Widmer Brothers Closes Its North Portland Pub After 23 Years

The nearly 35-year-old brewery says they have "struggled to make the pub financially sustainable.”

(Widmer Brothers, Andrew Koczian)

It's the end of an era for one of the state's oldest and largest breweries.

Widmer Brothers has closed its pub and tasting room, located at 955 North Russell Street, effective today, according to a post on the brewery's Facebook page.

"This was a very hard decision to make, especially as we reflect on the pub's past and plan an exciting future for the brewery," it says, "where our team will continue to brew your favorite Widmer Brothers beers."

In an effort to keep the pub open, Widmer shuttered the kitchen during a remodel in November 2017 and put the focus on a small-batch 10-barrel innovation brewery. Customers could still order light snacks, but the full menu was scrapped. A summer beer garden also debuted in the slice of land next to the production facility. But profitability has remained an issue.

"When the pub first opened in 1996, there were only a handful of breweries in the city," the post added. "Today, there are over 115 breweries in the Portland Metro area. With that increased competition, we have struggled to make the pub financially sustainable."

Rest assured, Widmer will remain a part of the industry. The almost 35-year-old business has plans to launch new beers in new packaging thanks to the recent installation of a canning line. The retail store is set to remain open as well.

You'll be able to visit the brewery in February during Zwickelmania, a behind-the-scenes event hosted by breweries across the state, as part of a revamped tour. And occasional special events will be held in the old pub and beer garden.

Widmer went on to express its gratitude to its devoted drinkers.

"This note wouldn't be complete without thanking our pub customers for 22+ years of support—we wouldn't have made it this long without you," the post read. "Endings are never easy, but we hope you'll continue to be a fan and enjoy our beers in the future."

Related: Widmer Brothers Thinks Outside the Six-Pack

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.