On Saturday, Aug. 15 (2015), John Lovegrove of Portland, Oregon, along with beer writer Brian Yaeger and a film crew, completed the “Spirit of 77 Breweries Challenge” by visiting 77 Portland-area breweries within a 24-hour period. This broke Lovegrove’s 2012 record of visiting 50 breweries in one day, and it more than doubled his 2009 record of 34 breweries.
Yaeger (author of “Oregon Breweries” and “Red, White, and Brew: An American Beer Odyssey“) said the Challenge was less about drinking and more about setting a record that, logistically, could only be done in Portland.
The Challenge was filmed by Thom Roholt and his crew, Aaron Filipowsky and Haratic Yesiam, and it will be highlighted in a feature-length documentary called “PDX: Brew City,” which will chronicle how Portland became the Mecca of craft beer. A team of designated drivers and other contributors also helped with the Challenge.
Lovegrove and Yaeger each drank at least one ounce of beer at every brewery they visited. “I didn’t get nuts,” Lovegrove says. “I had eight pints over 19 hours. One pint at 7 a.m., another at 7 p.m. at brewery #50, and two pints at the end of the day. I wanted to remember the day, and I do. It was epic.”
Ironically, Guinness World Records, which was started by Guinness Brewery chairman Sir Hugh Beaver in the 1950s, no longer approves alcohol-related records because it “encourages excessive drinking.” Lovegrove plans to submit his accomplishment to recordsetter.com, instead.
Meanwhile, production continues on PDX: Brew City. Roholt and Lovegrove are currently interviewing the founders of Portland’s craft beer scene, as well as other brewers, journalists and politicians who made it possible for the metro area to support its nearly 100 breweries.