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Anna C Ferguson
Portland FRINQ
22 February 2015
Bridgetown to Brewtown
I feel as though many people move to Portland for the brew or in anticipation for the
famous Portland brews. As a minor, I am excited to have the opportunity to turn twenty-one in a
city so well known for their artisan brews. I am not a fanatic for beer in a college state of mind,
but I find the art of taste and art of pairing different brew with different meals is what is
important. As I walk around the city of Portland, I see breweries everywhere, pubs, bars and all
the kind. But how many of these are micro-breweries? How many of them offer artisan culture to
Portlands economy? As Charles Heying in his book Brew to Bikes: Portland Artisan Economy,
he point out that, Portlands artisan economy is a particular and local response to the larger
economic forces that are changing our world (23). When I walk around Portland, I sense a
strong culture of artisans and I can see why artisans feel a calling towards Portland. Portland is
an attraction place for artisans for good reason; Portland is a non-judgmental city with so many
exceptions to all kinds of artisans. The brew culture brings in tourism to the city of Portland and
contributes to the economy of Portland.
Craft brews and microbrews are often put into the same category, but they have a
difference. As stated in the article, The Difference Between a Craft Beer and a Micro Brew
Beer from Hub pages states that, A craft brewery is not always a micro-brewery and a micro-

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brewery is only a craft brewery if it follows craft brewing standards. Craft beer is beer that is
brewed in batches with the finest quality ingredients, and is done on a limited basis or may be a
seasonal brew. Many craft breweries take pride in not only ingredients used to make their beer
but also the equipment used to produce it (1). Hub pages also states that micro-breweries have
no set restrictions on technique or ingredients, unlike craft breweries. Wes Flack, author of
American Microbreweries and Neolocalism: Ale-ing for a sense of Place, writes on the history
of microbreweries in America and how they came to be a local identity in American culture.
Flack begins with the fact that Americans see and desire places that are different and have a
local flavor and spirit (38). Flack also beings with the fact that microbreweries play a huge part
in the spirit of local identity by stating, Microbreweries are one example of this self-conscious
reassertion of the distinctively local (38). The popularity of microbreweries has grown
substantially in the United States over the years because of this desire for local identity.
According to the Brewers Association as seen in image A, over 54% of all U.S. brewing
facilities were microbreweries (Watson 1). The start of the microbrew revolution began with,
Washington, Oregon, California, and Colorado (Flack 43). Flack also acknowledges San
Francisco, Portland, and Seattle remain leading microbrewing centers, and the idea of a fresh
local brew seems to fit very nicely into Ecotopia. The strong environmental sentiment of the
region breeds a powerful local pride and commitment to community, but other areas also use
beer for local boosterism (44). This idea of local boosterism is referring to the use of breweries
as an attraction for tourism. As the popularity for twenty-first birthdays or non-locals wanting to
experience local flavors, tourism is a huge reason microbrewery popularity has spread too
rapidly. Flack also uncovers that larger breweries began purchasing small microbreweries when
they became a threat to the larger companies (45). (Place opinion). Flack also points out, Much

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of the appeal of a microbrewed beer is that it is a rejection of national, or even regional, culture
in favor of something more local (49). The rise of microbreweries and the popularity of the
microbreweries come from the desire people have for a local spirit and identity.
In an article titled, Portland: 10 Things to Do by Carol Brooks, a writer for Time,
points out that there are, 31 breweries [that] operate here, according to the Oregon Brewers
Guild that's more than any other city in the world (Brooks 1). Portland is a huge attraction for
beer enthusiasts. Currently, according to Oregon Craft Beer, there are 221 breweries in Oregon,
58 in Portland and 84 in the Portland metro area (1). Charles Heying, an associate professor of
urban studies and planning at Portland State University, in his book Brew to Bikes: Portlands
Artisan Economy observes that, Portland has been called Beer City, U.S.A.; Beervana;
Beertopia, a land so rich in handcrafted, artisan brews that beer lovers have been known to make
pilgrimages to imbibe (59). Portland is a DIY city, bringing up creative people to venture into
the process of microbrewing and craft brewing. As Heying points out, The first generation of
Portland brewers, like the McMenamin brothers and the Widmer brothers, were self-taught home
brewers (69). So, not only is Portland collecting many new brewers but raising them up in the
The Portland area is a calling ground for brewers to set up. Oregon Craft Beer also
informs that the, Total economic impact from the beer industry is $2.83 billion for Oregons
economy+employs 29,000 people and also that, Portland continues to lead the US for % of
dollars spent on craft beer with a 36.6% share for Q-4 2013 and for Q-1 w/e 03/30/2014-the
Portland market recorded a 38.69% share per IRi Worldwide. Craft Beer has been the largest
category for dollars spent on beer in Grocery Stores continuously in the Portland market since
October, 2010 (1). Portland is the current leading city having the most breweries in the World,

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reveals Oregon Craft Beer (1). Charles Heying shares that Oregon rates against all the states in
the United States has the fourth largest percentage of draft beer sales and also that, the Oregon
market is the largest for every craft brewer in Oregon (67).
Portlands brewing community will surely continue growing. As the artisan economy
supports the city of Portland, the brew economy will grow with many other artisans. The tourism
of Portland is growing before our eyes and I believe the reason for that is the artisan culture.
Portland is a special place, a special one of a kind artisan city. cheers.