Denver Or Portland? Hippies Or Not? You Be the Judge

Well, I could see this coming: people rising to defend Portland as America's "beer central."

A few days ago, my globally ethical (ethically global??) pal Matthew alerted me to an article in the current issue of Time magazine, touting Denver as the best place to tour breweries and drink beer.

"Hmmm," I thought. "Someone's bound to challenge that claim -- because surely Portland, Oregon, wins the prize with no contest at all."

Sure enough -- the Portland defenders are on the job. See Stan's blog, which also references a blog I didn't know, Beervana.

But the Time article got my attention for something entirely different: Its characterization of "artisanal" brewers as hippies and Grateful Dead addicts...

Huh? I don't think so. (Well, okay, maybe craft brewing contains a disproportionate number of people who like the music of the Grateful Dead. But people stopped equating fondness for the Dead with being a hippie, oh, I dunno, maybe thirty years ago?) Laid-back hippie-tude doesn't cut it in craft brewing. The work's too hard and the industry is too brutal. That's a lesson learned that, historically (and what is my perspective except historical?), every homebrewer who tries to turn pro learns reaaaaaaaaaaaaal fast.

Besides which -- long hair and a beard do not a hippie make. I'm so old that I was there the first time around and I oughta know.