Leave Town For a Week...

Wow, big doings. First off, the beeronomist caught an important piece in the Toronto Sun describing the bad barley crop in Western Canada. Which, you hardly need me to tell you, isn't a great thing. (The effect on climate change on brewing will inevitably be bad, and may cause more than higher prices.) Speaking of higher prices, Bill has the latest quarterly Portland Beer Price Index out, and for the first time in long while, prices are ticking upward. A regular reader of beer blogs elsewhere, I'll note that people have been complaining a lot lately about a spike in prices. Thanks to the PBPI, I know that we haven't seen that here--which either means that everyone always thinks prices go up, but Bill's the only one doing a survey of prices so we know that's not true in Portland, or prices are more stable here. My guess is the latter, and I attribute it to the amazing bounty of products, which keep prices low.

Next we have the news that Laurelwood's Chad Kennedy, one of my favorite brewers and one of Oregon's most underrated, is decamping to Bend to start a brewery. Angelo has the full details. If it seems that Bend has a king hell lot of breweries for a town the size of the crowd at a Timbers game, there's a very good reason: it does. Jon Abernathy, who has been covering the bend scene for six or more years (since blogs will save us, I attribute the ferment to him), is stunned by the development. His blog's sidebar now lists ten active breweries and six in development. Let us not forget that the city is home to Deschutes, the fifth largest craft brewery and 11th largest American brewery.

Oh, and speaking of the Timbers, the New York Times was sufficiently moved by their coolness to devote an article to them.