GOOD

Beer as Unifier: The Tipsy Portland-Sapporo Connection

An entire ocean may separate them, but Portland and Japan have more in common than you’d think.

An entire ocean may separate them, but Portland and Japan have more in common than you’d think.

In Portland you can have a dose of Japanese architecture at the Japanese Gardens, proclaimed the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. And you can hop on a direct flight from Portland to Tokyo, and reach the country in about 10.5 hours. It may come as no surprise then that the capital of Oregon’s oldest sister city is a Japanese one: Sapporo. It’s such a longstanding relationship that it even has its own association. Both cities lie at about the same latitude, and given their natural settings, both have an appreciation of the outdoors.

But if there’s one thing that really links Sapporo and Portland, it’s beer.

Home to the famous Sapporo Brewery, Sapporo has exported its beer around the world, paired with sushi and udon from New York to Paris. On the other side of the Atlantic, Portland is Mecca for beer lovers, with 52 microbreweries within city limits according to the Oregon Brewers Guild. In fact, Oregon’s craft beer industry is worth over $2.4 billion, and its so strong that Saccharomyces cerevisiae (in laymen’s terms: yeast) might soon be the official state microbe.

Sapporo’s beer history dates back to the Meji period (late 1800s to early 1900s in Japan) when wild hops were discovered on Hokkaido. The city of Sapporo was soon chosen as the place to brew beer. A man named Seibei Nakagawa who had recently returned from Germany with a Beer Brewery Engineering License in hand was chosen to run the operation, and Sapporo was officially founded in 1876.

Portland’s beer history goes back to about the same period, when German brewer Henry Saxton arrived in the Oregon Territory, and seeing the natural resources available—specifically soft water from the mountains, and hops—began brewing. He was joined by fellow German Henry Weinhard in 1856 and the Portland beer industry was born.

A taste for craft beer has hit Sapporo just like its sister city. Jibiru—the term for local, regional or craft beer—is what you want if you’re after a microbrew in Japan. After the de-regulation of the brewing market in the early 1990s, the craft-brewing scene in Japan has been growing, home to beer competitions, and world-renowned beers. Even some sake makers are ditching their standard cultural roots and opting to make craft beers instead. There’s even a bilingual magazine devoted to the industry, Japan Beer Times.

In Sapporo you’ll find Beer Inn Mugishutei, a hub for foreign and domestic craft beers opened by American expat Phred Kaufman in 1980. The Oregon connections don't stop there. Kaufman has been importing Oregon’s own Rogue Ales to Japan since 1994, and has even worked to develop beers specially for the Japanese market, under the name Ezo Beers.

While the city’s namesake beer might be the biggest pull—it has a museum dedicated to it after all—there are plenty of places to get a microbrew in Sapporo. Ask a Portlander for a top tourist destination and they’ll tell you Powell’s, the local independent bookstore. Books and beer come together in Sapporo as well at Adanonki, a used bookstore that has a rotating selection of craft beers.

Both cities love to showcase their beer. From July to August Sapporo hosts the Sapporo Beer Festival, and around the same time is Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland.

Sister cities with a love for craft brews? We’ll drink to that.

Want a taste of the two? It’s hard to choose, but here are five locations in Portland and Sapporo that will give you a good feel for the local scene:

In Sapporo:


North Island Brewery, Sapporo: The place to go if you want to test local craft beers. They have eight of their craft beers on tap, including one that won the gold medal at the Japan Asia Beer Cup.

Beer Inn Mugishutei, Sapporo: Mostly imported craft beers, but the owner Phred Kaufman is a centerpiece of the local microbrew scene, which makes it certainly worth a visit.

In Portland:

Apex, Portland: With 50 beers on tap, and ample bike parking, nothing screams “Portland” more than Apex. An ideal spot in the summer to grab a beer in the bar’s huge outdoor seating area.

Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Portland: Cascade Brewing does beer a little different, offering up 16 taps of sour beers.

Green Dragon, Portland: 62 beers on tap, and most of them local, the Green Dragon has been named one of America’s top 100 places to drink beer by Imbibe Magazine.

This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship—weekly steps to being an active, engaged global citizen. This week: Learn About Your Town's Sister Cities. Follow along and join the conversation at good.is/citizenship and on Twitter at #goodcitizen.

Beer image via Shutterstock

Articles
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet