|Photo credit: Scottwwwwwww|
In our Portland, I have a list of brewpubs for first-timers that relies heavily on this "local" element (crossed with the factors of good beer, food, and ambiance). Deschutes' in the Pearl, with its crazy chainsaw art, reminds you of pioneer Oregon. Bikey Hopworks is tres Rose City. And for that necessary crunch you must have in any full Portland meal, the Lucky Lab. (If you visit and don't smell ganja, patchouli oil, and dog, you have done something wrong.) Indeed, even though the food is average and the beer even worse, I often recommend Kennedy School, just because I know the only place people will ever see something like it is Oregon.
To their credit, The Street did place Walking Man in their top ten. If had to visit a single brewpub from out of state (or country), they would learn a lot about the Pacific Northwest by stopping off in Stevenson. So there's that.
* The list-making, statistically-magnetized side of me suggests you could use these four dimensions: beer (6 pts), food (5), ambiance (4), and local color (5), scale them, and score brewpubs. So Lucky Lab would get a 14 (4, 1, 4, and 5) while Deschutes would get a 16.5 (6, 3.5, 3, 4). But the part of me that knows lists are futile says, "this warrants only a footnote mention."