BridgePort Brewing closes, Hops seek new sponsor
Another local brewery bites the dust.
BridgePort Brewing, the state's oldest craft brewery and local industry pioneer, is shutting down, ending operations immediately and closing its brewpub — located in Portland's Pearl District — March 10. As a result, the Hillsboro Hops will have a new beer sponsor next season.
The local minor league franchise, which plays its games at Ron Tonkin Field, named the Portland brewery the official beer of the team in an agreement beginning in 2013. As part of the agreement, the team featured BridgePort brands throughout the stadium by way of signage and logo exposure, in addition to an official BridgePort Beer Garden located down the first base line, which offered food and an array of craft beer options, including "Long Ball Ale," an award-winning brew specific to the franchise.
BridgePort's closure adds to a growing list of breweries in Portland and the greater area that have shut down over the past year, including the Alameda Brewhouse and Brewery, Seven Brides Brewing, Two Kilts Brewing, and Fat Head's Brewery.
Last season marked the end of the franchise's second three-year deal with the brewery. In the wake of the news, Hillsboro Hops General Manager K.L. Wombacher said in an email that while surprised by recent developments regarding the closure, the Hops are no longer under contract with the brewery and had been and will continue to negotiate with a number of breweries regarding sponsorship for the upcoming season.
In recent years, craft beers have increasingly carved a niche in stadium beer revenue previously dominated by industry stalwarts, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. In many minor and major league stadiums, crafts have been responsible for anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of beer sales.
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