5/12/2009 - Asheville ties with Portland, Ore. as America's top beer cities
by Tony Kiss, Asheville Citizen Times
Asheville and Portland, Ore., have tied as Americas number one beer cities in a just-completed national online poll.
More than 16,000 voters from 46 countries cast ballots in the online poll conducted by the respected beer writer Charlie Papazian, at the www.examiner.com Web site. Now I have to get myself to Asheville for a first time visit," Papazian wrote on Friday.
The competition began March 18 and ended Thursday and turned into a fierce back-and-forth competition between Portland (estimated population of 575,000 and around 28 breweries) Asheville (72,000, six breweries, two more under construction and one in nearby Black Mountain).
In the end, Papazian chose to proclaim both Asheville and Portland as Beer City USA. Philadelphia came in third, and many other bigger cities with acclaimed brewing scenes (such as San Diego) barely made a mark.
Any time that Asheville and Portland can be mentioned in the same breath is a step in the right direction, said Mike Rangel, president of Asheville Brewing Co., and head of the Asheville Brewers Alliance. Portland is the big brother that we strive to be.