30 Beers For 30 Years – Oktoberfest And Ray’s Amber Lager

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Oktoberfest label design: Ben Willett
Ray’s Amber Lager label design: Tyler Segal of Factory North
Animated Gifs: Transport
Client: Widmer Brothers Brewing
Type Of Work: Commercial Work
Country: United States

Widmer Brothers 30 Beers For 30 Years Series Continues With Oktoberfest And Ray’s Amber Lager

30th Anniversary Releases Represent 1990 and 1991 in the Brewery’s History

PORTLAND, Ore. – June 9, 2014 – Widmer Brothers Brewing today announced the next two beers in its 30 Beers for 30 Years Series: Oktoberfest, which represents 1990 in the craft brewery’s 30-year history, and Ray’s Amber Lager, which represents 1991. Both beers will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draught in the Portland area in extremely limited quantities starting today.

Oktoberfest and Ray’s Amber Lager are very special to Kurt and Rob Widmer as they celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Widmer Brothers. A version of Oktoberfest is still part of the brewery’s seasonal lineup today, and Ray’s Amber Lager pays tribute to Kurt and Rob’s father, Ray, who was instrumental in helping to build the brewery in the early days when Widmer Brothers opened on NW Lovejoy in Portland’s Pearl District.

These releases were brewed at Widmer Brothers’ 10-barrel pilot brewery to the original specifications from their year of origination and release in the early 90s. Only 30 cases of each will be available to the public.

Oktoberfest is still part of the brewery’s regular line-up as the fall seasonal, Okto Festival Ale. The 30 Beers for 30 Years Series version of the beer was brewed to its original recipe found from 1990. The beer was originally released to augment the brewery’s seasonal line-up, though Kurt and Rob put their spin on the classic German Oktoberfest style by brewing it with their house Alt yeast and fermenting it as an ale, as opposed to the traditional lagered version of the style.

Ray’s Amber Lager was brewed in tribute to and named after the brothers’ father, who helped Kurt and Rob get started in many facets of the brewery. Without Ray Widmer, the brewery would not exist. Amber beers were on the rise in the early 90s, and while many of those beers were amber ales, Kurt and Rob took a different approach and introduced an amber lager rather than just another amber ale.

“Both beers, particularly Ray’s Amber Lager, are very near and dear to us,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder of Widmer Brothers Brewing. “Our dad came out of retirement to help us start the brewery 30 years ago, and we really couldn’t have done it without him. He was a very handy guy – an old farm boy who could fix your car with a hammer and some wire – and he was instrumental in the early days. We are extremely proud to re-release his namesake beer for the brewery’s 30th Anniversary.”

Each release in the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series features label artwork by Portland-based artists. Freelancer Ben Willett created the Oktoberfest label, and Tyler Segal of Factory North created the Ray’s Amber Lager label.