BridgePort Brewing Company ceases brewing operations, will close pub in March

FILE - Beer

PORTLAND, Ore. – BridgePort Brewing Company announced Tuesday that it will close its brew pub on March 10, 2019.

They brewery will stop its brewing operations effective immediately.

“The decision to close was extremely difficult for all involved,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The brewery had restructured its operations in April 2017 due to declining sales. However, even after restructuring, sales and distribution continued declining in the competitive craft beer market in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

This resulted in their final decision to close.

The news rippled through the craft beer industry, the same industry BridgePort helped establish.

"So many memories there," Colin Rath, Migration Brewing's Co-Owner told KATU. "I loved their space ... BridgePort was always a comfortable place to go."

Like BridgePort, Rath says competition is fierce and breweries are forced to stay nimble, create and innovative.

"Nobody wants to eat a hamburger every single day," Rath said. "The more variants you can make, and do it well, the more relevant you’re staying in the consumer's mind."

While some breweries are limiting operations or closing altogether, Migration and several smaller breweries recently expanded.

Migration converted a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in Gresham to house its production facility and a tasting room.

"It was definitely one of those things [we thought about]," Rath said of his company's ability to stay innovative. "Making sure that, as we are going through this expansion, we’re thinking about being able to pivot, being able to bring out new flavors and new styles, and stay with the trends that are becoming popular and exciting for the consumer."

Oregon Brewers Guild Co-Executive Director Tony Roberts says not only is competition stiff at the bar, so is shelf space at stores.

"When BridgePort opened in the mid-80s, I bet there were maybe five breweries in Portland," Roberts told KATU. "Now, there are over 75 in Portland, 120 in the Portland-metro area and 280-plus across the state."

Last year, Widmer Brothers Brewing announced it was closing its brewpub and limiting its operations.

Last week, Burnside Brewery closed.

BridgePort invites the public to stop by the pub for one last pint before they close next month.

"We would also like to thank you -- our BridgePort drinkers, pub customers, and fans -- for your loyal support over the past 35 years," BridgePort Brewing said.

The brewery said they communicated the news to its employees Tuesday morning, and all are being provided with comprehensive severance packages.

Read the full statement from BridgePort Brewing Company below:

Dear Friends of BridgePort,

Today we unfortunately announce that the BridgePort Brewery will cease brewing operations effective immediately, while the BridgePort Brew Pub will close effective March 10th, 2019. The decision to close was extremely difficult for all involved. Back in April 2017, declining sales caused the brewery to restructure its operations. However, sales and distribution continued declining in the extremely competitive craft beer market of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, which resulted in this final decision.

We extend our most sincere thanks and gratitude to our hardworking brewers, pub staff, our suppliers, and sales and marketing team for their dedication to BridgePort over the years. Because of their contributions, BridgePort’s enduring legacy as Portland’s craft beer pioneer will always be remembered.

We communicated this news earlier today to our employees and all are being provided with comprehensive severance packages.

We would also like to thank you—our BridgePort drinkers, pub customers, and fans—for your loyal support over the past 35 years. We invite you to stop by the pub for one last pint before we close next month. We would love to host you and reminisce one last time.

With our heartfelt appreciation,

The BridgePort Team

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