Widmer Brothers Brewing is celebrating 30 years of beer this year—today in fact, April 2, was the day in 1984 that Kurt and Rob Widmer incorporated the business—and, like BridgePort for their own 30-year celebration, they are launching the first three beers in a special series of 30(!) that were specially brewed to commemorate each year in business. They’re calling this 30 Beers in 30 Years and it’s ambitious. From the press release:
To celebrate this major milestone, today Widmer Brothers Brewing announced the first three beers in the anticipated 30 Beers for 30 Years Series, the brewery’s most ambitious effort to date and one of the most elaborate series of beer releases from a brewery in the United States. The three releases – Altbier, Weizenbier, and Hefeweizen – were the first three beers that the brothers brewed, and each represents one of the first three years of Widmer Brothers’ existence: 1984, 1985, and 1986, respectively.
The three beers each hold a huge place in Widmer Brothers’ history. Altbier was the first beer brewed and sold by Widmer Brewing Company. While development of the beer began in 1984, Altbier wasn’t actually released to the public until 1985 after the brothers brewed and dumped the first twelve batches. It’s a testament to Kurt and Rob’s commitment to quality; they wanted the beer to be just right, a value that’s evident in every Widmer Brothers beer and one that has helped drive the brewery’s success since the beginning.
You can look at that “30 Beers” site to get a sneak peek of what’s coming up to represent each year, too. I really like the idea behind it, and I’m really looking forward the the Altbier in particular. As to the methods behind the madness in brewing these:
Each re-release in the 30 Beers for 30 Years series is brewed in small batches to original specifications from archived recipes drawn up on notebook paper in the 80s. While Kurt and Rob were meticulous about keeping records, they didn’t necessarily take the most detailed notes.
“For these initial few releases, we were literally working from pieces of notebook paper, cross-referencing notes from various brews to figure out exactly how Kurt and Rob were brewing these beers 30 years ago,” said Ben Dobler, Widmer Brothers innovation brewer, who helped spearhead the series. “It’s a real challenge to replicate the recipes perfectly, especially when we consider the imperfections that likely made these beers great at the time. But we’re working hard to maintain the original character, intent and quality of these beers, which were extraordinary for their time.”
Look for the beers to appear on the shelves soon. Here’s the publicity photo they sent out as well: