(OR) Widmer Brother's Brewing loses beer and man hours in power outage

Portland, OR - A little while ago we got off the phone with Rob Widmer co-Owner of his last namesake brewery (Widmer Brothers) to inquire about the outage they suffered yesterday. The root cause of this outage was the result of a rather sizeable power substation going down due to fire (caused by a mineral oil spill at around 5:00 AM), which as a result caused the brewery and surrounding buildings to be without power. To compound things they were in the middle of brewing (their Dead Lift Double India Pale Ale) when this outage occurred. After eight hours of having no power and therefore no means to move the beer from the brewing tanks to the fermenters they had to pour the beer out.

"The batch was stuck in the kettle for more than 8 hours. Color development continues, DMS becomes an issue and we'd miss our hop bitterness target. That and the unknown so we didn't want to fool around. The funny thing was that we had some guys show up with kegs hoping to get them filled for free when they heard we were getting rid of a batch!" -source, Rob widmer's comments on Beervana's website.

For those of you who would take this exercise as waste, consider that this new beer would most likely not turn out with its intended color, flavors, or aromas intended, not to mention the potential for strong off flavors (diacyetal, phenolalic, butterscotch, bandaid, etc.) . Today as it turns out was to be an off day but because of the previous loss, they will be back to work today brewing more beer.

Despite losing 250 Barrels of beer (roughly 500 kegs or 62,000 pints) the Dead Lift (or Dead Lips, as Portland Mercury news has coined it) is on schedule albeit with less of a buffer than they would have liked. Additionally due to the power being out, the staff were without the conviences of computers, elevators to raise and lower kegs of beer.

Raise a pint of beer to Rob, Kurt, and the rest of the brew crews', to show your condolences to their loss.


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