The Story of Widmer Brothers Brewing

Widmer Brothers Co., based in Portland, Oregon, has a rich history that began with two brothers following their passion for . In 1984, Kurt and Rob Widmer decided to quit their jobs and embark on a brewing adventure, turning their beer hobby into a vocation.

Scrounging up equipment from wherever they could, the brothers set out to create unique and flavorful brews. Their dedication and innovation led them to create the first American-style Hefeweizen in 1986, aptly named Widmer Hefeweizen. This particular beer would go on to become one of their flagship offerings and a staple in the industry.

Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. quickly gained recognition and a loyal following for its quality and distinct brews. The brewery's commitment to using only the finest ingredients and traditional brewing techniques set them apart from the competition. They focused on creating beers that were not only delicious but also reflected the local Pacific Northwest flavor and culture.

In 2008, Widmer Brothers merged with Redhook, a Seattle-based brewery, to form Craft Brew Alliance (CBA). This strategic move allowed both breweries to expand their distribution and reach a wider audience. Fast forward to 2020, and Anheuser-Busch acquired CBA in its entirety, solidifying their position in the craft beer market.

Despite the acquisition, Widmer Brothers and its beers continue to be celebrated for their quality and craftsmanship. The brewery maintains its commitment to innovative brewing techniques and creating beers that appeal to a wide range of palates. From their signature Hefeweizen to their seasonal and limited edition offerings, Widmer Brothers consistently delivers exceptional brews that satisfy beer enthusiasts.

It's worth noting that Anheuser-Busch holds a minority stake of approximately 32% in Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. This partnership has allowed the brewery to expand its distribution network and gain access to additional resources, while still maintaining its unique identity and brewing philosophy.

Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. has a remarkable story that began with two brothers' passion for beer. Their commitment to quality and innovation has propelled them to become one of the most respected breweries in the craft beer industry. Whether you're a fan of their iconic Hefeweizen or eager to explore their diverse beer offerings, Widmer Brothers is a name that continues to impress beer lovers across the nation.

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Who Bought Widmer?

Widmer Brothers was acquired by Anheuser-Busch (A-B). A-B purchased the entire Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) in 2020, after initially owning a 31.2% share. The CBA was formed in 2008 through the merger of Widmer Brothers and Redhook, a Seattle-based brewery.

Where Did Widmer Hefeweizen Come From?

Widmer Hefeweizen, the first American-style Hefeweizen, originated from Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon. Established in 1986, the Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. took the initiative to create this unique beer. Widmer Hefeweizen stands out as a refreshing and smooth wheat beer with distinct flavors and aromas. It gained popularity for its distinctive American twist on the traditional German Hefeweizen style. The brewery's dedication to quality and innovation led them to craft this iconic beer, which has become a staple in the American craft beer scene.


Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. has a rich history in the craft beer industry, dating back to its founding by brothers Kurt and Rob in 1984. What started as a hobby quickly turned into a successful vocation, with the creation of their iconic American-style Hefeweizen in 1986, known as Widmer Hefeweizen.

Over the years, Widmer Brothers has become a respected name in the beer world, known for its quality and innovation. The company's merger with Redhook in 2008 led to the formation of Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), and later, Anheuser-Busch's acquisition of CBA in 2020.

Despite the minority stake held by Anheuser-Busch, Widmer Brothers continues to operate independently, preserving its craft beer heritage and commitment to excellence. The brewery's dedication to brewing exceptional beers has earned it a loyal following and a prominent place in the craft beer community.

As a pioneer in American-style Hefeweizen and a key player in the craft beer movement, Widmer Brothers has made a significant impact on the industry. Their commitment to quality, creativity, and brewing innovation has cemented their position as a trusted and beloved craft brewery.

Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. is a testament to the passion and dedication of its founders, and their vision to create exceptional beers that have stood the test of time. With Anheuser-Busch's support, the brewery is poised to continue its legacy and contribute to the ever-evolving world of craft beer.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.