Monday, May 08, 2006

Welcome to the Blog O' Fabulous Beer!!!

This Blog is a companion site to the Fabulous Map O' Beer, hosted on

Q: What is the purpose of the Fabulous Blog O' Beer?

A: The purpose of the blog is to provide a forum for expanded beer discussion and information. So, while the Platial site is great for talking about, say, the beers of Full Sail Brewing Company, it's not quite the most appropriate place for comparing the seasonal offerings of Full Sail in comparison with Anderson Valley Brewing Company. That place is here.

Q: What is the Fabulous Map O' Beer?

A: The Fabulous Map O' Beer is a website hosted on, and maintained by Garlynn Woodsong. It is open to public input:

Fabulous Map O' Beer

Q: (Related to the map): How did you find all these places, and what does it take for a place to make your list?

A: I've been to most of these places. There are a small number which made the list because their fame precedes them. These are places like the Olympic Club in Centralia, WA, which I would absolutely love to visit someday but have not yet been to. I've added it to the map partially as a reminder to myself to go pay it a visit someday. However, most of these places are familiar to me, and if I sense that a lot of people are starting to use this map, I'd be happy to come back and provide some more information, like my favorite beers, dishes, live entertainment, etc. Hopefully, people viewing the map will reply with their own responses in these categories.

Also, hopefully people will cross over between the blog and the map, such that a Top Ten Beer List discussion on the blog will include links to the top ten places on the map. Or even spawn a Top Ten map!!

A place will make the list if it meets one of three criteria:

1) It makes its own beer, bottles it, and provides for tasting of the beer on the premises (in the case of Lagunitas, this is very informal, but I've managed to drop by and have them pour me a 32-degree pint right off their secondary fermentation tank, so I know that they will do tastings).
2) It makes its own beer, and serves it at a brewpub. The brewpub will make the map. This applies to, say, all of the McMenamins pubs that don't have a brewpub on site, as well as all of the Rogue facilities outside of Newport (the Rogue pub in Portland doesn't brew its own beer, though it does distill its own liquor).
3) It serves beer that is of such high quality that, even though it is not made on the premises or by the same entity that funs the facility, the place is still worth mentioning as a great place to stop in for a beer. The Toronado in San Francisco is of this type, because it has such an exhaustive selection of Belgian imports, as well as a great selection of domestic micro-brews.

I often will purposefully not include a place, such as Pyramid, where I wasn't impressed enough with the quality of the beer or atmosphere. There are other places that haven't made the list simply because I haven't visited them, or don't remember visiting them, or haven't heard of them.

Q: Why this map?
A: My goal with this map is to raise awareness about the quantity and quality of beer that we have available to use in our region. I have friends from Europe who tell me that we have a larger selection of beer available to us here on the West Coast than anywhere else in the world... including traditional beer-havens such as Ireland, England and Germany. Their beer might be delicious, but we tend to have more styles available to us in each location. Just try finding a decent Bock in Ireland, or a decent Stout or Belgian Ale in Germany! OK, Belgium itself might have us beat in most categories... but you might still have difficulty finding an IPA or a Porter there. I'm trying to put our great beer selection on the map.

Q: What next? for what next:

1: Pubs Near Transit (for the Portland and SF metro regions): So people know which pubs they don't have to drive to get to when it's raining out and they don't want to ride their bike.
2: Restaurants by region: Starting with the ones I can walk to at lunch.

Q: I'd like to give readers a little bit of information about you, so I wonder if I could get your full name and where you live. (Obviously somewhere on the West Coast.)

I'm Garlynn Woodsong, and I'm from Portland originally... grew up in in the Woodstock neighborhood, attended the Metropolitan Learning Center for 5th through 10th grades, attended PSU for junior and senior years of college and graduated with a B.A. in Geography. I currently live in San Francisco's sunny Mission District and work in Oakland, though I also own a house in the Woodstock neighborhood and hope to return to live in Portland as soon as I can find suitable employment up there.


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