How to survive a great beer city

Back in March (prior to starting this blog) I went on my second trip to Portland, OR with some friends. As I’m sure you’ve all heard, Portland is a tremendous beer city, with great breweries, beer bars and bottle shops. We only had 4 full days and 5 nights to explore this wonderful beertopia. So, how do you do it?

That’s not rhetorical, I’m seriously asking, because we went about it like rabid dogs that just got let off the leash. To say we were kids in a candy store would be an insult to children’s ability to restrain themselves. The problem is, you want to fit as much in to those 4 days as you can, terrified that you’ll miss a great place, or that the 5th beer I would’ve ordered at that last place would’ve been the best beer I tried the whole trip, etc.

Our average day started between 11-12 noon, we’d head out to a great beer bar that served lunch and when we felt satisfied, we’d all look at each other wondering how to kill some time until the great dinner place/beer bar we’d picked out for that evening. Inevitably, it was decided to head to some bottle shop or taproom to hunker down until then. Eventually we’d head off to that dinner place, and when dinner was done, we all want to go out for drinks, of course!

I’m sure you can see the problem with this approach, done day after day. The positive was we did get to try a lot of awesome places and beer. We hit Cascade, Deschutes, Hair of the DogBelmont Station, Bailey’s Taproom, Big Legrowlski, 2 Towns Ciderhouse (down in Corvallis, OR), among others. The down side was that I felt like a bloated tick at the end of every evening, having gorged myself so much I was sure to be noticed by my host, removed and squashed.

As I plan more trips for this year, I’m looking for an alternative course of action, and I’m open to suggestions. How do you tell Picasso to take a break from painting? How do you tell Michael Moore he should act like a little less of a douchebag? When you’re really passionate about something it can be tough to reign it in, and I’m passionate about craft beer. Help!

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