Those of you who read this site and do not frequent Jeff Alworth’s Beervana blog are likely few and far between. Alworth’s knack for words reveal a truly mindful respect for craft beer. The Satori is his year-end award allocated for a singular beer that shines above the rest in the readily available Oregon marketplace. After staging a public poll for which he takes his readers’ tastes into consideration, Alworth crowns a champion. This year, unsurprisingly, his declaration heralded the fabulous work of Alex Ganum end company at Portland’s Upright Brewing.
With any beer preference polling, you can count on campaigning and ballot-stuffing, but in the end, it was Alworth who made the final stamp. As unsurprising as a single brewery claiming multiple people’s choice awards in the pages of Northwest Brewing News, or the fact that Ashville, NC could actually challenge Portland, OR for thee “Beertown USA” (still laughing about this one), you can count on a push via social media to sway the projected public opinion relating to such superlatives. Thank goodness, our man, Jeff, had good sense to disregard such clicksmanship. He writes:
Four is a truly original beer, though its lineage is long. I suspect that a time-traveler could take this beer to Southern Belgium in the 1880s and, with its wheat and lactic zing, it would be recognizable to the locals who loved tart, rustic beers. Nothing like it is regularly available in Oregon, and it is a great addition to our slate of regular beers. I’m pleased to call it my Satori Award winner for 2009–and I hope it will continue to be brewed here for a good, long time.
I could not agree more with him, nor could I be happier to see my friend Alex win the award. Outside of being friends with Ganum, it is apparent to me that his creativity and outside-the-box brewing is a welcomed breath of fresh air to all the hop bombs being brewed these days. Kudos to Alex Ganum and Gerritt Ill for their imaginative recipe development that landed Cascade’s Ron Gansberg and company the 2008 Satori, and especially to Jeff Alworth for one hell of a killer blog. Cheers!