August 17, 2011

Portland Beer Bloggers Conference

I'll be logging the beer miles this week as I travel to Portland. This is not my first trip there, but it is my first time with a focus on examining and writing about beer culture. Don't expect any whiny, "Why can't we be more like Portland?" pieces. There will be no hagiographies and no name dropping beerlebrity onanistic fanboi posts, I promise. I travel quite a bit, but I generally don't write about it here unless I can bring it back to a Phoenix context.

If you recall from our opening post, our Beervana will not be cloudy organic IPAs, ironic tattoos, fixie bikes, kickball leagues and stripper steakhouses. Well maybe some of those or maybe not. Our path to beer city greatness will be unlike any other. Still, Portland offers arguably the world's best example of beer culture and I fully intend to discover the hallmarks that make it successful, document the commonalities with the Valley and reveal the untapped expressions that we have here.

I'll be attending the Beer Bloggers Conference to attend sessions that will help improve my writing. There will be networking and of course partaking in the thing that we all write about. If you're skeptical about whether a Beer Blogging Conference can avoid being a boondoggle, you are not alone. Should it turn out that the conference itself is an excuse to drink beer and hang out, I've got a few back-up plans.

Really, I do.


  1. I was in Portland for the first time this past June to see what the culture was like. I had heard legends of the city and all the beer it had. I realized there truly was craft beer at almost every turn; however, I believe Portland is guilty for having the worst beer snobbery in the country.

    There weren't many people who opened their arms to an outsider. I was snubbed many times when trying to ask and learn about the culture they had created. I learned that was the last thing I wanted in our city of Phoenix.

  2. I believe you will also be there for the first ever Portland Beer Week so I see plenty of back up plan options in your future Rob. While most would agree that every week is beer week in Portland, it's funny that Arizona had an official one first.

    Beerguru: The Northwest is a strange land for outsiders. I'm from there, so I can't speak to the newbie perspective. But yes, there's a Portlandia pretention and defensiveness that comes out about nearly everything: beer, coffee, land use, sales tax, passing on the left... In general, though, I've found Northwesters are open to talking to just about anyone, but cautious about letting people "inside" too quickly. I hope you're not discouraged about going back. Keep the conversations on what you love and absorb the culture from the experience.


  3. Patrick,

    That's not been my experience. I can see how that would be off-putting.

    Maybe they aren't over the Ducks loss.