People are going insane about this poll: Which city wide area do you think ranks #1 as Beer City USA? I've gotten emails, tweets, and verbal requests to post about it, so I feel somewhat obligated. The question comes up all of the time on websites, newspapers, and forums. Portland is always a contender, and tempers flare as everyone casts a vote for their favorite.

The interesting thing about this poll is that it's almost closed (May 7th) and the only two contenders are Portland, OR and Asheville, NC. And Asheville is in the lead 41% to PDX's 30%. Yeah, uh Asheville. But before I totally write off the city, let me make it known that I've spent a lot of time in Asheville. If I was forced to move back to the South, I'd choose to live in Asheville. It's an awesome town. It's beautiful in in all seasons (if you love snow!), it's got a great laid-back community, and has a lot of options for art and music lovers. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Portland.

So, what does this poll mean? The only thing that it signifies is that Asheville has an enthusiastic and motivated beer community. With these leaders of the poll, it's apples and oranges. You can't compare the important things like beer consumption, beer production, and local beer variety, without Portland landing on top. Add to this our homebrew community, beer festivals, massive availability of the world's great beer at bottleshops and beeer bars, and public transportation around Portland and you've got a complete beer city.

I applaud Asheville's grass roots effort against us in this poll, but let's face it, a win by Asheville doesn't make a bit of difference to Portland's beer reputation. I'm extremely excited that Asheville is creating a great beer scene. In fact, a friend of mine owns Pisgah Brewing, just outside of Asheville, and they've been making exceptional beer and giving the scene out there a great name.

So, it's kind of a crazy poll, but vote away Portland. Time to amass the Portland beer soldiers to maintain our pride.