When I think of Walla Walla, I think of wine and the upcoming North American Wine Bloggers Conference. I have to admit that beer doesn’t usually enter that equation for me. I am glad that Geoff Kaiser, of Seattle Beer News, is a smart guy and was sure to include breweries in his trip into Walla Walla wine country.

I should know better, I know that most wine makers enjoy beer. You look in any fridge in a winery and you are probably going to find some beer. During crush, you might even find a keg in that fridge.

“It takes a lot of good beer to make great wine”

I hear it so often and from so many wine makers that is feels like an irrefutable fact. Geoff also mentioned that he heard that phrase over and over again on his trip. So, why was I so surprised about a beer trip in Walla Walla Wine country? I mean, I do write a wine and BEER blog for heaven’s sake. I have written before about beer being the “poor, forgotten cousin to Washington Wine” and I think Geoff’s article helps prove that point. Or at least my surprise about the article does. Washington beer marketing has struggled in the past , due in part to the historical connections of wine-rich and beer-poor dichotomy. How many times have we heard

“Champagne tastes on a beer budget”

In addition, there is a lot of naviete about the quality of Washington beer. The Washington Beer Commission recognizes those obstacles and the Washington Beer Blog reported that they have hired a new Executive Director, Eric Radovich, to lead the marketing effort of craft brewers in Washington State. Congratulations to Eric and we look forward to meeting him soon

Thanks to Geoff’s work, we have quite a few additions to make to our next Walla Walla adventure. It will be a wine and BEER adventure indeed!

Special thanks to the NW Beer Guide (Pickled Liver) who informed me about their post from 2008 about where to find good beer in Walla Walla wine country. I should point out that my tour bus for the Wine Blogger’s Conference 09 was the envy of all because we bought beer to cleanse our palate after a long day of Napa wines and in preparation of a long evening of tasting Portugese wines. Sounds like we will have ample opportunity to refresh our palates with beer in Walla Walla next June.