As part of Portland alt-weekly paper the Willamette Week‘s “President of Beers” series (drinking the “flagship craft beer” from every state in the Union to find which is home to the “President of Beers”), writer Martin Cizmar tasted an Asheville beer.
But not before imbibing deeply of a special brew of sour grapes.
Cizmar tasted, as Asheville’s “flagship craft beer,” a Highland Brewing Gaelic Ale (a beer rated as “exceptional” by BeerAdvocate.com).
From his review:
If you’re too into beer you might know about this stupid contest called “Beer City USA.” Essentially, a bunch of cubicle monkeys click-click-click on a list of cities purported to be capitals of craft beer. Mostly they vote for the city nearest their home or where they went to college. Portlanders have taken it seriously in the past and won. But now Ashville is now the perennial favorite, probably because there’s not much great beer in town to distract the dudes who vote in these things.
Asheville’s claim to fame? Being colonized by Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. Importing talent is the Tarheel way, after all. “Hell no, boys, we ain’t kin figure to make own beer—let alone an airplane—so let’s git us some Yankees to git ‘er done and we’ll go on a’claimin it fer a century!”
Mighty fine idea, y’all.
And his opinion of Asheville’s Beer City U.S.A. title won in an online poll:
The biggest problem with such a contest? Very few voters have any perspective. Do the people of Asheville sincerely believe their city to be a mecca of craft beer? Yes. Does that opinion matter? No, not that they know any better. Antiquated liquor laws and fat cat distributors make it tough to drink the best beers from around this country. Most of the people who voted for Asheville have probably never had Black Butte Porter, let alone Pliny the Elder. These Tarheels love their beer, and they think it’s great because it’s better than the pig swill the rest of the South is drinking.
Hard-won perspective—gained by actually trying beer from across the country—is tough to get. Just ask intern John Locanthi, who spent the better part of his summer bootlegging brew for the President of Beers. But Willamette Week got a beer from all 50 states. And here’s what happened: Asheville done got tore up. Bottom 10, y’all. The flagship beer from North Carolina’s largest brewery couldn’t even beat South Carolina a blind taste-test. Ouch.
Read the whole thing here.
I’m sure the comments are about to get awesome.
Thanks to the Beer City Guide for the heads up!
Category: Asheville beer