How Does Bend Support So Many Breweries?

OPB radio's David Nogueras has an absolutely terrific piece about the Bend brewing scene. (Follow that link so you can listen to it, which is the more enjoyable medium of consumption--or click this link to download it.) He interviews a raft of people for the piece, including Larry Sidor and our man in Bend Jon Abernathy. In a five-minute piece, Nogueras manages to get listeners up to speed on the constellation of issues revolving around Bend and beer.

But the most interesting part is a section where he answers a question I've been asking a lot lately: how in the world can such a small city support so many breweries?

"I think there is but I think you can’t say we have 80 thousand people. I think you need to go talk to Doug and say how many visitor’s do we have coming though in a year," [Sidor] said.

Doug is Doug La Placa. He's the President of Bend’s tourism bureau, Visit Bend.

"Bend receives over 2 million individual tourists a year," La Placa said.

Ah ha: it's the tourists. Of course, whether two million tourists and 80,000 residents can support 47 breweries* remains an open question. One we'll see tested real time.