Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I wanted to alert you to a very important election.
No, not that one in November.
One going right now.
The website, which was launched in 2008 as “a dynamic entertainment, news and lifestyle network,” is conducting a poll to determine “BeerCity USA!”
Now tell me that isn’t more fun than what we are getting nightly on TV these days.
About three weeks ago (I’m late getting to this party; sorry) the website asked for nominations for the top city for beer lovers. In all, 6,701 nominations were cast, ten times more than the contest for the previous year. The cities that received 100 votes in the nomination poll were added to 15 finalists from last year’s contest to form a ballot of 31 cities for the 2012 poll.
Now voting is being conducted to determine the winner. The poll closes on May 15, and you may vote only once by going to
I should mention here that the impetus behind this poll is an appreciation of craft beer, which doesn’t necessarily rule out the Budweiser-Miller-Coors lovers but does explain the current poll leader and the past winners.
Of the latter, Asheville, North Carolina, has won the contest three times. The city offers up more than 50 local brews from nine different breweries with more on the way.
Sierra Nevada, out of Chico, California, is opening its East Coast brewery near the city next year, and New Belgium (Fat Tire), out of Fort Collins, Colorado, will follow in 2014.
But in the early 2012 voting, Asheville was running behind Grand Rapids, Michigan, for first place with St. Louis a distant third. Grand Rapids had 25 percent of the early votes, Asheville 23, and St. Louis 13.
No other city was in double figures in percentage of the total vote. In fact, fourth on the list with less than half that of St. Louis was was Bend, Oregon, with 6 percent followed closely by its neighbor, Portland, with 5 percent.
Asheville I understand. I like the products out of Highland Brewery, and I have been told that’s not even the best brewery in town. St. Louis I understand as well. The city is filled with local breweries that put its most famous beer producer, Anheuser-Busch, to shame.
And Oregon as a state puts out some great microbrews. Too bad Portland and Bend were splitting the vote. (The same is true in Colorado with Denver, Durango, and Fort Collins).
But Grand Rapids?
Maybe someone can help me out there. No other Michigan city is even listed among the qualifiers.
A quick Internet search reveals that there are several microbreweries in the area, along with the interesting item that just last month the state of Alabama barred one of its brands because of “profanity” in its label.
The name of the beer?
Dirty Bastard.
I’m thinking as well that might have hit too close to home in Alabama.
Anyway, you might check out the site and cast your vote. I couldn’t vote for my own city because there is no way Miami would have gotten enough initial votes to be nominated.
So I voted for St. Louis.

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