First of all, a quick hello. The last couple months have not been easy on me, but I'm still here and I still love beer. I also have begun to use internal rhyme every time I write a sentence. Okay, so that last part is not true, and I hope that no one has caught the swine flu. Somebody stop me please.
I just wanted to make a quick comment on the ongoing beer war that we have been embroiled in over the last few weeks. No, I am not talking about the Beer Wars movie that premiered last month that I was unfortunately out of town for and was not able to attend. I am referring to the recently closed poll by Charlie Papazian, writer for Examiner.com among many other superlatives that can be said about him (he is a deity in the homebrewing community). The poll is for "Favorite Beer City U.S.A.", and if you haven't heard about it, I suggest you check your internet connection. It has been featured on the Citizen Times website, blogged about by my good friends at Bruisin' Ales, tweeted by the Mountain Express (did I just use the word tweeted?), and I have received two emails at work about it. So, needless to say, I don't feel that my lack of a blog post hurt Asheville's chances any.
I was certainly thinking about making a post, and I was trying to come up with some insults that I could hurl at Portland (the comments on the poll at Examiner.com have devolved over the past day or so), but the truth is that Portland and Asheville are both great Beer Cities, and equally worthy of the crown. I spent a few days in Portland a few years back, and honestly, I have nothing but praise for the beer culture in that town. Portland reminded me of a bigger Asheville, and if I ever move out west it would be high on my list of places to live. And the beer is great. You can go to the grittiest dive bar and still be able to enjoy some great craft beer. Asheville thankfully has gotten to this point as well, as you will be hard pressed to find a place where you can't have at least a Highland Gaelic Ale. So, as we await the results of this poll while the casualities mount on both sides of this fierce war, I hope that the survivors can raise a glass to each from opposite sides of the country. We should also be proud that Asheville can be mentioned in the same breath as more established "beer cities". We've come a long way, baby.
One last note. On the Mountain Xpress Tweet and the Bruisin' Ales blog, it has been mentioned that the Orange Peel will donate space for a celebration of our local breweries if Asheville wins the poll. It is my opinion that we have already 'won', and I would hope that the Peel could host a celebration regardless of the outcome of the poll.