Pacific North West

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Photo by Phil Romans on Flickr. Some rights reserved.


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David Whitley finds out how a great engineering project was altered in order to save a fish that the US’ Pacific Northwest would be lost without.

In the hotel lobby stands my very unofficial tour guide. “Howdy,” she says. “I’m going to take you to see something I think you ought to see. It’s probably a bit off the PR agenda, but I don’t think you can grasp Seattle without it.” Pam Mandel is someone I know through Twitter. We have never previously met, but she wants to take me to Ballard, a suburb that was originally settled by Scandinavians. We are about to descend on the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. This, on the surface of it, sounds like the sort of utterly rubbish attraction you’d be taken to by a well-meaning but clueless elderly relative in their tedious Northamptonshire village.
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David Whitley discovers why Seattle and the  Pacific Northwest are possibly the greatest places in the world to drink beer right now.

As anyone who has ever been on one will probably know, brewery tours are probably the most boring things on earth. It’s generally a case of being subjected to a marketing barrage, then yawning through tedious explanations of how various ingredients pass from big metal thing to big metal thing. Frankly, everyone just wants to skip to the free beer sampling at the end. If making beer was really interesting, we’d all be doing it.