Sam is Dead in PDX

Good luck trying to find some Sam Adams Boston Lager in Portland. It's been a long time since I've bothered to look for any--I need it for symbolic purposes for a little party that begins this afternoon--and I had no idea what a rarity it has become.  The five sixers that constitute the usual stock at my local Fred Meyer* were long raided, and shoppers could not bring themselves to snag that last sixer of Sam Adams Light.  There were a few Rebel IPAs left--but as symbolism goes, "west-coast style IPA" doesn't really get it done.

Great beer selection; no Boston Lager. (source)
So off I went to Plaid Pantry**.  Apparently they don't stock it at all.  (Thirty brands of local beer, a few mass markets, but nothing from Boston Cincinnati. Then to Zupan's***.  Nyet.  Finally a hail Mary to Belmont Station, one of Portland's best bottle shops--and success!  Ordering maven Chris Ormand had the good sense to make sure some Boston Lager was on the shelves for just such an occasion.  I think there's something instructive in this story, but I'm not entirely sure what it is.  Just that, I suppose, a beer I thought was absolutely ubiquitous turns out not to be.  Good thing Jim Koch has that cider thing to fall back on.  Had I wanted a sixer of Angry Orchard, I could have gotten that anywhere.

*Fred Meyer ("Freddy's" to locals) is an old local supermarket chain.  It's owned by Kroger, but Fred Meyer was beloved to locals, and the home office--also in Cincinnati--made the wise decision to leave the name.  The stores are giant and have hundreds of beers and ciders for sale.

**Plaid Pantry is a local convenience-store chain

***Zupan's is a local high-end food market chain.  Also a huge selection of beer.  That we have so many weird local businesses is probably also instructive, but we'll leave that rumination for later.
Jeff Alworth2 Comments