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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: a10t2 on April 08, 2010, 12:08:39 AM

Title: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: a10t2 on April 08, 2010, 12:08:39 AM
I've been in the job market for a year but haven't found anything, and I'm starting to think that I can work fast food in a place with better scenery. I like outdoor activities (skiing, hiking, running, cycling) and beer (good local micros and homebrew scene), so I'm thinking Colorado-ish. Then again, I've never been to the PNW and I hear good things. Plus, how do you just up and pick a place to live?

So I figured I'd throw the question out there and see if any fellow brewers live somewhere they absolutely love, and why.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: akr71 on April 08, 2010, 12:45:33 AM
... Then again, I've never been to the PNW and I hear good things. Plus, how do you just up and pick a place to live? ...

Throw darts at a map (blindfolded, if you can actually play).  Its always easier to move somewhere if you know someone where you're going.  Do you have any friends/family in Colorado or the PNW?  However, I grew up in the military and often had little choice - we moved where we were told to.  It can be pretty refreshing to have a completely fresh start in a new town.  In my mid twenties I made a couple long distance moves where I knew no-one in the city I moved to (one was with my gf, so I knew someone, but it was half way across the continent, so it still counts).

Pick somewhere you think would be a fun experience and have wanted to visit and go for it.  Give it a go for a year or two - if things don't pan out, try another.  If you have a strong support network 'back home' you should do fine.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: nicneufeld on April 08, 2010, 12:48:28 AM
If you're gonna live in poverty anyway, I'm partial to the west myself...Utah is stunningly beautiful, almost all over, I'm really partial to Colorado just west of the Rockies.  CA is, well, too much a luxury, though my home state.  So many beautiful places, but real estate and craziness (smog, nutjobs, government, insane traffic) kind of counterbalance it.  And the problem with the pacific NW is that that's where many Californians are fleeing to, driving up real estate.

I'm planning a slow, leisurely roadtrip throughout the West and SW in October, which is what's keeping me motivated slogging through work right now, so forgive me if I wax lyrical.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: MrNate on April 08, 2010, 01:40:42 AM
Depends on your career, or what you want it to be. I moved out to Silicon Valley a few years back, best career move I ever made.

That being said, I wish to hell I lived in NC or SoVA or the like. Or PA, but back up in the hills. Actually, Montana's been looking nice lately, but that's a topic for another board.

Of course, my needs and desires are likely different from yours.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: pinnah on April 08, 2010, 04:07:24 AM
+1 on exploring friend/family connections.
There has to be some reason to pick a spot to try out.


umm...places that start with B?

Bend
Bozeman
Boulder



Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: euge on April 08, 2010, 05:41:55 AM
Ahhh. The leap off the precipice....

Don't make an arbitrary decision. Make sure it's some place you really like. Do the research. Also, will the economy support you arriving? A small community might have no work for you.

Having said that- if you can stand a little summer heat I recommend Austin. The winter's are mild and the bulk of the populace are educated, liberal and like to party. Lot's of hot chicks, live music, lakes, rivers and outdoor activities etc... Helluva place- wish I still lived there!




Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: majorvices on April 08, 2010, 12:19:00 PM
Here's a couple options I am sure you haven't considered.

I recommend Huntsville, AL for several reasons: its within 2 hours of some of the best kayaking on the east coast, its very close to countless back packing locations, great Mountain Biking/hiking trails in H'ville, plus there are actually jobs here and real estate is affordable. Also, its been named to many top 10- "best places to live" lists. The beer scene is just starting to wake up here but there is beer here, a couple good beer bars and a couple breweries are slated to open here just this year (yours truly, for instance.  ;)) I live about 20 minutes from huntsville and I own 7 acres of mountain land that backs up to a wilderness larger than the Great Smoky Mountains - I can literally go out for a 2 or 3 day back packing trip right from my back door - which is awesome! There are few places in the country where I could afford to own this much land, with this much privacy, and this size house, this close to very well paying jobs with a still robust economy.

That said, for a young, unmarried scoundrel, I will readily admit that Asheville, North Carolina has Huntsville beat hands down. Awesome beer town (arguably the best beer town on the East Coast), right off the Blue Ridge parkway - literally endless wilderness for outdoor sports. Fairly well educated. Beautiful area, one of the prettiest places to live on the East Coast. Also some very pretty, fit, southern girls.

But, if you want a good economy (and, ultimately a great place to raise your kids) it's really is hard to beat Huntsville.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: MrNate on April 08, 2010, 01:42:52 PM
Hey, how come no one suggested New Jersey yet?  ;D
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: blatz on April 08, 2010, 01:58:22 PM
If I were single, I'd be all over La Jolla/San Diego.  Course you need a good job or a decent amount of coin (okay actually both) to enjoy it, but you could surf, hike and ski all the same weekend if you lived there, which is pretty awesome in my book. 

Weather is fantastic, the female scenery is exceptional, and of course its a beer mecca.

Course you could move to Jupiter - my wife's in real estate and could help you out.  I think you work in biology?  If so, Scripps is opening a big facility down the road from us.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: Hokerer on April 08, 2010, 02:22:54 PM
I recommend Huntsville, AL

Went to Huntsville with a group back in college.  After some of our antics, the Huntsville city cops escorted us to the city line and demanded that we never return.  And the Bama state troopers threw in "for that matter, don't ever return to Alabama".

So I guess Huntsville would not be an option for me :)
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: dak0415 on April 08, 2010, 02:40:50 PM
+2 for Asheville, NC. 6+ Breweries (Highland is the largest), good homebrew stores, couple of HB clubs, lots of outdoor sports.  Don't know what the job situation is like though.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: mikeypedersen on April 08, 2010, 02:42:42 PM
I up and moved to Boulder, Colorado almost 5 years ago from Cincinnati.  Grew up in New Jersey, went to college just outside Cincy, stayed there for a few years.  Then did something silimar to what you are doing.  I was done with Ohio, went to visit a couple of friends in Boulder for a few days.  While I was visiting, I fell in love with boulder, signed a lease that started in 2 months with no job, and the rest is history.  Sometimes when life gets in a rut, you've got to shake it up a bit!

Anyway, I love this part of the country, it's kind of like an outdoor playland.  It's sunny all the time (300+ days a year), great mountain biking, road biking, backpacking (my favorite), skiing, any other snow sports.  You're close enough to Utah to hit up Moab.  Then you start to look at the beer scene within a 45 Minute drive from Boulder and it just gets ridiculous.  Just to name a few of the big ones: Avery, Odell, New Belgium, Great Divide, Lefthand, Oskar Blues, the list really just goes on and on......and on.  

My brother and I are the only ones in our family to leave NJ; he lives in Munich and I live in CO.  Bought a house a couple years ago and don't plan on leaving Colorado any time soon.  I've never been to the PNW, although I have always wanted to go.  People seem to love that much the same as here, so I think you're on the right track with the things you like to do and the places you are looking at.

Good luck!
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: majorvices on April 08, 2010, 03:02:49 PM
I recommend Huntsville, AL

Went to Huntsville with a group back in college.  After some of our antics, the Huntsville city cops escorted us to the city line and demanded that we never return.  And the Bama state troopers threw in "for that matter, don't ever return to Alabama".

So I guess Huntsville would not be an option for me :)

Bwahaha! That's awesome! So how long ago was that? I have seen the inside of the old Hunstville City jail. Not for DUI, so don't jump to conculsions.  ;)

I realize a lot of people will snicker at an Alabama suggestion but Huntsville (and its surrounding area) really is a nice place to live. And, like I said, there are JOBS here.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: tom on April 08, 2010, 03:27:17 PM
Ditto!
Ordered to Denver by the US Army for 4 years of hard duty and never left.

I up and moved to Boulder, Colorado almost 5 years ago from Cincinnati.  Grew up in New Jersey, went to college just outside Cincy, stayed there for a few years.  Then did something silimar to what you are doing.  I was done with Ohio, went to visit a couple of friends in Boulder for a few days.  While I was visiting, I fell in love with boulder, signed a lease that started in 2 months with no job, and the rest is history.  Sometimes when life gets in a rut, you've got to shake it up a bit!

Anyway, I love this part of the country, it's kind of like an outdoor playland.  It's sunny all the time (300+ days a year), great mountain biking, road biking, backpacking (my favorite), skiing, any other snow sports.  You're close enough to Utah to hit up Moab.  Then you start to look at the beer scene within a 45 Minute drive from Boulder and it just gets ridiculous.  Just to name a few of the big ones: Avery, Odell, New Belgium, Great Divide, Lefthand, Oskar Blues, the list really just goes on and on......and on.  

My brother and I are the only ones in our family to leave NJ; he lives in Munich and I live in CO.  Bought a house a couple years ago and don't plan on leaving Colorado any time soon.  I've never been to the PNW, although I have always wanted to go.  People seem to love that much the same as here, so I think you're on the right track with the things you like to do and the places you are looking at.

Good luck!
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: hamiltont on April 08, 2010, 04:13:13 PM
Get an RV & go where ever the heck you want to. Visit friends, family, breweries, etc...  Find some work along the way. Then decide what feels good to you & settle down, if you want to.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: Hokerer on April 08, 2010, 04:16:37 PM
I recommend Huntsville, AL

Went to Huntsville with a group back in college.  After some of our antics, the Huntsville city cops escorted us to the city line and demanded that we never return.  And the Bama state troopers threw in "for that matter, don't ever return to Alabama".

So I guess Huntsville would not be an option for me :)

Bwahaha! That's awesome! So how long ago was that? I have seen the inside of the old Hunstville City jail. Not for DUI, so don't jump to conculsions.  ;)

Quite a while ago.  Like Spring of 1981.  Sad thing is, it was a bunch of us Electrical Engineering nerds for an IEEE conference.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: denny on April 08, 2010, 04:17:32 PM
Whatever you do, don't move to Oregon.....

unless you like beautiful outdoors (both coast and mountains), great people, great beer, great food, and beautiful summers.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: a10t2 on April 08, 2010, 04:27:00 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I have friends in Portland and Seattle, so I'll be heading up that way at some point. If nothing else, it's an area I've just never seen.

As far as Asheville and Huntsville, I've at least visited both and they seem like great places to live. I spent three summers in Oak Ridge, TN, though, and it's just too damn hot for me. Even the Midwest is too hot for me in the summer.

I think you work in biology?

My degree is actually in nuclear engineering. I'm also looking for brewery openings though. Either way, the odds are good I'd be moving for a job, so I'm trying not to let that influence my decision-making too much.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: majorvices on April 08, 2010, 04:47:00 PM

Quite a while ago.  Like Spring of 1981.  Sad thing is, it was a bunch of us Electrical Engineering nerds for an IEEE conference.

I'm sure they have forgotten you by now. I was 11 in 1981 and living in Mechanicsburg, PA. I have been here since 1993 and it has changed a lot since then. I have been told it is a vastly different town from the early '80s. Not that there is a real incentive to VISIT Huntsville (except maybe the Space and Rocket Center) but it is a good central location close to a lot of great outdoorsy places.

a10t2 - in about 4 years I would like to be in the position to offer you a job!  ;D You can have one now as long as you work for free.  ;)
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: nicneufeld on April 08, 2010, 04:56:05 PM
Even the Midwest is too hot for me in the summer.

Hmmm...me too.  Too hot and too cold.

That said, I'll own my house here by the time I'm 42 or so.  Had we moved to California we, or rather our descendants, would have the mortgage paid off by the 3rd or 4th generation, in all likelihood.   ;D

I would actually like to retire to Flagstaff.  Pretty area, that.  Or Yorkshire. 
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: majorvices on April 08, 2010, 05:07:36 PM
It gets way too damn hot in the south, too. Way too damn hot. My only real complaint besides red necks. But you find them everywhere.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: BrewArk on April 08, 2010, 05:13:26 PM
Maui?
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: glitterbug on April 08, 2010, 05:41:44 PM
Having said that- if you can stand a little summer heat I recommend Austin. The winter's are mild and the bulk of the populace are educated, liberal and like to party. Lot's of hot chicks, live music, lakes, rivers and outdoor activities etc... Helluva place- wish I still lived there!

The problem with Austin is that it is surrounded by Texas  ;D

Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: weithman5 on April 08, 2010, 05:54:26 PM
i used to be a nuke eng.  (ex submarine driver).  left the industry and moved on, but i may have a few connections left if you still like that field. (question sanity)
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: euge on April 08, 2010, 07:07:30 PM
I work around radiation as well.... Go figure. My mrem is still pretty low but I'm getting tired of the daily exposure. Might have to go back to !@#$% school just to advance out of all that scatter.

Yep Austin doesn't seem like it belongs in Texas however there's only a few places that give the entire state a bad rap. And we got that typical Southern heat  ;) enough for me to consider moving every year.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: dhacker on April 08, 2010, 11:27:23 PM
Whatever you do, don't move to Oregon.....

unless you like beautiful outdoors (both coast and mountains), great people, great beer, great food, and beautiful summers.

I spent a lot of time some years ago doing a job in Pass Gas . . um . . I mean Grant's Pass. The area was okay, but way too many foggy days for me.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: BrewingRover on April 09, 2010, 02:41:07 AM
I've lived in the Phoenix area as a kid, most of shcool and college in Utah (plus too many more), 2 in Seattle, 5 in Long Beach CA and now 6 in Chicagoland. I can give you good and bad points about all of them, but I'd move back to Seattle in a heartbeat. Mountains and water all around you, fresh fish easily had, a pile of local breweries and the Pacific Coast is a couple of hours away. The summers in the PNW are glorious, as Denny said. The thing to worry about with the winters isn't the rain, but the lack of sun. It doesn't get cold like the Midwest but it's rare you get a day when the sun is out and certainly no clear blue skies in January like we see here (while it's -10)

Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: MrNate on April 09, 2010, 03:02:57 AM
If you think you'll never miss East Coast winters, move to the West Coast.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: fatdogale on April 09, 2010, 04:17:44 AM
Mountains and water all around you, fresh fish easily had, a pile of local breweries and the Pacific Coast is a couple of hours away. The summers in the PNW are glorious, as Denny said. The thing to worry about with the winters isn't the rain, but the lack of sun. It doesn't get cold like the Midwest but it's rare you get a day when the sun is out and certainly no clear blue skies in January like we see here (while it's -10)



+1. 
I've been in the burbs 20 minutes north of Seattle for 25+ years, and to me this is the best place in the world in the summer (late spring to early fall, really - May is typically glorious), but the endless days of wall to wall low clouds in the winter (Oct - March) take their toll on me
Lots of outdoor acitivities year 'round - 2 ski areas within 2 1/2 hours of Seattle, cycling year round (winters typically in the low 40's, but we do get cold snaps, and a little snow once or twice a year - you'll love Seattle's response to an inch of snow as a midwesterner)
Lots of local beer and fresh seafood!
Not much in the way of nuke plants around here, though the Navy has a nuke sub base over on Hood Canal...not exactly metropolitan Seattle, but maybe they're hiring civilian engineers?  Lots of hospitals in the area - your skills transferable to Nuclear Med?
It's a great place to live, as your friends here will probably attest, especially if the gloomy winters won't get you down.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: skyler on April 09, 2010, 09:29:09 AM
I have lived in the following places:

In California: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Berkeley, Davis (near Sacramento), an Oakland suburb

New York City (Greenwich Village)

Bethlehem, PA

Portland, OR (currently)

London, UK (the old Borough of Clerkenwell)

Siena, Italy

Santander, Spain

Nice, France

I would not hesitate to tell you my favorite was London and my next favorite was NYC. Besides New York City, I'm not crazy about the east coast, really. I like California more than the PNW. Also, the job market in Portland is remarkably bad. Texas has a strong economy, at the moment. I like the bay area slightly more than southern California. I actually really like San Diego, but I've never lived there. And I think Oakland, CA is very underrated - a really great place to live in/around. However, Sacramento is near skiing and all that, but a fraction of the cost of living in the bay area. But I'm not crazy about Sacramento. Santa Barbara is great if you don't mind a slow place, but I like more excitement than that sleepy, beautiful town can offer. If you're a hippy, I recommend Santa Cruz - I have family there, and I enjoy it immensely.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: skyler on April 09, 2010, 09:34:25 AM
It gets way too damn hot in the south, too. Way too damn hot. My only real complaint besides red necks. But you find them everywhere.

Not Berkeley. But I'd trade the homeless for rednecks, any day. Belligerent bums are a serious problem in Berkeley.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: MrNate on April 09, 2010, 01:28:38 PM
It gets way too damn hot in the south, too. Way too damn hot. My only real complaint besides red necks. But you find them everywhere.

Not Berkeley. But I'd trade the homeless for rednecks, any day. Belligerent bums are a serious problem in Berkeley.

Berkeley is a problem in Berkeley.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: bluesman on April 09, 2010, 04:06:44 PM
Maui?

+1

Hawaii is great if you're independently wealthy.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: chumley on April 09, 2010, 05:51:12 PM
I live in Helena, Montana.  As a state capital, we have been somewhat recession-proof thanks to government jobs.  We also have two kickass microbreweries in town, which is not bad for a city of 50,000. We also have great outdoor recreational activities...one of the finer city trail systems in the country.

So with that, I would consider state capitals.  Personally, I don't like big cities and lots of people, having lived in southeastern Pennsylvania for many years. I would stick with the west - Boise, Pierre, Salt Lake, etc.

Also, consider Alaska...after living there so long, you will get a check from the government for living there.  Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks..even Sitka.  I'd live in all of them.

Here in Montana, our larger towns are good places to live.  Bozeman and Missoula get a lot of press being college towns, but I wouldn't pick them....there is too much disparity between the wealthy and the burger flipping class.  The cost of living in Bozeman is very high....most blue collar types live in Belgrade and commute to Bozeman to work. Billings and Great Falls wouldn't be bad places, and they have LHBSs.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: tubercle on April 09, 2010, 07:39:26 PM
Come on down to the upstate of S.C.

 The microbrewery thing is finally catching on here and they are starting to pop up everywhere. R.J. Rockers in my hometown and Thomas Creek next door in Greenville. Several up the road in Asheville.

Weather is temperate year round and folks are laid back.

  Three hour drive or less to Charleston, Asheville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Savanna, the Outer Banks, etc. Interstate to take you in any direction.

Unemployment is a little high right now but thing are picking up. The BMW plant (in my home town) has just added another production line and have announced they are going to hire another 500 or so. The dozens of satellite plants that supply BMW will have to ramp up too. Boeing just broke ground in Charleston on a new airplane plant but word is most of the suppliers will build here because of the infrastructure and available labor force.


 Like NASCAR? This is the original  home and where it all started; way before Charlotte made that claim. Darlington, Bristol, Talladega, Atlanta, Daytona and Martinsville are day trips (well, not Daytona and Talladega, but round trips without sleeping has been done 8))  

 Did I mention the food? Food was invented in SC.

 I would appreciate if you would move here, we need your tax money to fix the potholes.
 
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: rabid_dingo on April 10, 2010, 05:14:16 AM
Put my vote down for Colorado. In the main city of Denver it is still cheaper than living in California or other
major metro areas...get outside of Denver and the cost of living (mortgages) get smaller, or stay the same but
buy much more. I live 12 miles outside of the city limits and own 9.25 acres for the same price of a medium to
large home. I am 20 min from downtown. 1.25 hrs from skiing and the rest of the mountain activities.
Beer is damn near limitless. More and more breweries distribute to Colorado and I have yet to taste all the
local ones. We have 4 seasons. Summer being the shortest, Spring and Fall are tied for duration, and winter is it's
own category.

Work is out there if you put in the effort to find a job. Even my 58 year old FIL found a job in an accounting firm...

The only downfall, there is verly little green on the Front Range. Being Semi Arid, not enough mositure for green plants
trees and what not. Mostly beige. Unless you get into some older Denver neighborhoods. Large trees and lawns but
that is it...
 
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: weazletoe on April 10, 2010, 05:50:53 PM
  I'm going to toss my Idaho hat in the ring. (mainly so I don't have to suffer alone!)
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: a10t2 on April 10, 2010, 10:42:36 PM
Don't worry Weaze, a good portion of my jobs prospects are in Idaho Falls.
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: weazletoe on April 11, 2010, 02:25:56 AM
Seriously!? That would be sweet! We would be neighbors!!!  :D
Title: Re: OK homebrewers, where should I live?
Post by: theoman on April 11, 2010, 07:22:37 PM
It's hard to beat Colorado. I lived in Boulder for 6 years and loved it. I now live in Belgium and love it here, too. Maybe I'm just another fan of "B" places.