Now, all you PBR-lovers out there, don’t fret. I still like a good cheap macro-brew every now and again. But it is a proven fact that local beer is always the best choice. Proven because I’ve done it and I’m telling you that it’s better.
This past weekend, I ended up in Corvallis, Oregon for an ultimate frisbee tournament. “Where the fuck?” you say. Yes, indeed. It’s pretty much nowhere, home to a giant state school and a bunch of breweries. My co-worker and I entered the town late on a Friday evening looking for a decent meal, and a brewery seemed as good a place as any.
Now don’t get the wrong idea; Flat Tail Brewing didn’t blow my mind. But it was pretty damn good, and a million times better than eating greasy food at the A&W down the road and then drinking PBRs in a parking lot. (Not that I’ve done that. But it sounds kinda lame.) The point is, the beer was delicious, the food was above-expectations, and I kind of wish I could go back because there were at least six other beers on tap I wanted to try. But I won’t, because you couldn’t pay me to back to Corvallis.
In November of last year, I had a similar experience. While spending a weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas I ended up at a local brewpub, and it was one of the most quaint and adorable spots I’ve been to in a while. If I lived there (thank goodness I don’t), I would frequent that spot regularly.
And in Vancouver last October (home of my most favorite cocktail bar EVER), I made a brief pit stop at Granville Island Brewing, and almost drank enough to spoil the cocktail experience that followed. But fortunately for me, nothing could ever spoil that cocktail experience. NOTHING.
As I slowly make my way through the Seattle breweries (only a few so far: Georgetown, Fremont, Elysian, Elliott Bay), I realize that local beer is more than just “Local Beer.” There’s an atmosphere that surrounds a small local brewery or brewpub, an atmosphere that you can’t find at any old bar that serves any old beer. A tad more upscale than your average dive bar, but also friendlier in a way. The people who work there take pride in what they do, and they love to talk to you about their beers. And if that’s something you’re into, you can’t beat it.
Next week, I’ll be hitting up a brand new local spot in a brand new local place. Kona Brewing. If you don’t know where that is, it’s probably for the best. Jealousy can be an ugly thing.