(Portland, OR) – Exciting collaborations and new experimental beers are in the works at Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. new Innovation Brewery, which is now brewing small-batch beers on site at Widmer Brothers’ main campus on North Russell Street.
With the new Innovation Brewery, the Widmer Brothers brewing team will continue its long tradition of experimentation, research and development with small-batch beers. The small-batch brewery was located at the Rose Quarter for the last several years, but now has returned to the brewery’s Russell Street location in a space attached to the Widmer Brothers Pub under the direction of Innovation Brewmaster Tom Bleigh.
“I’m thrilled to be part of a team with a tradition of excellence here at Widmer Brothers,” said Bleigh, who came to Widmer Brothers from Hopworks Urban Brewery, where he was director of brewery operations. “At the end of the day, I get to work with a team of incredibly talented individuals trying to create and enjoy what we are doing, and make the highest quality beer all at the same time.”
In the spring of 2015, Widmer Brothers Brewing announced a $10 million investment to expand its brewery on North Russell Street to 750,000 barrels and build a new state-of-the-art 10-barrel Innovation Brewery adjacent to its brewpub. Windows from the brewpub give guests a unique opportunity to watch Widmer Brothers brewers at work, while enjoying the latest offerings in the pub.
“It’s important to me personally that every one of our guests at the pub is served the freshest Widmer Brothers beer they will find anywhere,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “And, with the unveiling of our new state-of-the-art Innovation Brewery every guest can expect to find old favorites along with delicious new beers as we continue to explore the world of beer.”
It’s at the Innovation Brewery where Bleigh and the Widmer Brothers brewers create single-batch beers, as well as collaborate with others in the food and beverage industry on specialty brews. The small-batch beers will primarily be available at Widmer Brothers Pub, as well as at select bars and restaurants around Portland.
“We have some incredible collaborations out of the gate,” Bleigh said in reference to several beers that are in the works and expected to be released this summer.
Among the highlights of the first batch of collaborations:
· Widmer Brothers teamed with noted soccer bar Bazi Bierbrasserie and owner Hilda Stevens to make a Kölsch for the American Outlaws supporter group that will be served at Bazi during Olympic soccer matches.
· Widmer Brothers is working with heavy hitters in the food and beer industry, Charlie Devereux (formerly of Double Mountain) and Rodney Muirhead of Podnah’s Pit, for a collaboration brew with Wayfinder, the new brewery from Muirhead, Devereux and Sizzle Pie Owner Matt Jacobson. Supergeil, a traditional Festbier with a brilliant, light orange color and biscuit malt flavor, will be released in the coming weeks.
· Widmer Brothers also worked with the brewing team at Japan’s North Island Beer, who was in Portland for the Oregon Brewers Festival, on a unique convergence of styles with a Wit-style CDA called NXNW, which will also be tapped soon.
In addition to ongoing collaborations and small batch/specialty beers at Widmer Brothers’ Innovation Brewery, the Widmer Brothers Pub has introduced a new way for fans to bring home some these limited release beers. Widmer Brothers is now offering Crowlers, which are 32-ounce cans filled and sealed to order with fresh beer from the tap. Pub patrons can get their favorite small-batch beers canned on site, or get the freshest Widmer Brothers’ mainstay beers, such as Alt or Hefe, canned to go.
Additionally, the bar at the Pub will soon feature two iPads that will allow pub goers to offer direct customer feedback on beer. The same system used by Widmer Brothers’ tasting panel will be available to customers, and input will be directly available to brewers, who can consider feedback for future batches. This new system will truly make fans of the brewery part of new beer development and Widmer Brothers’ quality department.
For more information on Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit widmerbrothers.com or see what the brewery is up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Widmer Brothers Brewing
Widmer Brothers Brewing helped create the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when founders Kurt and Rob Widmer, then in their 20s, began brewing unique interpretations of traditional German beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the original American-style Hefeweizen, which elevated the brewery to national acclaim. Since then, the brewery’s iconic Hefe, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016, has grown to become Oregon’s favorite craft beer. For more than three decades, Widmer Brothers has continued to push the boundaries of craft beer. Based in Portland, Oregon, the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Hefe, Upheaval IPA, Steel Bridge Porter, Drop Top Amber, Replay IPA, and a full seasonal lineup. Additionally, the brewery continues to make a series of limited edition, small-batch beers available in Oregon and at the Widmer Brothers Pub in North Portland.