image of Widmer Brothers' logo courtesy of's Flickr page Portland, OR - The mindset has been amongst craft beer enthusiasts, is that sooner or later a brewery will sacrifice uniqueness to compete in larger market. Regrettably the same sentiment can be applied to a brewery that's pretty much found everywhere in a region. Casualties such as a lost consumer have been felt by breweries like Sam Adams, Budweiser, Heineken, Coors, Miller, and on rare occasions, locals like Widmer.

However, in the past couple of years a renaissance has been happening at Widmer from the same creative minds that produced everyone's favorite Hefe'. The first in these 'experiments' came in the form of a Doppelbock accented with Cherries. Served in a limited edition box and bottle, this beer was well received by those that consumed it.

Not to sit around till the shelves looked bare of anything new from Kurt and Rob, they created Dead Lift Imperial IPA, and now getting ahead of things, another "Brothers' Reserve" Prickly Pear Braggot. Here is what Kurt and Rob had to say about this beer.

Prickly Pear Braggot is the second release in the Brothers’ Reserve Series, following Cherry Oak Doppelbock released in fall 2009. Each release bears the name of the brother who inspired its creation. Rob Widmer inspired Prickly Pear Braggot and hand-signed 50 bottles that will be distributed nationwide* at random for consumers to discover. Widmer Brothers is asking consumers who find one to share the purchase location via Facebook ( or Twitter (@Widmer_Brothers).

“The Brothers’ Reserve brews are among our favorites in terms of the experimentation, personal touch and creativity we lend to the process,” said Rob Widmer. “We took a bit of a nontraditional approach in our interpretation of the braggot style and brewed it with prickly pear juice and honey, then added our proprietary Alchemy hop blend to balance the sweetness of this beer.”

About Prickly Pear Braggot

Brothers’ Reserve Prickly Pear Braggot is a strong ale brewed with a blend of 100 percent Knapweed honey from NW Montana, red prickly pear juice and a variety of pale malts. The addition of Alchemy hops help balance the sweetness while still retaining the natural aroma and flavors of the honey. The prickly pear juice adds a unique hue to the beer as well as a subtle and refreshing herbal quality in the finish. Less than 400 barrels of this limited edition brew were produced.

Beer Stats

Bitterness: 20 IBU

Alcohol by Volume: 10% ABV

Original Gravity: 23.0 PLATO

      Already this beer is on the shelves and if history repeats itself, will be gone before you know it. Look for this beer to be on draft at select alehouses and restaurants, and in bottles at grocers everywhere. 

     As always if you can't find it on draft or in bottles at your local grocer, bottleshop, or alehouse, ask then to buy some!

About the Brothers’ Reserve Series

The Brothers’ Reserve Series is a showcase of the innovative skills and creative passion for craft brewing that founders and brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer share. The Brothers’ Reserve beers are one-of-a-kind, and each run is extremely limited in quantity. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Prickly Pear Braggot is the second release in the series. The first release was Cherry Oak Doppelbock, introduced in fall 2009.

About Widmer Brothers Brewing

What started as a dream for two ordinary brothers who just loved beer has now become a reality for two ordinary brothers who still just love beer. Kurt and Rob Widmer helped lead the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when, in their 20s, they dreamed of brewing American interpretations of authentic European style beers. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the first American-style Hefeweizen; today, the unfiltered cloudy beer is the company’s signature brew and one of the best selling wheat beers in the country. Based in Portland, Ore., the brewery produces a variety of beers including Drifter Pale Ale, Drop Top Amber Ale, Broken Halo IPA, and Deadlift Imperial IPA. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit


About the photo’s author
"Matt Wiater is a photographer covering the Portland beer scene for"

Please visit our sponsors