Thankfully, it doesn’t look like we’ll lose to Boston. But Louisville, Kentucky — home of the Kentucky Derby, the Slugger, and, apparently, a couple of “Irish neighborhoods” — is kicking Portland’s ass in the contest to become America’s Twin City to Bushmills, Northern Ireland.
Local whiskey drinkers, unite — we can’t let this happen! At press time, the score was Louisville 52 percent, Portland 32 percent, and Boston 16 percent, according to the Bushmills Web site, where drinking-age voters can vote as many times as they choose in the contest sponsored by Bushmills Irish Whiskey to celebrate 400 years of distilling.
The polls close on St. Patrick’s Day, when, in true Irish fashion, we’ll all be too drunk to turn on our computers. So vote today, folks — in addition to proving that our drinking credentials are stronger than Louisville’s, a victory would put $20,000 into the coffers of local non-profit Southern Maine Share Our Strength (SOS), and another 20 grand toward citywide responsible drinking programs. (Portland was nominated by star chef Jeff Landry, of Eve’s at the Garden at the Portland Harbor Hotel, who also serves as a director at SOS, which combats childhood hunger.)
Now that we’ve come this far, losing to Louisville would be ludicrous. Evan Williams, Jim Beam, and Maker’s Mark are all Kentucky bourbons, for goodness’ sake!
In case you need more convincing, we’ve provided Bushmills’s criteria for Twin City status, along with a few extra reasons why Portland deserves the title — and the cash.
PRIDE OF PLACE Unlike Boston, we don’t have a massive inferiority complex about our larger city to the south. And really, when it comes to local pride, aren’t lobster fests inherently cooler (and more gastronomically satisfying) than horse races?
HOSPITALITY Let me put it this way — I moved to Portland a little less than a year ago, and I’ve only been screamed at on the street once. And I have it on good authority (i.e., this describes my life) that “locals love to enjoy a whiskey while swapping stories in the home of a good friend.”
CRAFTSMANSHIP Not only is this area well-known for its own expertly crafted spirits (Shipyard, Gritty’s, Casco Bay, Geary’s, etc.), but Portland’s arts scene is hopping. Why, just last week, I enjoyed a wide variety of craftsmanship while bouncing around the city on First Friday.
HUMOR AND WIT Um, hello? Have you heard of Bob Marley? (We hear he’s a lot funnier with a glass of whiskey.)
Vote for our proud city at www.Bushmills400years.com. And then vote again.