I think it is more in the idea of beer culture.
When I was in the South it was more the company you kept. So Hilljack is right.
Cold Bud, Marlboros, fishing with your buddies = a great day.
But Seattle/Portland has a beer culture. Even dive bars have at least 10-15 taps, 7 of which are rotating. You also get a lot of local brewers producing limited keg runs. People look for and purchase the local brews. It is also has a reputation for the introduction of the microbrewery trend in the United States as well as the highest per capita consumption of draft beer in the country.
We also have a large number of taverns, which in Seattle at least means that beer and wine is the only alcohol that can be served.http://www.realbeer.com/library/authors/moen-a/finkel.phphttp://www.cityofseattle.net/tda/industry/specialtybeverages.htm#beer