Portland vs Portland

With a dozen breweries, the other Portland—Maine, that is—is encroaching on the Rose City’s global brew cred. We prompted IPA nut Van Havig of our very own Gigantic Brewing to square off with Belgian-style innovator Rob Tod of Maine’s Allagash Brewing.

By Christian DeBenedetti July 1, 2013 Published in the July 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

Van Havig
Rob Tod
We won here! Craft’s just beer!    Describe your beer culture in six words. Cornucopia of English, Belgian,
American beer
Are Maine’s dive bars full of craft beer? I’d have to list almost every bar in town—and most of them are great for a variety of reasons. Who has the best beer bar(s)? A little magazine called Food & Wine just listed the best beer bars in the country, and Portland, Maine, made the list for the Great Lost Bear.
You can find just about anything you want here. Nice German lagers? Check. Farmhouse styles? Check. Sour houses? Check. Culinary beers? Check. Traditional English? Check. Traditional Northwest? Check. Hoppy? Check, check, check, and check! We have more variety of beers than just about any place on the planet. Which city has better breweries, beer styles, and exotic beers? We have way more diversity: Classic English, Belgian-inspired, and even German styles made according to the Rheinheitsgebot laws of 1516. If you want something for everyone, this is the place. There was a little something called a Lobster Stout a few years ago—I mean, you can’t even get a fresh lobster out there to save your life.
We can drink craft beer in strip clubs, so there’s that. Plus craft beer in arcades? Please! Which city is more fun to drink beer in? Portland, Maine, is a fishing town. Nobody can dispute that drinking with fishermen is fun!
Oregon Brewers Festival is the granddaddy of the outdoor, noncompetitive festivals. Plus, we have the Holiday Ale Festival right by the city Christmas tree. Four words: Fresh Hop Beer Festival. Game, set, and match! Who’s got the better beer fests? We now have festivals in every season. This year, we’re hosting the Festival, put on by the Shelton Brothers, bringing brewers in from all over the world, including Cantillon [from Belgium]. Sorry, Oregon ... we might have you on this one.
Rain is better than snow. Plus, we have no beliefs whatsoever about kittens and ovens (ask a Mainer). Why, in a nutshell, does your Portland beat that other one? Don’t forget: Portland, Oregon, got its name when Lovejoy and Pettygrove flipped a coin in 1845. History shows that they’ve been copying us for years!

WINNER: Portland! (You know which one. )

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