New Zealand is home to some stellar brewers but on a global scale Portland, Oregon takes the craft beer capital crown.
You’d be hard pressed to find a craft beer more lovingly fashioned than a Kiwi-made one. As far as beer ingenuity and quality goes, Wellington a key mover and shaker, focused on boutique brewing and supreme tasting lager.
Nestled on the United States’ West Coast is another pioneering craft beer capital – Portland, Oregon. The city is a hub of cool and aside from beer, Portland is known for its quirky scene of opshops, tattoos, music and good food – much like Wellington.
So keeping up with this week's American theme, we sum up why Portland is the world's craft beer capital (the Southern Hemisphere's, anyway).
1. Breweries aplenty
Sometimes the stats say it all. With 58 breweries in the city centre alone and 83 in the wider metro area, Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world. This number is no doubt going to jump up next year.
2. Year' round beer parties
Portland hosts America's biggest outdoor beer festival – the Oregon Brewer's Festival. The event pours over 90 different craft beers and attracts an 85,000-strong crowd of beer enthusiasts from all corners of the country. There is also Portland Craft Beer Festival (happening this weekend), Portland International Beerfest and Portland Beer Week – an 11 day long festival.
3. A real life beerville
If bar hopping is your thing, southeast Portland has over a dozen microbreweries and brewpubs cosied into a couple of blocks. So you can literally walk from brewery to brewpub to pub.
However for those not interested in walking, Portland has a number of beer-tour companies. Pedalounge, a 12-person pedal-powered bar with stools, is one of the many ways to get around.
4. Gluten-free goodness
Portland's brewers are all about catering for every beer drinker's tastes and in Ground Breaker's case, allergies.
Ground Breaker is a 100% gluten-free, vegan brewery in southeast Portland where absolutely no glutenous items are allowed through the door. There is no barley, wheat or rye in sight. Instead, they use chestnuts, lentils, gluten-free oats, sorghum and hops.
5. Power to the people
With so much beer production going on, there needs to be some humans around to make sure things run smoothly. Oregon's beer industry runs across 71 cities and 220 brewing facilities (141 in the Portland area), and creates more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. The beer industry generated a whopping $2.83 billion in 2014.
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