Everyone knows that if you’re looking for the best in coffee, you go to Seattle. For wine, you go to California. When it comes to the best in beer, you go to Portland Oregon, where you’re never more than 15 minutes away from a quality brewpub.
The Williamette River in western Oregon has been the center of hop growing and brewing since the days of the pioneers. When the microbrew revolution began, the history and the hops were already there, along with the spring water, the grain, and the fruit for summer beers. As a result, regional brewers and microbrewers began to pop up all over the place.
After that, it didn’t take long at all for the brewpub to follow. These beers weren’t just for washing down food anymore. The handcrafted beers could be used in cooking, just like wine. In the brewpubs of Portland, the beer also forms a base for salad dressing, spices up marinades, and even helps to sweeten the desserts as well.
Many brewpubs will offer a sampler of the best in beer tasting. You can think of it as wine tasting without the snooty steward. You sip on small amounts of a variety of brews to see what the brewer can do, from the light and hoppy to the dark yet sweet brews.
What to expect
1. Good head on the beer. Good head ensures that you’ll get a strong smell of the brew, so be sure to pour it into your glass very carefully.
2. Always use a glass. You should always use a clean glass, a very clean glass. In most brewing establishments, the glasses are always hand washed and air dried to ensure that there isn’t a speck of grease in the glass to deflate the head and leave soapy looking bubbles behind.
3. The English is right. As the English know, refrigerated beer is too cold to fully appreciate the taste. In brewpubs, the beer is served at temperatures that are cool but not that cold. The iced and chilled glasses are saved for martinis.
4. Vocabulary. Beer has a mouth feel, which describes the body of the brew – light, medium, and full. The color can be misleading, as even light-bodied beers can be full-bodied.
Anytime you are looking for the best in microbrews, you can count on Oregon to deliver the best in beer. There are hundreds of brewpubs here, with everything you could ever want. Anytime you are in the area, don’t hesitate to stop off and see why the microbrews here are easily among the best in the United States – or the world for that matter.