According to beer guru Charlie Papazian, Asheville, NC won the title of “Beer City USA” for a second straight year in an annual online poll. No doubt Asheville is a cool place, like that hip uncle who can steal the show at a family reunion. For a city of approximately 80,000 people to have 9 breweries, well, that’s impressive. The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority also touts “a world-renowned specialty beer store, and five annual beer festivals.” Well done, Asheville. But know that there’s a funk, soul brother to the east just waiting to break into the rankings.
There’s room for Durham on the leader board. We deserve it. The curious thing about the poll: Asheville absolutely crushed the competition, taking down second place San Diego by 31% points! There’s no reason the Bull City can’t vie for the crown. Heck, all we really need to do is get the word out to brew enthusiasts the day of the vote. Why not throw a big party? Bring your laptop, cast your ballot, enjoy a beer. Durham’s Convention and Visitors Bureau could organize, then capitalize on this. It’s not just a ploy, we have plenty of beer culture to celebrate.
Three breweries, World Beer Festival, our own awesome, specialty beer store (Sam’s Quik Shop), dozens of different taps around the city, a beer magazine (All About Beer), a homebrewing club, a homebrew supply store with more than 40 varieties of grains. Durham’s been on the beer map for awhile now, playing host to one of the first brewpubs in the state, Weeping Radish, in 1988. Are you feeling the sudsy love?
Showing up in the ratings wouldn’t just be a symbolic maneuver. “Accentuate the positive,” right? It’s a chance for some Bull City image building, which would help tourism, plus help cultivate our beer city development.
So let’s HOP to it, Durham. Mobilize, organize for next year’s vote. “Durham in 2012!” My straw poll tells me we at least belong in the top 10.