If beer didn't exist, the Northwest would find it necessary to invent it. Maybe it's the grey skies of Seattle, or the snow-packed winters in Spokane, and the general... "weirdness" of Portland.
Maybe it's the long stretches of wheat-fields, or desert, with not a neighbor in sight. Something about living here calls for a frosty mug, and a beer that's hearty and flavorful. Something that sparks joy on the bleakest of nights.
"Craft beer... keeps our communities rooted and strong,” John Bryant, owner of No-Li Brewhouse, recently told Spokane's KXLY news.
It's true. There's something special about drinking a beer in the place where it was brewed. Talking with the people who passionately created something new. And to gather with like-minded fans at the bar, and at beer festivals.
You can find good craft beer almost anywhere these days. But we've had decades to perfect it. Seattle's Red Hook began brewing "a better beer" in the 1980s. Red Hook ESB (extra-special bitter) has been a favorite since 1986. Portland's Widmer Bros. popularized the Hefeweizen in the U.S. And Yakima supplies 75% of the world's hops. So it's no wonder many consider the northwest the king of beer-makers.
Last year Lawn Love ranked 180 cities based on the number of breweries, festivals, the quality of the beer (award-winning), and other factors. Seattle took the #4 spot. Portland ranked 2nd. And the top-spot went to Spokane.
This list, along with a ton of nationally and internationally award-winning beers, shows the world that the Northwest is more than Microchips, Prime Delivery, and flannel shirts. Although those are cool, too.