We started our namesake brewery in 1984 in Portland, Oregon. Our flagship beer, Hefeweizen, made us a national brand and we have seen and been through a lot in our 30 years of craft brewing. Ask us anything!

We are new to Reddit, so Brady Walen and Casey Armstrong are helping us type and format. Kurt is at a beer conference on the East Coast but is on the phone right now and ready to answer questions.

Ask us anything!

PROOF: https://twitter.com/Widmer_Brothers/status/466318714229776384

EDIT: Thanks everyone. We had a great time. Prost!

Comments: 186 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

senatorwyden44 karma

Kurt and Rob, I just finished my AMA, it good to see the brewery a few weeks ago, your folks were great, glad we made real progress on spent grains.

RobWidmer26 karma

Thanks for all of your support for craft brewing!

down42roads10 karma

How would you respond to people that vilify craft brewers who enter into partnerships with SABMiller and InBev?

RobWidmer13 karma

The quality of our beer actually improved with the distribution agreement with AB. We talk about vilifiers as flat-earthers.

joopius0 karma

You guys have the best IPA on the planet. It's always in my fridge. Rock on Widmer brothers!!

RobWidmer2 karma

Thanks!

DrippingStar8 karma

What is your favorite Widmer beer, and what is your favorite beer from another brewery?

RobWidmer19 karma

Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen. Drinking it now! From another brewery, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- I've got a soft spot for it.

http://imgur.com/9KBsNEE

widmer69698 karma

What do you do with all the spent grains after mashing?

RobWidmer14 karma

Feed lots and lots and lots of cows.

Strangebrewer8 karma

Like a lot of people growing up in Portland, Widmer Hefe got me into craft beer so... thank you! I have also have a few questions:

Have you ever considered bottling your Alt year round?

How much brewing actually goes on at the Rose Garden brewery?

Do either of you have a brewery in town that you like thats not your own?

What's your opinion of the name for the new transit bridge? (Tillikum Crossing)

RobWidmer7 karma

We did bottle Alt at one point as a seasonal. We brought it back as part of our 30 Beers for 30 Years series http://30beersfor30years.com/

We brew everyday at the Rose Garden. We brew a ton there.

I like Breakside's Dekum pub.

Should have been Cascadia Crossing!

knifeofdreams6 karma

What would your advice be for someone looking to start brewing from home and feeling a little overwhelmed?

RobWidmer11 karma

We both started as home brewers. I'm doing some one-gallon batches at home now, in fact. Here's a great resource from Chow: http://www.chow.com/food-news/55536/how-to-brew-small-batch-beer-in-your-kitchen/

Ferbtastic6 karma

We all know the old joke about American beer and canoe sex but craft brews seem to be changing this. Where do you think America ranks the beer super powers? Thanks

RobWidmer39 karma

The US is #1 with Portland being the epicenter of beer.

widmer69695 karma

You guys got anything special planned for OBF this year? Is there another brewery you'd like to do a collaboration brew with? Firestone Walker perhaps!?

RobWidmer10 karma

Special, yes - bringing back Widberry for OBF this year! We've got you covered.

N8Dogg4144 karma

Hefe with or without lemon?

RobWidmer12 karma

With, if it's a fresh lemon!

KayJay14524 karma

I love your beer and your brew pub! But what is your favorite brewery besides Widmer and why is it your favorite?

RobWidmer10 karma

Logsdon. The brewery and the house are on the slopes of Mt. Hood. It's where I want to live.

TMQPDX2 karma

Nice choice! Would love to see a collaboration between you two!

RobWidmer14 karma

Been there. Brewed a pale ale with Logsdon earlier this year.

BacteriaEP4 karma

Damn I missed it!

Maybe I can get one last one in:

Why did you guys get rid of Drifter? It was the perfect Pale Ale. While I've taken a liking to Alchemy, it just doesn't compare.

RobWidmer1 karma

We were sorry to see Drifter go as well. The signature of Drifter, Summit hops, has made its way into other beers and fortunately, we've learned a lot from that beer.

jlange944 karma

Do you believe microbreweries are generally better in quality than a national beer?

RobWidmer17 karma

More flavorful, but not necessarily better quality.

dotproblemscomic4 karma

Are you ever going to brew Deadlift IPA again? It was my favorite!!

RobWidmer4 karma

Probably - it's got a new name, Nelson Imperial IPA. We love it too.

platypusfriend3 karma

Gentlemen, the world would love to see you can.

RobWidmer7 karma

We do. Really big cans with handy handles. http://imgur.com/CxikOhk

platypusfriend3 karma

And I am a loyal customer of said cans. However... :) I would buy MORE OF YOUR PRODUCT if you started canning. For real. So would my wife.

EDIT: Because..and let's be honest here..Widmer Hef isn't notorious for it's amazing shelf life in the bottle.

RobWidmer6 karma

Not convinced that cans would help shelf life that much, but it's something we've considered in the past. It's not out of the question.

Hatefly3 karma

Do you provide recipes for any of your beers (for homebrewers to try?) Do you use your own in house yeast strains?

RobWidmer8 karma

We don't actively provide recipes for homebrewers to brew but there are a bunch of clone recipes out there from homebrewers. And yes, we do have house yeast strains.

aquanaut3 karma

I remember your W'09 fondly. Any chance of a reissue?

RobWidmer3 karma

Sweet. We'll be brewing this one again as part of the 30 Beers for 30 Years series. Look for it soon.

widmer69693 karma

With such a large concentration of breweries, what makes the Pacific Northwest such a great place to brew beer?

RobWidmer10 karma

Beer drinkers. Awesome beer drinkers.

Osiris323 karma

Has to do with the fact that hop production in the Yakima and Willamette Valleys is so high. Only the Hallertau in Germany has more hop production area. Because they're local, hops are fresher when they go into the vats, and that improves the taste.

Of course, I'm an avid Oregonian beer drinking, so I necessarily have a bias.

pdxpeter5 karma

Bull Run water helps too I think.

RobWidmer3 karma

Yes, absolutely.

Mikeydoes2 karma

Do you have any beer tap handles? If so please share some pics!

And send me one! My Uncle owns a small restaurant with whatever is popular in micro-brews, so I always love trying new beers and suggesting some to him.

RobWidmer2 karma

We do have Tap Handles. And here's a photo:

http://imgur.com/hzdiRO6

ap832 karma

What are your favorite stouts, porters, or black ipas besides your own? What do you think about the black ipa trend?

RobWidmer1 karma

I think Left Hand's Milk Stout is awesome.

jjuanny2 karma

Are you guys releasing Marion berry hibiscus gose again?

RobWidmer1 karma

No plans at the moment, but you never know.

AskMe_If_Im_Filipino2 karma

[deleted]

RobWidmer4 karma

We tried selling our beer in Canada in the 90's but the tariffs made the beer too expensive. Nothing in Canada right now.

oregone12 karma

Is x-114 coming back?

RobWidmer3 karma

Yes. It's part of our 30 Beers for 30 Years Series. Get your Citra fix with Citra Blonde Summer Brew this summer in the meantime.

lshic2 karma

whats your favorite (german) beer?

RobWidmer10 karma

Paulaner Hefeweizen

widmer69692 karma

I know you guys are still involved with a home brewing club here in Portland. Done any small batch brewing at home recently?

RobWidmer3 karma

Yeah. I've been fooling around with brew in a bag one-gallon at home. Brewing Hefe most recently.

widmer69692 karma

What are your favorite beer-food pairings?

RobWidmer4 karma

Hefe and Tex-Mex.

barleyandgrapes1 karma

I'm looking to open a brewery with my brother, his best friend and the man I hope to marry at some point. Any advice on trademarking/licensing/copyrighting struggles? I'm the only one with a business degree so I have the unenviable task of wading through all the legalities and contracts, so any things I should look out for would be greatly appreciated.

Congrats on all your success!

RobWidmer2 karma

It's getting tougher and tougher to find names that people aren't already using. Using a family name worked for us.

snaxion1 karma

Thanks for the beer stand during the Portland Marathon. haha /u/changetip 500 bits

RobWidmer1 karma

You're welcome!

CoconutM1lk1 karma

What is the hardest part of owning the brewery?

RobWidmer1 karma

Nothing. It's all sweet!

Glutard1 karma

Hey I know I'm a little late on the AMA but I just wanted to say thanks! I have a fairly decent gluten sensitivity and after trying so many different gluten free/gluten removed beers Omission Pale Ale is my absolute favorite. Kudos!

RobWidmer1 karma

Thanks for the support -- glad you're enjoying Omission!

Christhefish131 karma

Isn't craft also the mac 'n cheese makers?

RobWidmer1 karma

I gotta start using that. That's awesome!

thenewguyonreddit1 karma

Hey Kurt and Rob,

What is your opinion on Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier?

This is my all time favorite beer and I really wish that Widmer has something comparable.

Also, how often do you disagree with each other on company strategy decisions? Who defers to who? Anybody have veto power?

One last question: Do you guys or anybody else in the industry take beeradvocate.com seriously? Have you ever made any corrective actions to business operations after reading reviews from here?

RobWidmer1 karma

We do have a similar beer: Brotha From Anotha Motha, our interpretation of the Bavarian Style Hefeweizen. And it's even better!

RobWidmer1 karma

We disagree with each other 2.56 times a week. I read BeerAdvocate frequently but try not to take any of the reviews personally.

aespo1 karma

What are your favorite non-Widmer beers to drink?

RobWidmer5 karma

Homebrew.

YC141 karma

I just wanted to say that your Hefeweizen is my dad's favorite beer. Keep up the good work!

RobWidmer1 karma

Best. Dad. Ever.

TMQPDX1 karma

Bros, love the gasthaus remodel. Looking forward to more collaborations for your 30 anniversary!

I have heard rumours since the release of the $8+ Boneyard collab 22s about prices going up across the board. Are all your beer going up in price since other popular breweries are charging more than the standard $4ish for a 22? I would hope not, your new brewers are making excellent beer but affordable well made brews got you to where you are today and earned the fans you all have now and that's something you shouldn't soon forget!

RobWidmer3 karma

The collaboration beers are special for the 30th anniversary. It takes a lot of resources to brew them, so they have a slightly higher price.

seanboarder1 karma

Hey guys, First off, I love your delicious beer (Upheaval is a freaking masterpiece). On a recent visit over the cascades to Deschutes they told us about how they kept cryogenically frozen strains of their original ingredients in both Hood River and San Diego to ensure their beer lived on in the event that the South Sister decides to erupt or whatever. So my question is: Do you guys have any (debatably) whacky traditions or habits like the one above? Thanks! And of course, Prost!!!

RobWidmer3 karma

I keep the red truck in tip top condition.

http://media.oregonlive.com/thebeerhere/photo/11047698-large.jpg

Raybdbomb1 karma

I just finished the Widmer sponsored "Pints and Pins" bowling league across the river at Crosley Lanes in Vancouver, WA. Thanks for everything you guys do! I still remember my first Hef around 4 years ago, it was truly a gateway for me to trying craft beer.

RobWidmer1 karma

Great. Thanks!

WideAwakeInSanDiego1 karma

[deleted]

KurtWidmer5 karma

Terrific.

WideAwakeInSanDiego1 karma

[deleted]

RobWidmer4 karma

I like Alpine.

the_chandler1 karma

I think I'm a little bit late on this, but I just want to thank you for doing this. Widmer has become one of my favorite beermakers over the last couple of years. My only question is about the Drifter Pale Ale. I haven't seen that around my area (Charleston, WV) in quite a while. I was wondering if it has been discontinued or just become seasonal? The Drifter is one of my favorite Pale Ales and I miss it a lot.

RobWidmer1 karma

We stopped brewing Drifter early last year when we launched Alchemy Pale Ale. We were sad to see Drifter go, but hope you've had a chance to try Alchemy. Prost!

influencedbyyou1 karma

Is there an opportunity for a virtual internship?

RobWidmer1 karma

What's a "virtual internship"?

joopius1 karma

Can I tour your brewery the next time I am in Portland?

RobWidmer3 karma

Yes. Stop on by.

Osiris320 karma

Do you have any new flavors or labels that you're planning on putting on the market soon? I'm a big fan of Drop Top, and would love to see another amber from you guys that's easily accessible.

KurtWidmer2 karma

We've got 30 Beers for 30 Years happening right now to celebrate our 30th Anniversary as well as a handful of collaborations with Oregon breweries.

Osiris321 karma

When the celebration is over, how many will be kept on as a regularly available label? I'd love to see even more selection at Freddies in the beer aisle.

RobWidmer2 karma

We're working on it. We'd like to see more beer there too.