Attention citizens: Mayor Tom Potter has announced that beer is good for community health!
In a ceremony held Friday at Bridgeport Brewery's slickly remodeled flagship brewpub, Potter declared Portland to be “Beertown, USA.” He lauded the city for having the highest number of breweries in the country, and recognized Bridgeport as Oregon's oldest craft brewery.
Bridgeport Brewmaster Karl Ockert presented the beaming Mayor with a lovely dusty-rose sash and swore him in as Honorary Mayor of Beertown. As he shrugged into the new symbol of his office, some 30 gathered constituents craned forward to hear their new leader speak.
The Mayor of Beertown called his new title, “a great privilege and honor.” Potter put a glass beneath the freshly tapped Beertown Brown Ale, Bridgeport's new seasonal brew.
“I pour this ceremonial pint in recognition of citizen beer lovers,” he said.
While I was pleased with the shout-out, I first began to question my new leader's credentials when the ceremonial pint came out as foamy as a high school Pabst keg vomit-fest. But I forgot the amateur execution as I was handed my own half pint of the beer.
Potter held up his glass in a toast, then sipped the frothy brew. “That's good stuff,” he said.
I enjoyed it quite a bit myself. Beertown Brown is a smooth, sweet ale with a crisp finish. It lacks a little body, but is eminently drinkable.
I caught up with the Malty Mayor after he'd finished his reuben, and asked him how beer played into Portland's community and economy. He gestured to the brass and glass of the remodeled Bridgeport Brewery. “We used to have a lot of dark and dingy bars,” he said. Now he says there are many better-lit places for family and friends.
“It's a great way to socialize,” he said, “and it's great business for Portland.” He went on to suggest that Portland's large number of 18-34-year-olds could form important social bonds in brewpubs like Bridgeport. It's always nice when elected officials encourage my deviancy.
But I must end with another minor criticism: Mr. Potter, you must understand that with your new office comes new responsibility. You may have been rushed by some appointment at your old job (Mayor of Portland). Or you may have had some sneaking insecurities about guzzling beer in front of the gathered press.
But sir, as one beer lover to another, surely you must have understood your offense when you left half your beer unfinished. That, my good man, is called a wounded soldier—and citizens of Beertown expect a sworn leader not to leave casaulties on the battlefield.