City of Portland to Declare May 15 ‘Hefe Day’


PORTLAND, Ore. – The City of Portland will declare May 15 as Hefe Day, to honor the 30th Anniversary of Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen (Hefe), and recognize the important role the beer has played in building the city’s now-booming beer industry.

At the Portland City Council Meeting on May 11, Mayor Charlie Hales and the city commissioners will officially recognize the date 30 years ago when Kurt and Rob Widmer delivered the first ever keg of Hefe to the Dublin Pub.

In 1986, the owners of the Dublin Pub, Carl Simpson and Katie Bullard, were proud supporters of Widmer Brothers and carried the brewery’s first two beers, Altbier and Weizenbier. They were eager to expand their offerings and asked Kurt and Rob to make a third beer. This posed a problem, as the cobbled-together brewery had only two fermenters. To save space and time, Kurt and Rob decided to simply leave the Weizenbier unfiltered.

That improvisation was dubbed Hefeweizen, kegged specifically for the Dublin, and delivered on May 15, 1986. At first the Dublin’s patrons did not know what to think of the distinctive cloudy beer served with a lemon, but its unique appearance, bold flavor, and prominent citrus notes almost instantly shook up Portland’s beer scene.


Kurt and Rob created an entirely new beer style with Hefe, American-Style Wheat, which is officially recognized by the Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP). Over the years, Hefe elevated Widmer Brothers Brewing to national acclaim, with the beer winning numerous Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup medals. It most recently won a gold medal at the 2016 Oregon Beer Awards, and is still the top-selling craft beer in Oregon.

To celebrate Hefe Day, Widmer Brothers is throwing the City of Portland a party at Pioneer Courthouse Square on May 15, 2016, from noon to 5:00 p.m. The event is free and open to all-ages, and those 21 and over can buy tokens for Hefe in cans, which is a new packaging format for 2016. The first 1000 people who purchase tokens will get a free Hefe koozie.

Portland-based experimental country/folk/rock band Blitzen Trapper will be headlining the event, and food will be available for purchase from Koi Fusion and PDX Sliders. There will also be a public toast with Kurt and Rob Widmer, Mayor Charlie Hales, and Commissioners Nick Fish, Amanda Fritz, and Steve Novick, who will officially declare the day as Hefe Day.

For more information on Widmer Brothers Brewing, visit or see what the brewery is up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Event Details:

  • Hefe Day City Council Proclamation
  • Where: Council Chambers, City Hall: 1221 SW 4th Ave
  • When: May 11, 2016; 9:30 am
  • Who: Mayor Charlie Hales and Portland City Commissioners Nick Fish, Steve Novick, Amanda Fritz, and Dan Saltzman will be presiding over the hearings; the meeting is open to the public
  • What: Portland City Council will declare May 15th as “Hefe Day” in Portland, Ore. The declaration is commemorating the day, 30 years ago, when the first pints of Hefe made their rounds in Portland at the Dublin Pub. The council meeting will be conducted as normal, with general business agenda items heard by the council. Kurt and Rob Widmer will sit on the dais for the proclamation; Hefe will be honored, as will Kurt upon his retirement. The Hefe Day proclamation will feature special guests speaking in honor of Hefe and Kurt Widmer. Please join to watch Kurt and Rob accept this great honor and celebrate Oregon’s Favorite Craft Beer!

Hefe Day at Pioneer Square

  • Where: Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • When: May 15, 2016; noon to 5:00 pm
  • Who: Kurt and Rob Widmer, the entire Widmer Brothers team, and the City of Portland
  • What: Hefe is turning 30 years old and the City of Portland has proclaimed the official anniversary date Hefe Day. Widmer Brothers is celebrating in a big way with a public event in Portland’s living room: Pioneer Courthouse Square. Join us for live music from Blitzen Trapper, food trucks including Koi Fusion and PDX Sliders, and of course plenty of cold Hefe in new cans! Admission is free, with tokens being sold for Widmer Brothers Hefe in cans.

About Widmer Brothers Brewing

Widmer Brothers Brewing helped create the Pacific Northwest craft beer movement in 1984 when founders Kurt and Rob Widmer, then in their 20s, began brewing unique interpretations of traditional German beer styles. In 1986, Widmer Brothers Brewing introduced the original American-style Hefeweizen, which elevated the brewery to national acclaim. Since then, the brewery’s iconic Hefe, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2016, has grown to become Oregon’s favorite craft beer. For more than three decades, Widmer Brothers has continued to push the boundaries of craft beer. Based in Portland, Oregon, the brewery currently brews a variety of beers including Hefe, Upheaval IPA, Steel Bridge Porter, Drop Top Amber, Replay IPA, and a full seasonal lineup. Additionally, the brewery continues to make a series of limited edition, small-batch beers available in Oregon and at the Widmer Brothers Pub in North Portland.