The American city dubbed ‘Beervana’ is seeking to build on the growing numbers of Australians visiting for the purposes of beer tourism.
A trade delegation from Portland and Oregon is currently touring Australia and New Zealand, with the state’s beer riches as its main selling point to travel media.
“We’ve been picking a theme each year, last year was bikes,” Travel Portland tourism manager Heather Anderson told Australian Brews News.
“We noticed more Australian visitors were coming to Portland and – we learnt this from our tourist suppliers – there is this notoriety of Portland and craft beer,” she said.
The delegation brought brewmasters from Portland’s BridgePort Brewing and Hopworks Urban Brewery along for the ride.
Anderson said many Australians were aware of the links between Little Creatures co-founder Phil Sexton and BridgePort.
“He created the IPA at BridgePort years ago, so there was this connection immediately,” she said.
“They’re going to have to be real beer nerds to understand who Phil Sexton is, absolutely. But in Portland and in Oregon, we’re all beer nerds!” said Anderson.
As at June this year, Oregon had 206 brewing companies operating 246 brewing facilities, of which 96 breweries are in the Portland metro area.
Anderson said beer is one element of a strong “makers culture” in Portland also extending to other arenas like coffee, chocolate and distilled spirits.