I'm torn up about this. Really. I think I'm going to take a half day at work, just to ponder (and, of course, drink). What I probably won't drink though, is Beertown Brown, Bridgeport's newest brew to hit the streets.

Bridgeport Brewpub and Bakery, Downtown Portland.

Bridgeport Brewpub

First of all, let me say that this beer is a good representation of the style: Northern English Brown Ale. But it's the Northern English blandness that's the problem. You know where you can go to get a Northern English Ale? Northern England. If someone is going to take the time and effort to release a new bottled style in Portland, and use the Beertown moniker, then good god, make it a Northwest version of the style.

Portland has earned the name Beertown, let's not tiptoe around it. We need to use this as a catalyst to show the outside what we have to offer. I see two ways to go about this. The first way would be to get together and come up with a new style to add to the books: Northwest Ale. What would this be? That's for the brewers to decide. The second option is to amend the current styles: Northwest Brown Ale, Northwest Pale Ale, etc. Again, what these would be is up to the brewers.

As a regional and world leader in brewing, that's exactly what we should be doing: leading. We are currently in a position to direct the industry and there are a lot of eyes on us. Without work, we won't stay on top forever. Now is not the time to be timid.