If you didn’t already know, the Widmer Brothers brewing company was started by two brothers who had been brewing beer at home as hobby.
Home brewing was legalized in Oregon back in 1979, and this sparked the beginning for the two brothers. Kurt and Rob Widmer began brewing beer that they themselves enjoyed and began sharing it with their friends.
Fast forward to 1984 and the Widmer Brothers had quit their day jobs to pursue brewing on a larger scale.
The brewery was built in what is now called the Pearl District of Northwest Portland. These two guys had been making craft beer right at home, just like all of us, but were so passionate about it that they took it to the next level. They were then able to begin growing their brewery by distributing their beer to various pubs.
They also took the time to brew an entirely new beer at the request of a pub owner, and had to get creative in order to make 3 different beers with only 2 fermenters. This dedication to the craft and skillful use of equipment lead to the creation of the American-style Hefeweizen, resulting from skipping the filtering process on their original Weizenbier to have space for the new third beer.
With the help of two other breweries, the Widmer Brothers launched a brewer’s festival in 1988 that now attracts 70,000 guests and over 80 breweries to Oregon during the last full weekend of July. The forward motion did not stop there as they finally began bottling their beer in 1996. Prior to bottling, they were the largest draft-only brewery in the nation.
In 2008 they paired up with Redhook Ale to start Craft Beer Alliance, Inc., taking their beer sales to a new high while also strongly supporting small scale brewing operations by selling bottled drafts of home brew recipes.
Not only is this corporation known for putting high quality beers on the market, but also for giving back to the same communities they originally came from: people making craft beer at home.
The success of these two beer enthusiasts might come as an inspiration to you, knowing that with very little equipment you can really go quite far – especially if you have great beer
(photo credit: http://widmerbrothers.com)
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