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A Euro-problem For Portland Beer? Or Just Me.

SAM_0026In the beginning there was Blitz, the baby boomer’s original Portland beer.

You can still see the remains of that other urban brewery around NW 12th and Burnside’s Brewery Blocks.

It’s a nice re-use of an area instead of complete tear down.

What isn’t around is the smell of Portland beer brewing.

Washington state’s Olympia Beer complimented Blitz in the days before micro/craft beer.

Their motto, It’s The Water, made some wiseguys say, “If they know it’s the water why don’t they do something about it?”

National brands flooded Portland beer taps the same as every city. From Miller to Schlitz to Bud, locals drained Portland beer kegs with gusto.

How did Beck’s sneak up on Portland beer?

Like the coffee revolution that started when Starbucks tested the market with their signature dark roast, the Portland beer scene took a turn for the better around the same time.


Henry’s had already displaced Blitz as the local go-to beer of choice when Red Hook and Grant’s showed up.

One was malty, the other hoppy. One from Seattle, the other from Yakima.

Out of town beers had arrived, but one problem remained.

SAM_0029Portland Brewing opened up next to Alcapulco’s Gold restaurant in NW and Portland beer never looked back.

Today you can’t throw a soggy hop bag without hitting a Widmer brother or a McMenamin.

Portland beer fans have extensive lists of their favorites.

Their all time favorite. Weekly and daily favorite. And yet…

Beck’s taunts Portland beer.

SAM_0039Ask a newly arrived eastsider about beer and brace for a lecture on craft.

On balance.

On what to infuse your mustache with to enhance the experience.

Then tell them Beck’s is your favorite Portland beer.

Not PBR. Not Coor’s Light. Beck’s.

Explain the German trip.

I’m going to taste Beck’s the way Germans know Beck’s, which apparently isn’t the same has U.S. Beck’s.

Six weeks of searching England didn’t turn up a beer better than Beck’s.

Neither did four weeks in Spain. Cruz Campo tried and failed.

Upright Brewing’s beer of the year has some euro-lines that put Prague on the map, but a stop by Barbur Food and a Czech beer took it off.

The biggest obstacle to clear for a German beer run to Germany is the Food Science program at Oregon State. And the home brewing experiments happening in every other garage in the region.

If one man graduates with Beaver diploma in brewing and cracks the lineup at Deschutes with a Super Beck’s, cancel all plans.

It’s up to you, Andy. And you, Dave.

Until then……


About David Gillaspie
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