Beckwith: Northwest wedding whiparound |

Beckwith: Northwest wedding whiparound

It’s difficult to describe a wedding to people who you don’t know. You could talk about the lovely outdoor ceremony with Mount Hood peaking between the trees as the backdrop. You could go into George R.R. Martin-style descriptions of the spreads: The crawfish boil complete with cheese straws at the rehearsal dinner and salmon and prime rib at the wedding. Obviously you have to mention the beautiful bride and that smile, impossible to replicate because her happiness is almost an aura.

But then when you get into the stories of the weekend that really matter, you lose them because it would take an hour to contextualize every person. It’s almost like telling someone about your dream.

There was basketball, I fell down, the groom and his cousin were in the rafters, Andy kept trying (and succeeding) to get bottle service at a dive bar, Lizzy kept yelling nonsense about how she could dance, uncle Jerry tried to do his Russian dance, his son then succeeded at the dance, and some Australian guys showed up on a bus.

For the family and friends who were at the wedding, that last paragraph was fantastic. For the rest of you, you‘re probably wondering what I’m talking about. Where is the structure? These things you’re saying make no sense. Did you find $5 afterward?

I could do that, but you don’t have time for a small novel and I don’t have the space for one either. So before I get into some relatable observations from a weekend in the Pacific Northwest, let me once again say thank you and congratulations to cousin Mary and Jeff. The weekend was beautiful. I had a great time meeting all of your friends and family. The accommodations were gorgeous. Best of luck.

Breweries around Portland and Mount Hood

For the three days that we were in Oregon we made it to three breweries and a tasting room. Pfriem Family Brewers in Hood River sat on the Columbia River Gorge and their easy-drinking beers were nice on the patio, with wind and kite surfers zipping around the water for viewing.

Solera Brewers in Parkdale reminded me of Carbondale. Little bit crunchy clientele but really good beer. Also shout out for favorite beer name of the trip with a Chairlifts and Chain Saws pilsner.

10 Barrel Brewing in Portland had a rooftop bar. Their beer was solid. Also they just opened a location in Denver that also features a rooftop bar. (Yes, I like rooftop bars.) Finally, we checked out the Deschutes tasting room in Portland. I had a Fresh Picked, a variation of their popular Fresh Squeezed, which was delicious and found only on location.

Snapchat wedding story

This was pure genius for whoever in the wedding party figured out how to put it together. I didn’t have to search out and follow the feed at all. My guess is since I’m friends with cousin Mary on Snapchat I was grandfathered in, which caught me off guard the next morning when I was piecing together the flood of events.

The multiple perspectives from Jeff’s side of the family, my 20-odd cousins and different views of the ceremony were really cool to see. Also for those who went to bed early, intentionally or otherwise, they got to see parts of the night they missed.

Portland ketchup

This phenomenon was mind blowing. It’s hard to conceive something so hipster I couldn’t even make it up as a stereotype. I expected a handlebar mustache and wasn’t even fazed by the guy strolling down the block smoking a tobacco pipe reminiscent of the one Christoph Waltz uses in “Inglorious Basterds.”

But Portland ketchup — which is just regular ketchup that’s sourced locally, organic and somehow free range — was a shocker. I hope Heinz opens a location in Portland just to monopolize the Portland ketchup market.

Portland eats

Lopping Peruvian food into essentially everything south of the border is inaccurate. Yes, some of the dishes have the same names such as ceviche, empanadas and tamale, but potatoes and yuka replace rice. I didn’t see any beans at all. The tamales were delicious at Andina in Portland. Also the seafood salad on top of/in a sweet potato mold was as good as it was surprising.

Bamboo Sushi in downtown Portland also impressed. It’s crazy how buttery fresh fish is. We were able to sit outside comfortably even though at times I thought I was in Denver. They have a very similar feel in people and attitude, but Portland’s albeit brief summer season is as good as anywhere.

Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at the Aspen Times. Email at

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