Craft Brew Alliance, owner of Widmer Brothers has decided to close the 22-year-old Widmer pub in Portland, Oregon. On its Facebook page, the company stated that “profitability challenges” and competitive challenges were the reason for the closure. Dating back to 1996, the pub was one of the first brewery-owned pubs in the city.
At a time when most craft breweries are looking at the retail component to increase profitability in a hyper-competitive market, signs of stress are beginning to show in some markets where brewpubs and brewery tasting rooms are surging in numbers. In the Portland market, the Widmer closing follows the closing late last year of both the Alameda Brewing pub and taproom and the FIFCO USA-owned Portland Brewing.