Brewery News: OR: Widmer Brothers Brewing expands production

image of Widmer Brother's Brewery courtesy of Matt Wiater's Flickr page We have noted that Widmer Brothers Brewing has started the next phase of their brewery expansion. With a planned brewing capacity for between 10,000 to 12,000 barrels per month the brewery has installed the first of two 1,750 barrel fermentation tanks.

“We are thrilled to expand the brewery. Our last expansion was in 2008, and we’re to a point where increasing the brewery’s capacity has become necessary for further growth,” said Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “This expansion is not only a significant landmark for Widmer Brothers, but for the Oregon craft beer community. While national domestic beer sales are declining, craft beer is on the rise and the Portland brewing community is largely behind driving the innovation and excitement for the craft beer industry.”

The purchase / installation of new tanks are part of a more than $3 million, multi-phased growth plan, starting with $1.7 million in fermentation tanks. Completing the more $3 million equation, the brewery is investing in a bright tank cellar which should be completed by Fall 2012.

image courtesy of Matt Wiater's Flickr pageWith this increase in production the brewery hopes to increase their capacity by 140,000 barrels (or 280,000 kegs of beer) per year. Additionally the brewery hopes to be brewing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by 2013.

“Nearly thirty years ago when Kurt and I sought out to start a brewery, we never imagined where it would lead,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “The Widmer Brothers Brewing team is producing incredible beers and is really driving the potential of what craft beer can be. We’re extremely proud of how far the brewery has come and look forward to the opportunities presented by this expansion.”

About the new fermentation tanks

The fermentation tanks, built by Paul Mueller Company in Springfield, Mo., will be the largest in the Pacific Northwest. Because of their size, the tanks are being transported by truck on a specially organized route, and the installation will require one of the largest cranes available on the West Coast.

The tank installation process will begin at 6:30 a.m., and will include the removal of the roof on the brewery to allow for the tank installment. The final two tanks will arrive and be installed on Monday, June 4.

Congrats to Rob, Kurt, and the whole crew at Widmer Brothers Brewing.

Cheers

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 unique interpretations of traditional beer styles. 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 brews a variety of beers including Drifter Pale Ale, Nelson Imperial IPA, Rotator IPA Series, Drop Top Amber Ale and Pitch Black IPA. For more information about Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit www.widmerbrothers.com.

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

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