It has finally happened. For years now we’ve wondered why the largest beer maker in Portland — Widmer Brothers Brewing — didn’t have a bike-themed beer. After all, not only are we the best biking town in America, but Widmer is a very bike-friendly company. Co-founder Rob Widmer even rode his bike in a commute challenge during National Bike Month in 2008.
Now comes word that Widmer has collaborated with another Portland-based company, Keen Footwear, to make a new beer that will be called Full Fender Brown Ale.
We don’t know all the details yet, but the official announcement and label art are expected to be unveiled next week.
Last night Widmer Brothers Brewery held a celebration for their newly installed, on-street bike parking corral. A party for bike parking is one thing, but last night’s event was a bigger deal because Mayor Adams led a bike ride to it from City Hall and KATU-TV showed up to cover the whole thing on their evening newscast.
Adams broke a glass of champagne (or was it beer?) on one of the racks, there was mingling, and there was a party upstairs with a free bike raffle and other prizes (thanks to Cyclepath Bike Shop).
On September 2nd they’ll host an event called “Bikes and Brews”. Widmer spokesperson Mindy Green says from 5:30 – 8:00 they’ll have bike-related exhibitors, beer specials and a raffle throughout the day “to patrons with helmets”. Among the raffle prizes are four entry passes to the 2010 Cycle Oregon Weekend Ride.
Widmer Brothers Brewing is well-known for their Hefeweizen beer and for being one of the nation’s pioneering craft brewers. But perhaps less well known is their commitment to the growing number of their 150 Portland employees who ride their bikes to work.
At their North Portland headquarters (on Russell Street off of N. Interstate Ave), Widmer just finished up a major expansion project. Along with more beer storage space, offices, and keg-filling capacity, they also added an entire building devoted to bike parking.
brother Kurt — who drove the silver
Acura in the background.
(Photos © J. Maus)
The event pitted Rob and Kurt Widmer (founders of Portland-based Widmer Brothers Brewing) against each other to see who would get from NE 18th and Broadway to City Hall — a distance of about three miles — first.
Rob rode his bike (a well-used Trek mountain bike), Kurt drove his car (a shiny newish Acura sedan).
out in the name of bikes.
The Portland Office of the Transportation is gearing up for National Bike Month in May.
PDOT (in coordination with Shift and the BTA) has 13 events planned throughout the month (see full list below) including a bike/car race on May 1st that will pit the Widmer brothers — Rob and Kurt — against each other to see who can get across town faster.
Widmer Brothers Brewing was founded in 1984 and they still brew beer daily at their North Portland location.