More bad news for the beer industry today. At a Widmer Brothers Pub staff meeting this morning everyone–or nearly everyone–was laid off with zero notice, with some employees receiving severance packages. Effective immediately, Widmer Brothers Brewing is shutting down the brewpub, previously called the Gasthaus. The space will reopen as a tasting room focusing on beers made on the pilot 10bbl brewery recently installed next door. I knew a special tasting room for that system was coming, but no one knew it was going to be at the expense of the full bar and restaurant. The Widmer Pub is closed as of now and will undergo a remodel that removes the kitchen in exchange for small snacks and expanding the retail/dock sales and tasting room style merch store experience. While the pilot batch series/innovation brewing stuff is exciting and I am glad the brewery is getting a bigger showcase, the full pub and restaurant is a Portland staple and an underrated gem. The pub served some of the best German and Pub food in town and had a reliably interesting selection of beers on tap.
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