Brews blues in the Emerald City

Visitors to the Emerald City who read the Seattle P-I's Getaways section must think that Seattle hates itself more than an angst-ridden teenager. Once or twice a month, the section reminds Seattle residents that everything is better in Portland. The Rose City does feature a superior brewpub scene, a thriving coffee culture, and an excellent array of dining options, but Seattle has comparable features. Compare Seattle's array of alehouses, where offerings from multiple brewers are on tap, our many small coffee shops thriving in the shadow of Starbucks, and tell yourself that we will get more wine bars and better restaurants soon.

The latest embarrassment in Getaways is their choice to reprint an article from the Los Angeles Times. The article advises travelers to tour Portland's beer offerings and - here's the funny part for Seattle - highlights two brewers who have outposts in Seattle (McMenamins and Pyramid) and a third that has a pub in nearby Issaquah (Rogue). The print article has a full-page picture of the three establishments.

The article ends by suggesting that visitors to Portland partake of the BrewBus. This is responsible journalism - it would be difficult to explain in a short article how to use local transit - bus, MAX, your feet - to walk from pub to pub in leisurely fashion. You would need a current or former resident with a strong knowledge of the city and a map showing which places to visit, not only to sample the city's suds but to taste the history of the microbrew revival. Such a map might be written down, to protect against the deleterious affects of barleywine.

I also laud the article's exclusion of many fine establishments on both sides of the river, the kinds of places where the locals like to keep things local. I'd be happy to show those places to you. You'd just have to get me to Portland, and buy me a beer.

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