The Birth of Beervana

Portland's metropolitan area boasts about 40 craft breweries.

Photo by: Picasa 3.0

Picasa 3.0

By: Ryan Ritchie
Related To:

February 1, 1979, was a historic moment for beer-loving Americans: that’s when President Jimmy Carter signed the Cranston Bill legalizing home brewing in the United States. No city has benefited from this piece of legislation more than Portland. 

These days there are around 40 craft breweries in the metropolitan area. The influx of DIY beer gave the city some new nicknames: Brewtopia, Munich on the Willamette and Beervana. The Oregon Brewers Guild estimates a Portlander is never more than 15 minutes away from a craft brewery.

In 1985, the Oregon Legislature passed a law allowing the public to purchase beer directly from manufacturers, and brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin opened Portland’s first brewpub, a restaurant with an on-site brewery. The brothers, who went on to open 60 more brewpubs in Oregon and Washington, are locally famous for their Terminator Stout and Bagdad Ale pilsner. Other local microbrewery favorites include BridgePort Brewery, Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, MacTarnahan’s Taproom and Widmer Brothers Brewery Company.

Portland’s rainy climate fuels its microbrew culture. Approximately 14 varieties of hops (a plant used in beer making) are grown in the nearby Willamette Valley. Two-row barley, the preferred grain for making craft beer, also grows in the region.

Portlanders take pride in homegrown beer, but they won’t make fun of you if you order a Pabst Blue Ribbon; they’re beer lovers but not beer snobs. This is Portland, man, where cool is the rule.

Keep Reading

Next Up

5 Great Neighborhoods in West Palm Beach

Explore West Palm Beach's top neighborhoods and meet the people who live there.

Top Five Phoenix Neighborhoods

Learn about the best places to call home in Phoenix, Arizona's metro area.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

Explore the communities of Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Clinton Hill and Bushwick, as well as nearby neighborhoods.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Orlando

North, south, east, west—all directions point to intriguing neighborhoods in Orlando. Take a tour with Great American Country.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Jacksonville

Here are some of Jacksonville's top-rated communities, from Northside to Orange Park.

What It's Like to Live in Key West

On the southernmost point of the U.S., discover what it's like living on island time.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Savannah

Browse this guide of Savannah's top neighborhoods.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Atlanta

Take a look at five of Atlanta's best neighborhoods and decide which one is best for you.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Dallas

Explore the vibrant communities in this sprawling Texas city, from Uptown to the Telecom Corridor.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Asheville

Explore Asheville, North Carolina's well-established and up-and-coming neighborhoods with this guide.

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.