Beers Across America: July 4th Tasting

Sarah and I spent some time this evening at Belmont Station assembling our lineup for this year’s Independence Day party and beer tasting. Last year, you may recall that we went with a “Red, White and Blue” theme, including such beers as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Allagash White, … you get the idea.

Red vs. Blue States in the US 2004 Election

This year, being an election year, we’re going with a “Red vs. Blue” state theme. Sarah and I assembled two beers in each of six styles (so far). One of the beers is from a red state, and the other is from a blue state. We’ll pour the styles blind, side-by-side, and ask tasters to vote on which beer they think is better. Arbitrary? Yes. Simplistic? Sure. Does a two-party system lead to knee-jerk reactions on complex issues? We’d better keep the rhetorical questions out of this blog …

I’m holding the full list of beers back until after the tasting to prevent abuse, but I will share with you this one observation, based on a limited sample of one beer store: blue states produce a lot more craft beer than red ones. I know, I’m shopping in a blue state, nestled in a craft beer sandwich between Washington and California, but … I’m just saying.

So far, the red states are Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, Louisiana and Colorado. We’re trying to avoid duplicates, but we would like to include one or two more red states. Anyone know of other red states with beers distributed in Oregon? Extra points if you know of a “red” from a red state.

12 thoughts on “Beers Across America: July 4th Tasting”

  1. I looked for Shiner Bock at Belmont Station, but couldn’t find any … never heard of Blackened Voodoo … who makes it?

  2. What about Alaska? Plenty of options for that red state.

    I assume you know what to get from Missouri, right? Comes in a Red, White and Blue can even.

  3. Abita is from Louisiana, and I think you can pick up their wheat beer or the amber (since I think Turbo Dog doesn’t easily fit any category)

  4. We were trying not to duplicate beers from more than one state. I have beers from both Louisiana and Alaska already, but Missouri is a good idea. Can you think of a blue state version of the “American-style Pilsner” style? I had considered “Session” or even “Schwag” as a sneak attack Oregon version.

    Zak, I had the “Black and Blue” left over from last year and was kind of disappointed in it. How was the “Red and White?”

  5. For Missouri, you may want to look at the Boulevard Brewery. As a Kansas City transplant to Portland, I would also like to know if you can actually find any up here. As far as I know, they do not distribute this far. However, they are coming to the festival in July.

    Also, they sell Shiner Bock at the Plaid Pantry at 20th and SE Division.

  6. As a known commie and card-carrying member of the ACLU (and rabble rousing political blogger), I was a little startled to see the map at the top of this post. “Oh no, worlds colliding!” I had never stopped to think about the blue/red divide in terms of beer, but you highlight something that can’t be denied: blue states absolutely crush red states in good-beer production.

    There are three regions of the country known for good beer: the West Coast, New England, and the Upper Midwest. The only good-beer state not currently on your blue-state map (though likely to turn blue in ’08) is Colorado.

    If someone were a very serious stats nerd, she could go through the GABF winners list and (eliminating macro categories) count medals from red versus blue states. I have to think it would be overwhelmingly blue. But I ain’t that stats girl.

  7. Montana – Big Sky rocks… Moose Drool, Summer Honey, Powder Hound, Trout Slayer, tec. Liquid Solutions sells mix packs in 12 and 24 bottles.
    For my bonus points, it should be noted they used to make a mean Whistle Pig Red.
    For extra credit, tell me what a whistle pig is, and answer the age-old question: What wood would you chuck on the BBQ if you have one on the spit?

  8. Blue state “American-Style Pilsner?” Any one of Miller’s horrid creations from Wisconsin or possibly Rolling Rock from PA.

  9. Hey, love your blog. Don’t know if you can get them up there, but seeing as how Tennessee is pretty red as far as states go, you might try and find stuff from one of our Nashville breweries. Yazoo and Blackstone. Both make a pretty big variety and are pretty good in my book!

    Good luck to you, and i look forward to seeing the results!

  10. Hi guys,

    The only red state available in OR that you don’t have represented yet is Florida. Arguably, it could go blue this year, but it’s still painfully red at the moment ;)

    St. Somewhere just started distributing here (via Shelton Brothers), so you could grab a bottle of their Saison or Strong Belgian Ale.

    FYI to Rich – The local distributor (Mt Hood) discontinued Shiner products over 1 year ago. If Plaid is still carrying them I’d ask for a super closeout discount ;)

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