PORTLAND — A landmark Portland beer presence was lost as Widmer Brothers Pub closed its doors on January 22. The popular watering hole, located at 955 N. Russell Street in North Portland, served its namesake brews to Portlanders for over 20 years.
According to the pub’s Facebook page and the company website, the decision to close was difficult to make and hinged largely on the company’s inability to make the pub profitable. “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,” the company said in its post. “With that increased competition, we have struggled to make the pub financially sustainable.”
The Widmer Brothers Brewery will remain in operation, launching canned beers this year and offering brewery tours during Zwickelmania this month. The company’s retail store will also remain open.
Many Widmer fans remember the company coming of age in the 1990s, a leader in Oregon’s craft beer scene. The company thanked its loyal patrons and its pub team for their passion and commitment. “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,” the statement read, noting that departing employees are receiving severance packages. “Endings are never easy, but we hope you’ll continue to be a fan and enjoy our beers in the future.”