We are sad to announce that the Widmer Brothers pub will close its doors to the public today. This was a very hard decision to make, especially as we reflect on the pub’s past and plan an exciting future for the brewery, where our team will continue to brew your favorite Widmer Brothers beers.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to evolve the pub concept over the years, our pub has experienced profitability challenges. When the pub first opened in 1996, there were only a handful of breweries in the city. Today, there are over 115 breweries in the Portland Metro area. With that increased competition, we have struggled to make the pub financially sustainable.
The beer landscape in Oregon has changed dramatically over the past few years, but even so, this is something of a shock. The Widmer Pub—which used to be a full-service restaurant called the Widmer Gasthaus before a recent remodel—was the place to try Widmer's small-run beers. These beers, which you wouldn't ordinarily see around town too often, were by and large excellent, and more adventurous and stylistically varied than their big sellers.
The Widmer brand won't change much otherwise, according to the statement. The brewery has recently introduced a canning line, and you can currently find Trail Blazer-branded tallboys of their signature Hefeweizen on store shelves. The small-batch innovation brewery will still be in operation, and in a few comments to the Facebook post, Widmer's spokesperson expresses a desire to make their hard-to-find and one-off beers easier to locate at both draft accounts around the city and in cans at retailers.
As for the pub's employees, Widmer says, "With this closure, two of our full-time staff will be staying with us in new roles, and seven employees will be leaving the company. We are providing departing employees with comprehensive severance packages."