Apr 28 2009 4:59 pm

more evidence of Pennsylvania's greatness

As we all know, Pennsylvania is the greatest state in the nation.  While beauty, historical significance, and geographical-wombness of Matt Dunn top the list of reasons why yinz recognize the Keystone State as being so great, the fishing and the beer certainly round out the top five.  But trying to decide between the two is like trying to decide which of Kim Kardashian’s spandex clad ham hocks you’d rather watch bobble up and down on a bicycle seat.  Ladies, if this doesn’t move you, consider which of Daniel Craig’s (thanks Megan) taught slabs of beef you would rather watch ripple in contractile concentration beneath his boy-short Speedos as he gallops upon the beach? 

Despite the difficulty in adjudicating this epic contest of strength and influence, certain things have come to light which, given the nature of all this new shit and of my steely, ironbound will, should at least allow a fair and unbiased attempt at arbitration.    

Tom Chandler, of fly fishing internet media juggernaut fame, recently posted a link to a map showing how many GABF (Great American Beer Festival) medals each state has won from 1987-2007.  Needless to say, Pennsylvania does quite well.  But GABF medal count is a notoriously problematic metric, being that a brewery must actually enter beers in the contest, and not all, or even a significant portion, do.  Similarly, Missouri's high medal count stands out like chew spit stains on a white shirt, Flat Branch, Schlafly and a handful of others notwithstanding.  When Anhueser-Busch is in your state, and the GABF has categories that AB can enter, you’re going to have a slight edge.  Same thing goes for Colorado and Wisconsin.     

The cool and more credible thing about Pennsylvania’s GABF history is that they do very well in the lager categories.  Good lagers are hard to make, particularly on a craft-brewer scale. 

Thus when I saw Eric Asimov’s latest beer tasting panel in the NY Times, I was not surprised that PA brewed pilsners came in first, second, and third, and took a total of five of the top ten spots.  Also, did I mention that Yuengling is poised to take the largest American brewer distinction away from Sam Adams? 

It seems, then, that beer holds a small lead over fishing for the coveted forth spot on the Why Pennsylvania Is The Greatest State In All The Nation list.  I’m going fishing in PA next week, the other bit of new shit that has come to light, so we’ll have to wait till then to see if beer can hold its tenuous grip on glory.

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