Lompoc Brewing is Closing at the End of the Month

Lompoc head brewer Bryan Kielty and owner Jerry Fechter during happier times

We are losing another classic legacy brewery; 23 year-old Lompoc Brewing is closing their 5th Quadrant location, Sidebar and the brewing operation itself. Owner Jerry Fechter announced the closure, final day of business is Tuesday, October 29th.

The news means that this weekend, October 26-27th, 2019 is the last real weekend in business. This coming Monday is the last Lompoc Wing Night and next Tuesday is the last Tightwad Tuesday.

Lompoc Brewing has been a mainstay of the Oregon beer landscape, starting with the New Old Lompoc on northwest 23rd and to the opening of the production space at 5th Quadrant. In Nov. 2017 Lompoc closed their southeast Portland Hedge House location and in Sept. 2018 closed the Lompoc Tavern which replaced New Old Lompoc in northwest. At the same time, Lompoc continued to win medals, just last year winning a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for Lomporter.

Rumors of Lompoc’s closures have persisted for months, Fechter had exhausted all options, including one to sell the brewery to a brewer, that didnt work out.

Lompoc owner Jerry Fechter

“We’ve been pretty slow, and to be quite honest, Lompoc needs a rebrand, a refresh, and at this time I just don’t have the resources to do that,” says Fechter. “I am basically just leaving the space for the landlords.”

Lompoc Sidebar couches fireplace
Lompoc Brewing Sidebar, the Don Younger painting by John Foyston will live on, probably at the Horse Brass pub


Brewmaster Bryan Keilty will be involved in another brewery still in the pipeline, his future is bright. Right now Keilty is transferring beer into kegs, emptying spirit and wine barrels, moving the last drops of Lompoc beer into package.

“If a bar owner wants to come over here in the next few weeks, we’d happy to set them up with some” says Fechter of the remaining liquid. “We can’t sell them through the distributor.”

Oaks Bottom Public House on SE Bybee Blvd. will continue to operate as its own entity, owned and run by Jerry Fechter. It will serve and sell all remaining Lompoc beer while it lasts. For now, Fechter plans on focusing on making Oaks Bottom the best neighborhood pub it can be.

As usual, Lompoc and Fechter are keeping things classy, even in their waning days. Lompoc will be offering a severance package to the remaining employees, and will try to absorb as many as they can at Oaks Bottom.

Lompoc will hold a final “garage sale” next Saturday, Nov. 2 at Sidebar (3901 N Williams Ave.) from Noon to 5pm to sell off vintage Lompoc bottles, merchandise, glassware, and more.

Established in 1996, Lompoc Brewing is part of the old-guard of craft breweries, and has been a longtime Portland favorite. Fechter would like to thank everyone for their support over the past 23 years. To quote another Jerry, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” Cheers!

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

Discussion

  • Matt Kiser
    Matt Kiser
    Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:54 PM

    This is the most sad about a closing as I’ve ever been. Consistent, true to style, beers seem to be waning in favor of fad beer styles. Easily one of the best in Portland for some time. So sad to see it go.