Why Oregon is the Best for Beer – Guest Post by Jenna of BiteSize Brews

Here is a guest post by my friend since childhood, Jenna. She also writes a beer blog which you should check out called BiteSize Brews. I’ll be back next week with my review or Bonfire Brewing and my return trip to Colorado.  Happy Reading!

I have a running argument about beer with my friend Eric.  He’s from Denver and likes to think that Denver is the Beer Capital of the World.  Well, unfortunately he’s wrong.  You don’t hear Denver being called Beervana or Brewtopia, do you? Here are 10 reasons why Oregon > Denver when it comes to beer:
 
  1.  There are currently 115 brewing companies, operating 151 brewing facilities in 58 cities in Oregon.
  2. There are 51 breweries operating in Portland (my hometown), more than any other city in the world.
  3. The Portland metro area is the largest craft brewing market in the US with the most number of brewers at 64.  (Denver might produce more beer, but we produce more, better beer).
  4. Want to know where Oregon ranks in breweries per capita?  #2 (Vermont is #1, Colorado #4)
  5. Oregon’s brewing companies employ 5,650 full and part-time employees.
  6. Oregon’s breweries donated an estimated $1,500,000 in product or money to non-profits in 2011.
  7. Total economic impact from the beer industry on Oregon’s economy is $2.44 billion (check that BILLION)
  8. Oregonians consumer 2.711 million barrels of beer in 2011 of that 431,000 barrels (or 15.9%) was made in Oregon in 2011.
  9. Oregon is the number two hop growing state in the country with a 2010 crop value of $31,200,000.
  10. Oregon is top 3 in the US in the following categories: Number of breweries, breweries per capita, craft beer production, craft beer consumption, percentage of draft beer consumed.
jennaandI
Pictures of Jenna and I trying a little bit of everything at Breakside Brewing in Portland, OR.

Most of these facts are from 2011, but did you know in 1888 a local brewer named Henry Weinhard volunteered to pump beer from his brewery into the newly dedicated Skidmore Fountain.  Needless to say, Oregon has a very long history when it comes to beer.  More recently, our abundance of microbreweries dates back to the 1980s when state law was changed to allow consumption of beer on brewery premises.  See Katie’s blog post on Georgian Law.  Plus, we’ve got a lot of local ingredients, two-row barley (compared to six-row barley – trust me there is a difference), over a dozen varieties of hops and pure, soft (also important) water from the Bull Run Watershed.

The thing, I personally, love the most about Oregon beer is how easily accessible it is and how involved the breweries are in my community.  From where I live, I can walk to two great breweries (Hopworks Urban Brewery and Gigantic).  Another local brewery supports my rock climbing gym (Migration Brewing Co.).  While another supports, a charity I was involved with last year (Deschutes Brewing).  Plus, when playing beer tour guide withBrewvana, there are a whole host of breweries right in the heart of Portland.

What about you?  Ever been to Oregon?  Been to any Oregon breweries?  Tried an Oregon beer?  Want to know more about a particular beer or brewery?  Share your experience in the comments below!

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