Fat Head’s Brewery will close its Portland, Oregon, brewpub in early 2018 following the termination of a licensing agreement between the Ohio-based company and its local franchisee.
“Despite the best efforts from both sides, we were unable to agree upon a vision for the future,” Fat Head’s founder Glenn Benigni said via a press release. “As a result, we’ve mutually decided to close the Fat Head’s Brewery location in Portland, pouring our last beer in early 2018.”
However, the Pearl District building where Fat Head’s had operated since November 2014 won’t be closed for long. Fat Head’s former franchisee, Tom Cook, will open Von Ebert Brewing in the same location in early 2018.
“Von Ebert Brewing is a new concept, where northwest family traditions meet bold new ideas in craft brewing,” Cook said in his own press release. “We’re excited to unveil a completely new experience for customers, blending our brewing expertise with the adventurous flavors Portland has come to love.”
Von Ebert will “specialize in hoppy craft brews” created by head brewer Eric Van Tassel, according to the release. The company has also hired Sean Burke, former head brewer of Portland’s recently shuttered The Commons Brewery.
Last year, beer sales at Fat Head’s Portland brewpub increased 30 percent to 2,082 barrels, according to data from industry trade group the Brewers Association.
According to Fat Head’s press release, all employees at the Portland brewpub will have the opportunity to retain their positions with Von Ebert.
For its part, Fat Head’s said via the release that it would “concentrate its efforts” on growing sales at its outposts in Ohio (North Olmsted and Middleburg Heights), Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) and “neighboring states.” The company is currently in the process of building a $2.1 million, 10,000 sq. ft. brewpub in Canton, Ohio, that is expected to open in January, and it has also stated intentions to open a Charlotte, North Carolina, brewpub.
Earlier this week, Brewbound reported that Fat Head’s had inked a deal with Ohio’s Rivals Brewing Company to take over its original Middleburg Heights, Ohio, brewpub space. Rivals, which had been contract producing its beer for the last year, has signed a five-year lease on the 35,000 sq. ft. turnkey brewery where Fat Head’s has operated since 2012.
Fat Head’s will vacate the Middleburg Heights space once its new $12 million, 125,000 sq. ft. destination brewery opens next spring. The new facility, located about a mile from its current headquarters, will double Fat Head’s production capabilities and enable it to produce as much as 60,000 barrels of beer annually.
Press releases from both companies are included below.
Von Ebert Brewing Announces Grand Opening In Early 2018
Portland, Oregon – Von Ebert Brewing, a locally owned, Portland-based brewing company is excited to announce its grand opening in the Pearl District. Opening in the first quarter of 2018, the brewery will feature an array of expertly crafted beers, a refined pub-inspired menu, and inviting décor.
The brewery will specialize in hoppy craft brews from Head Brewer, Eric Van Tassel. Sean Burke, former Head Brewer at The Commons Brewery, is also joining the Von Ebert Brewing team. Burke is renowned for brewing a wide range of beers such as, “Maybelle,” “Petit Classique” and “Myrtle.” Von Ebert plans to release up to 100 unique brews per year, including a variety of American, German, Belgian and barrel-aged beers.
“Von Ebert Brewing is a new concept, where northwest family traditions meet bold new ideas in craft brewing,” said Tom Cook, Owner of Von Ebert Brewing. “We’re excited to unveil a completely new experience for customers, blending our brewing expertise with the adventurous flavors Portland has come to love.”
Von Ebert’s pub, led by Dom Iaderaia, will feature a variety distinct local flavors that can best be
described as “elevated American pub food.” From traditional German pretzels with rich, house-made beer cheese to stone-oven- baked pizzas, every delicious dish is thoughtfully designed to pair perfectly with their wide assortment of craft beer. This includes cheeseburgers stacked high with locally sourced meats, decadent sandwiches, and smoked wings guaranteed to impress.
“True to our character, our menu combines classic pub fares with the kind of top-tier quality, local ingredients you can only find in Portland,” says Cook.
Located at 131 NW 13th Ave., Von Ebert Brewing opens its doors with reimagined industrial loft-style décor. The building’s expansive arched ceiling, heavy beams and abundance of natural light, echo the historic charm of Portland’s Pearl District. The large bar and dining space will seat just under 300, with both booth and table seating options to accommodate parties of all sizes.
Von Ebert Brewing will open to the public during the first quarter of 2018.
VON EBERT BREWING
Von Ebert Brewing sits at the crossroad where storied traditions meet bold new ideas in brewing.
Despite Success, Fat Head’s Brewery Portland to Close
Citing termination of business agreement, Pearl District Brewpub to Shutter Q1, 2018
(Middleburg Heights, OH) — Fat Head’s and its partners in Portland have come to the consensus to terminate their business agreement, thereby closing the Pearl District brewpub in the first quarter of 2018.
Of the decision, founder Glenn Benigni said, “Despite the best efforts from both sides, we were unable to agree upon a vision for the future. As a result, we’ve mutually decided to close the Fat Head’s Brewery location in Portland, pouring our last beer in early 2018. We’re extremely proud of our accomplishments and the success we’ve had here,” he continued, “including the the team that was put in place at its inception. We are forever grateful for their hard work and dedication to Fat Head’s.”
All current employees will be given the opportunity to retain their positions within the new company that will occupy the space at 131 NW 13th Avenue. Fat Head’s wishes them success in their future endeavors.
“We’d like to say thanks to the beautiful city of Portland and all of the customers who joined us there over the years,” expressed Benigni. “It has been a pleasure serving you.”
Fat Head’s will now concentrate efforts in growing their production brewery and brand in Ohio, Pennsylvania and neighboring states.
About Fat Head’s — Opened in 1992 as Pittsburgh, PA’s premier craft beer bar and restaurant, Fat Head’s teamed up with head brewmaster Matt Cole in 2009 to create Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon just outside of Cleveland, OH. In response to overwhelming demand, a production facility was opened in 2012. Fat Head’s Brewery distributes three core beers and a range of seasonal offerings throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Fat Head’s will move to a larger production brewery and beer hall in 2018, in addition to opening a brewpub in Canton, OH.