Drinking Local in Washington

Kendall Jones has a very nice post at the Washington Beer Blog. It illustrates at least one of the key differences between the two states of the Pacific Northwest. We drink local. Washington, ever more worldly and cosmopolitan, less so.
Here is a depressing fact that many people don’t know. In Washington, Washington-brewed craft beer is fourth in terms of sales. According to Heather McClung (President of the Washington Brewers Guild), California, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska all sell more beer in Washington than our local producers. (I admit, I’m not sure of the order.) How, you may ask, can that be? Instead of thinking of it as four states, think of it as four beers: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, New Belgium Fat Tire, Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, and Alaskan Amber. We certainly are not as provincial as Oregon, where 11% of all beer consumed is produced in Oregon, but it is sad that Washington beer is in fourth place.
I have been thinking about Northwest beer as I complete this book proposal. One of the great virtues of our state is that we are so parochial. I tend not to make a distinction between Oregon and Washington so much--as a region, our beers are pretty much of a piece--but I might feel differently if I lived north of the river and had to confront these stats. On the other hand, if you treated the two states as a single entity, I wonder if we wouldn't collectively drink mostly local beer?

In any case, Washingtonians should get on the stick and head down to the local brewpub. And you should head over and read the full post.