image courtesy of Portlandbeer's Flickr page Like everything cyclical Seasonal brewery releases are common. This year as in previous years, the Widmer Brothers brewing has released another in the long line of brewer inspired ale, this year with W'11 aka KGB Imperial Stout.

For us however, this is not the first time we were introduced to this dark, crude in a bottle. In fact we had the opportunity to sample this beer during the Oregon Brewers Festival in the Buzz Tent, courtesy of Widmer Brothers and OBF’s Preston Weesner.

When pressed to answer for this beer, co-owner and one half of the Widmer Brothers brewery, Rob Widmer, had this to say.

“I’m continually impressed by the results of the Brewmasters’ Release Series,” said Rob Widmer. “We have a talented and creative group of brewers, and when you tell them ‘anything goes,’ the outcome is always an innovative and delicious beer.”

Beer Geek Information

The latest installment in the W’ Series, W’11 uses roasted barley, chocolate malt and Midnight Wheat™. This beer boasts a deep, opaque black color. It has tremendous body and mouthfeel, with a spicy hop character to help balance the beer.

  • Bitterness: 70 IBU
  • Alcohol by volume: 9.3 percent
  • Original gravity: 21.5⁰ PLATO

Currently this beer is on the shelves (as witnessed by a visit to a nearby grocery store) and will be available between January (technically the third) and the end of April (around the 25th). Look for this in six pack and draft varieties wherever you find Widmer, along the west coast.

It's unclear whether much has changed in regards to recipe, but so far from what we have seen on the shelf, this is no four pack. At $8.99 per six-pack, this sounds like one heck of a deal when one compares other 9.30% beers, currently on the market.

As always if you don't find it on the shelf or on draft, ask your grocer or server to get some!

About the Brewmasters’ Release Series

W’11 KGB Russian Imperial Stout is part of the Brewmasters’ Release Series, commonly called the W’ Series, which has introduced a new, limited edition seasonal beer style every year since 2005. Brewers are given liberties to be experimental and creative and often come up with award-winning brews. Last year’s beer, W’10 Pitch Black IPA, was named a Gold Medal Finalist at the Great American Beer Festival.

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 twenties, 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 currently produces a variety of beers including Drifter Pale Ale, Deadlift Imperial IPA, Drop Top Amber Ale and Broken Halo IPA.


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

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