Portland Brewing. Widmer's North Portland brewpub. Burnside Brewing. All gone.
Now we can add Bridgeport to that list. In an email to press this morning, the 35-year-old brewery announced it will shut down immediately, citing declining sales and increased competition in the craft beer market. The brewery employed 87 workers. Its Pearl District brewpub—which underwent an extensive (and, dare we say, impressive) remodel last year—will continue to serve beer and food until March 10.
Founded in 1984 by winemakers Richard and Nancy Ponzi, the brewery was a staple of Portland's local beer scene. In the 1990s and early 2000s, BridgePort's flagship IPA was arguably the defining version, and helped popularize the style.
The full text of the email sent to press is here:
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.