip, I came across Portland Beer: Crafting the Road to Beervana at the locally famous Powell’s Bookstore. Needless to say I was happy to avoid another technical brewing text to go for a more enjoyable read to give me more of a background on this city that has come to be recognized as one of the hubs for craft beer in America.

In this post I wanted to filter out a handful of historical facts that I found interesting.

Brewerism- Portland, Bend & Beyond!

Brewerism- Portland, Bend & Beyond!

I ordered my first craft beer back in 2003 and while my love for beer has grown throughout my travels, it has taken me 16 years to finally make it to Portland, a.k.a. “Beervana”. I don’t have the hard figures on how many breweries are in Portland, and I’m sure that it is in a constant state of flux. However, it is safe to say that there are loads of breweries not only in Portland, but all across Oregon as well. So, this summer I made the pilgrimage for 10 days from Portland to the northern coast, through the Willamette valley, out to Hood River, down to Bend, and back in a trip that won’t soon be forgotten. In this post I will not be providing an exhaustive review of Oregon’s breweries. However, I will point out some highlights of this road trip through the Beaver State.

Brewerism - Hobart, Tasmania

Brewerism - Hobart, Tasmania

Australia is a place with no shortage of great beer and since Tasmania accounts for majority of the hop supply, it’s no wonder that there would be a handful of breweries putting out some excellent craft beers in the state’s capitol of Hobart. We spent a week in Tasmania, using Hobart as a base, and since we never made it up to Launceston (home of James Boag’s and also close to Van Dieman’s) I decided to focus this post on the breweries of Hobart.

Brewerism - Berlin

Brewerism - Berlin

German "craft beer"?  Why would they need that?  For a country that oozes "craft" in everything that they do, and a history that is steeped in strict traditions when it comes to brewing, it seemed unlikely that we would ever see German brewers joining the craft beer revolution.  I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the most diverse and international city in Germany would serve as a catalyst for this new German craft beer movement.

Brewerism - Iceland

Brewerism - Iceland

For some reason tourism in Iceland has been blowing up in recent years.  Maybe it's the unique, other-worldly, volcanic landscapes, or the winter Northern Lights, or the summer midnight sun, or the Game of Thrones filming locations - or maybe it's the emerging craft beer scene....

Brewerism - Huntington Beach, CA USA

Brewerism - Huntington Beach, CA USA

Since my wife hails from the "O.C." (Orange County) we find ourselves visiting regularly.  Over the years we've seen an impressive growth of craft beer in her neck of the woods.  While Huntington Beach, CA is known as "Surf City USA" and is typically a summer destination for campers, beach-goers, and surfers alike, it is also starting to build a reputation as a craft beer destination.