Hood River puts Portland to shame in number of breweries per capita

Frommer’s, the travel people, has a new feature on its web site, listing the World’s Best Cities for Beer. It includes Portland.

And, according to the Oregon Brewers Guild, “there are 47 breweries operating in Portland, more than any other city in the world.”

Really? Yes, our suburban neighbor has a few brewpubs. And even though the Frommer’s nimrods say Portland has more than 30 per person (I think they meant more than 30 per capita), it got me thinking.

Could it be that little ol’ Hood River has a greater concentration of breweries for its population than any city in the world? That’s based on the presence of Full Sail, Double Mountain, Big Horse (with its new brewer Darrek Smith), and soon, Pfriem.

If you look at county population and expand the per-capita analysis to include the county’s other breweries — Logsdon Farmhouse Ales and Solera Brewing in Parkdale — you get another, almost equally impressive comparative.

Here’s the numbers, from the Oregon Brewers Guild web site, and using the latest U.S. census figures.

City                                        Population                   Breweries                Per capita

Portland                                  583,776                                47                                1 : 12,420

Hood River                              7,167                                    4                                   1 : 1,791

Hood River County               22,346                                  6                                   1 : 4,469

Any way you look at it, this is impressive. We rule!

Now, could someone please pour me a beer?

10 comments on “Hood River puts Portland to shame in number of breweries per capita
  1. Actually Vermont has the most per state and per individual town/city – Lyndonville with two breweries and a 2011 population of 1205 – so one per 602.5 people – but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Cheers.

  2. Stu

    Production is what matters – and in that regard there are two measures: 1) production for in state (Oregon) consumption; and 2) all other (out of state consumption) production

    the OLCC has PDF reports (privilege tax reports) that are a complete mess – but if you are willing to pour (pun intended) through each monthly report you can almost determine production for in state sales. To do that you must first associate each licensee with a county using the business name and adjust for missing/late production reports.

    Now that the caveats are out of the way, in 2012, Hood River County led in-state sale production with 342.9 pints per capita. Deschutes ranked second, at 186.7 pints per capita and Wallowa (think Terminal Gravity) ranked third, at 169.2 pints per capita. These three counties were by far the leaders of in state sales production.

    But I should point out that if we could track/include out of state sales, Deschutes County would probably be ranked first.

    • Thanks, Dalles. Great perspective. Personally, the only number that matters is in-house consumption (my house, that is).

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