Widmer Experiments with New Beer Styles
In 1986 Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the first American-style Hefeweizen which became their flagship beer. Over the last 23 years the brewery has grown and expanded their line up of beers to include Drop Top Amber Ale, Broken Halo IPA and Drifter Pale Ale. In the craft beer world, larger brewers like Widmer are often overlooked by die hard craft beer fans as they are perceived as producing beers that are more quantity than quality. This perception could not be farther from the truth when it comes to Widmer. Widmer’s Gasthuas Pub offers an array of rotating, innovative beers that are only offered at that location. They also work with the Oregon Brew Crew home brewers to create collaborator beers. Some of the collaboration beers get added to their line up of beers like the winter seasonal Snow Plow. If this is not proof that Widmer is still creating innovative beers, hopefully the release of their newest line of beers will be.
On October 5th 2009, the Widmer Brothers released their first beer from a new semi-annual line of beers called the Brothers’ Reserve Series. The first beer from the series is a Cherry Oak Doppelbock. It retails from $7.99 to $9.99 and comes in a 22 ounce bottle which is packaged in a distinctive box. All beers in the Reserve Series will be a one time limited release. They produced 2,200 cases of the Cherry Oak Doppelbock for distribution. To kick off the new series Kurt Widmer autographed 50 of the bottles that were then distributed nationwide. The lucky recipients are asked to connect with Widmer on Facebook or Twitter to let them know where the bottles landed.
The Brothers’ Reserve series positions Widmer with other Oregon breweries including Deschutes Brewery, Bridgeport Brewing and Full Sail Brewing who release limited edition 22 ounce bottles. It seams like the right time for Widmer to create a new series of beer that takes them back to their creative roots.
Kurt Widmer explains, “The Brothers’ Reserve Series gives us the chance to take some risks and have some fun experimenting with various ingredients and beer styles. I think this one turned out pretty good, and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”
The beer has a malty taste with a hint of cherry that is balanced with dark chocolate and oak undertones. This beer is 9% ABV, but drinks like a 5 or 6% ABV beer. It is a very smooth and drinkable beer that will get better with age. It is recommended to serve the beer near room temperature to taste the full body of flavors. The Cherry Oak Doppelbock retails at a reasonable price from $7.99 to $9.99.
If you are in Portland be sure to stop by their Widmer Gasthaus Pub at 955 N. Russell Portland, OR 97227. They also offer free brewery tours on Fridays at 3pm and Saturdays at 11am and 12:30pm. Call 503-281-2437 in advance to reserve your spot.
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