MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co. Returns to Original Portland Brewing Company Name

What was once old is new again.

As of February 1, MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co. — part of the North American Breweries portfolio that was sold last October to Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A. for $388 million — will return to its original Portland Brewing Company name.

“The main change for consumers will be that the company, its beers and packaging will once again proudly carry the Portland Brewing Company name,” said a company release. “Beer drinkers will see the company’s flagship brew — MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale — continue, along with many new craft brews and specialty draft beers.”

Adjustments to the outward-facing, consumer brand image will accompany the change. And while the MacTarnahan’s name will live on as the title of the company’s Amber Ale, consumers can expect to see a bevy of new product introductions in 2013. The first three additions include a new year-round IPA offering, a new spring seasonal, and the first release in the company’s new small batch draught program. New packaging and label designs will also be introduced to reflect the name change.

Portland Brewing first opened in 1986, but began operating as MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co. — named for an original company shareholder — when Pyramid Breweries acquired the brand in 2004. Pyramid was subsequently purchased by Magic Hat Brewing Company in 2008, and all three brands were acquired by North American Breweries (NAB) in 2010. In October of last year, KPS Capital Partners signed a definitive agreement to sell NAB to Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A., a subsidiary of Florida Ice and Farm Company, S.A., for $388 million in cash.

Additional details on MacTarnahan’s return to the Portland Brewing Company moniker are included in a company press release, below.

PORTLAND, OR — An exciting change for Portland’s beer scene is quickly taking shape. The company that brews the beloved MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale and other craft beers is going back to its original name and will once again operate as Portland Brewing Company, beginning in February 2013.

The main change for consumers will be that the company, its beers and packaging will once again proudly carry the Portland Brewing Company name. Beer drinkers will still see the company’s flagship brew — MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale — continue, along with many new offerings.

Head brewer Ryan Pappe talks about his excitement around going back to Portland Brewing. “We’re excited to take a new direction that celebrates our past and sets the stage for our future as Portland Brewing Company,” Pappe said. “We brewed our first beer back in 1986 and our commitment to brewing great beer has never changed. Our consumers can expect their favorite beers to continue, and will love and be surprised by some of the new brews Portland Brewing has in store for them.”

History of Portland Brewing Company:

Portland Brewing Company was a pioneer of the Portland craft beer movement, dating back to 1986 when the company was founded by Fred Bowman and Art Larrance, high school friends whose dream it was to start their own brewery. Since opening its doors in January of 1986, Portland Brewing Company quickly evolved and grew. 1992 saw the introduction of MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale — the company’s flagship and most popular brew to this day. In 1998, Robert “Mac” MacTarnahan, a shareholder in the group, purchased the debt of Portland Brewing Company. To honor this, Portland Brewing Company developed MacTarnahan’s branded labels. In 2004, Pyramid Breweries purchased Portland Brewing Company, and the company has operated as MacTarnahan’s Brewing Company since that time.

The company’s rich history played a big role in the decision to evolve from MacTarnahan’s back to Portland Brewing Company. As a thriving local brewery and an active member of the community, Portland Brewing reinforces its place as an important part of the brewing fabric of Portland.

“Portland Brewing Company has so much history, so going back to our original name is another way for us to celebrate our connection to the Portland community, while developing our future,” said Ryan Daley, brand manager for Portland Brewing Company. “As we grow and bring our beers to consumers in new markets, they’ll be able to see our name and immediately appreciate its inherent quality. Portland sets the standard for great craft beer.”

What Consumers Will Notice:

Consumers in Portland and beyond will see some changes and new offerings as Portland Brewing Company. Some of those include:

  • The MacTarnahan’s name: Portland Brewing Company will continue to produce MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale as its flagship brew. The recipe will remain the same. A true Portland original, it will be brewed with the same great quality and taste that it has been since 1992.
  • Beer: Consumers will see old favorites like Mac’s Amber Ale and new brews from Portland Brewing Company. Seasonal, year-round and specialty draft beers are in the works for 2013.
  • The Taproom: The Brewery and Taproom will continue to operate, serving as a key place for the Portland community to connect with the Portland Brewing team. Consumers can continue to expect great beers and food, daily, along with special tastings, events and more.
  • In-Market Packaging: New packaging will reflect the Portland Brewing name. For cases like MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale, consumers will easily see the beer’s name on all products. Ex. Portland Brewing: MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale
  • Timing: Consumers can expect to see beers under the Portland Brewing Company name in February 2013.

As Portland Brewing Company moves forward, the company plans to introduce several new beers in 2013. This spring alone, consumers will see three new beers:

  • Portland Brewing IPA: a new year-round beer. With a darker golden color and some of the most popular citrusy IPA hops, as well as Sterling for a bit of spiciness in the finish, this IPA is hoppy like a Northwest IPA should be. Five different hops and a soft malt backing make for one great, easy-drinking ale. Available in six-pack, 12-pack, 22 oz. bottles and on draft.
  • Rose Hip Gold: a new spring seasonal that is a Belgian-style ale with notes of fruit and spice and a little citrusy bite from a generous addition of rose hips in the kettle. Available in six-pack, 22 oz. bottles and on draft.
  • Oyster Stout: the company’s first brew in a new small batch draft program that is exclusive to the state of Oregon. It will feature locally sourced oysters from Yaquina Bay.

Consumers will begin to see some of these beers in market as early as Feb. 1.

About Portland Brewing Co.

Founded in 1986 by Fred Bowman and Art Larrance, Portland Brewing Company was a pioneer of the Portland craft beer movement. Since opening its doors, the company quickly grew into an important part of Portland’s brewing landscape. The company’s flagship brew, MacTarnahan’s Amber Ale, was first introduced in 1992, earning gold at the Great American Beer Festival. It remains one of the company’s most popular brews today. Driven by a love for brewing great beer for the people of Portland, OR and beyond, Portland Brewing Company is committed to delivering great beer, all the time. From unique small batches, to seasonal brews and new year-round offerings, beer drinkers can expect variety, innovation, quality and great-tasting beer in 2013 from a company that, simply, brews with a passion for beer.

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