First Episode of Beer Artisan: The Birth of Beervana and Craft Beer

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Craft beer has changed tremendously over the past 20 years. And while a good majority of cities in the U.S. have taken to craft brew consumption, there’s one place on the map that trumps all others: Portland, OR. Also known as Beervana. Where the beer flows like wine.

In this kickoff episode of Foodable Network’s new show, “Beer Artisan,” host Kerry Finsand, founder of Taplister, takes us on a journey filled with hops, perfect pours, and interviews with some of Portland’s best brewers, including Cascade Brewing and Widmer Brothers Brewing Company.

“Beer Artisan” is a show that covers all things 'craft beer' for the industry -- from production quality and scalability to the best equipment and interesting ingredients. The show explores the movement that has transformed America from a country dominated by big-label beers, into one with more than 3,400 craft breweries. "Beer Artisan" serves to tell the story of this phenomenal culture shift, as well as introduce the passionate personalities that made it happen — and what they went through to get here.

Watch the full episode to get a behind-the-scenes look into what makes Portland the ultimate Beervana.

As a bonus, Kerry has compiled a list of five underrated craft beer cities, below:

5 Underrated Craft Beer Cities

1. Santa Fe & Albuquerque, NM: According to the New Mexico Brewers Guild, the state does not have a shortage of brewing territory. New Mexico, also known as the “land of enchantment,” is home to more than two dozen established microbreweries and brew pubs. Albuquerque breweries include Red Door Brewing and Lizard Tail Brewing, and Santa Fe breweries include Duel Brewing Company and Second Street Brewery, among many others.

2. Cleveland, OH: Ohio’s craft breweries have more than doubled in the past three years, with 58 in 2012 to 130+ today, according to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. In Cleveland alone, there are six breweries worth noting, says, including Great Lakes Brewing Co., Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., and Fat Head’s Brewery.

3. Portland, ME: Two of Portland’s most notable breweries include Allagash Brewing Company and Shipyard Brewing Co. Portland is also home to well-known organic brewer Peak Organic. Aside from a long list of breweries (more than 15), Portland has craft beer bars to match. The Great Lost Bear, for example, boasts 69 taps pouring local and regional ales.

4. Kalamazoo, MI: According to Discover Kalamazoo, Michigan ranks No. 5 in the U.S. when it comes to number of breweries, microbreweries, and brewpubs. And Kalamazoo continues to be listed by national publications for its beer scene. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Kalamazoo houses Bell’s Brewery, Michigan’s oldest microbrewery. Breweries found in Kalamazoo include Arcadia Brewing, Boatyard Brewing Company, and Latitude 42 Brewing Company.

5. Eugene, OR: When you think of craft beer in relation to Oregon, most first think of Portland. Don’t underestimate Eugene. Enter The Eugene Ale Trail, where guests can discover new beers and brewers easily, thanks to a nearby cluster of craft beer tasting rooms that spotlight the region’s top breweries. Oakshire Brewing, Falling Sky Brewery, and Ninkasi Brewing Company are just a few breweries that call Eugene home.

First Look: Foodable Show "Beer Artisan" Will Explore America's Craft Beer Culture

No matter how you slice it, craft beer is killing it.

In 2014, volume share for craft brewers hit an all-time high of 11%, up from 7.8% the year before. According to Foodable Industry Expert Bill Sysak, the craft beer ambassador for Stone Brewing Co., there has also been a huge growth in breweries throughout the past six years — a 50% growth rate.

So it seemed only fair we give love to the brew scene the best way we, at Foodable, know how — with a show of its own. Because when it comes to the craft beer world, there is so much to explore. From production quality, scalability and the seemingly limitless varieties to equipment and ingredients, craft beer is more than meets the tap. And while those attributes are equally important, perhaps one of the best parts of craft beer (aside from the actual beer, of course) is the community that surrounds it. 

We invite you to be part of the endless discovery of this passionate craft that has taken America by storm. 

“Beer Artisan,” hosted by Taplister Founder & Consultant Kerry Finsand, explores the movement that has transformed America from a country dominated by big label beers, into one with more than 3,400 craft breweries. The first season will dive deep into the Portland, Oregon craft beer scene, one of the most iconic regions of craft culture.

“Beer Artisan” will serve to tell the story of this phenomenal culture shift, as well as introduce the passionate personalities that made — and continue to make — it happen. 

Get a first look at the “Beer Artisan” trailer above, and make sure to follow @beerartisan on Twitter for more information!