Portland brewing icon to retire

Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Bros, plans to step down at the end of 2015.

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Kurt Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Bros, plans to step down at the end of 2015.

It will be a clean break from the business side of the industry as he also plans to resign his post as Chairman of the Board of the Craft Brew Alliance. But he left the door open to beermaking in the future, just on a smaller scale.

“Since my brother Rob and I founded Widmer Brothers Brewing over 31 years ago, this extraordinary industry that we helped create has grown and evolved in ways I couldn’t even imagine,” said Mr. Widmer. “Many of us who set the foundation for today’s booming craft beer market are thinking about the next chapter in our lives, and my wife Ann and I have been discussing the fact that there’s still a lot we want to do. So while I’ll miss walking into my office at the brewery every day, I’m admittedly looking forward to more time with my family and doing more of what I love to do – whether it’s traveling around the world or home brewing in the basement.”

He continued, “In terms of timing, I feel really good about where CBA is today. Looking back on how CBA has grown from two craft beer companies to a powerful alliance of great beers, brands, breweries and partners, I couldn’t be more confident in the future. The focus, expertise, and vision of the leadership team, under the helm of Andy Thomas, are further proof that CBA, its people, and its shareholders are in great hands. People who know me will probably not believe that I’m stepping away from Widmer Brothers and CBA. As a Widmer Brother, I will always look forward to that next innovative collaboration or a chance to connect with Widmer fans over a pint of Hefe at a local account.”

(SOURCE: Press release via Brewpublic)

In 1986, the Widmer brothers launched Hefe.

Craft Brew Alliance includes three of the earliest contemporary craft brewers: Redhook Ale Brewery, Washington’s largest craft brewery founded in 1981; Widmer; and Kona Brewing Co., Hawaii’s oldest and largest craft brewery founded in 1994. Alliance beer is distributed in all 50 states and 15 international markets.

Craft Brew Alliance is publicly traded on Nasdaq and is headquartered in Portland.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

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