After a few months of leisure, people were not asking, “Don, how do you and Janet like retirement?” Instead, it was, “How’s your beer tour coming and am I invited to join you for one of your visits?” So in August, with some help from my tech-savvy son-in-law, I started the blog.
The underlying motivation for this project occurred several years ago when on a trip to the beach, I finally succumbed to my long-term urge to have a beer with the locals at Lumpy’s Landing in Dundee, Oregon.
It was a wonderful ninety minutes and made me think that many, if not most bars, have their own noteworthy character, patrons and ambiance. This premise was reinforced by the following words of wisdom:
“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as a good tavern” Samuel Johnson
By August 2012, I had reviewed 23 bars – all in Portland except one in Port Towsend, Washington. With one exception which was somewhat disappointing, all establishments were great to visit and validated my premise that each bar or pub has an interesting history and distinguishing characteristics.
With retirement travel, the “journey” expanded and we started hitting bars in Europe, Alaska, various parts of the US from the Southeast to Montana and Wyoming and Oregon’s coast and desert country. Fortunately, my fraternity brother, Jud Blakely, came through with a new logo which better fit the revised goals!
One of the other features which has been enjoyable and well received is what has become “Thebeerchaser-of-the-Quarter.” I have met and continue to meet interesting individuals whose stories deserve to be told.
These individuals or sometimes groups (such as the crew of the USS Constitution) may or may not have anything to do with beer or bars, but have made a contribution to society that I want to highlight.
My “honorees” have included authors, academicians, war heroes (including the aforementioned Jud Blakely – athletes and/or teams such as the legendary Oregon State University Giant Killers, lawyers and other notable characters including the first – retired chemical engineer, Harold Schlumberg.
And I should also mention my only Beerchaser-of-the-Year, my wife of 40 years, Janet, who has accompanied to many of these venues (except dive bars….)
People have asked me about my affinity for dive bars – one of the categories you will see as a tab on the blog header. It should be noted that the term “dive bar” is not pejorative and a label of distinction as noted by the following quote:
“Some dives have vomit-caked toilet seats in the bathroom; others have cracked vinyl booths in the barroom. Some have nicotine-stained murals dating back to the Depression; others have drink prices that seemingly haven’t wavered since then……..
But really, no collection of characteristics can be melded to truly define what makes a bar a dive…..The term ‘dive’ is bestowed with a spoonful of love….What they have in common aren’t so much attributes, but a state of mind — you just know one when you see one.” (Seattle’s Best Dive Bars by Mike Seely – pages 9-10)
Almost nine years later, I have visited and reviewed 375 watering holes – 125 Portland area establishments and another 250 outside the City of Roses.
You can see a comprehensive list of the watering holes in both categories by using the pull-down tab on the blog header, which can also let you delve into the Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter’s fascinating stories.
I hope you enjoy the blog and encourage your comments, and of course, suggestions on new venues to visit.
Cheers! Don Williams