Best of The Northwest 2016: The NEW Non-List List

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Since I started The Pour Fool, back in late 2008, Best of The Northwest has been arguably the most popular feature of every calendar year. People love lists and I’m not even going to try to be modest: when I do a list, I work, like a freakin’ Trojan, to make sure it’s complete and fair and intelligent. Not everybody will agree with what’s in it, of course, but I have never once looked back and thought, “Damn, son, ya really half-assed it that time.”

BUT…over the past five years or so, I’ve argued the point that lists are inherently irrelevant; that crowd-sourced lists are suspect because the acumen of each rater is unknowable. That panels of experts are subject to peer pressure and personal prejudices and the insidious group-think that’s rife in almost every enclosed culture. That, worst of all, MOST lists labeled “Best Of” are, in fact, compiled by just whomever was around that day, whether they have any more qualifications than, “Uh, yeah, I visit breweries, occasionally.

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