Some years ago, when Derek was still blogging at Beers Around Town (now sadly scrubbed from the internet entirely) (okay, not entirely), he declared Block 15 to be Oregon's finest brewery. This was after it had been open about a year. It was a bold claim and hotly disputed, but the more important point was this: some of the breweries doing the most interesting beer were the newest. Within a year of its first beer, you could have made the argument for Double Mountain, too. Upright? Could be.
The financial crisis dealt quite a blow brewery start-ups, which languished over the last couple years--but now all of a sudden we are awash in them again. Gigantic is due to open within weeks, and Boneyard, Flat Tail, The Commons, Logsdon Farmhouse, and Breakside (seems venerable, but their 2nd anniversary is yet on the horizon) have all opened to much deserved acclaim. And what about Solera, Pints, Occidental, Fire on the Mountain, Sasquatch, Harvester, and the dozen other brand-new ones I'm forgetting?
At some point this summer, once a few of the newer breweries have had a chance to get established, I'll do some polling to see what you think of the new breweries. For now, let me pose this question: if you had to drink beer from only Oregon breweries that were older than three years or younger than three years, which would you choose? Given the number of extraordinarily accomplished venerable breweries in this state (Hair of the Dog, Pelican, Caldera, Double Mountain, Widmer, Full Sail, Deschutes, etc.), this should be a no-brainer. My guess is it's not.
By the way, I turn in the first half of my book in about ten days, and I plan to go on a new-brewery odyssey and catch up on all these wonderful new places I have unforgivably ignored. I have no doubt some blogging will result.