Portland isn't the only place that's losing its original breweries. In the UK, pubs are closing for many of the same reasons (I realize UK pubs and craft breweries are not the same, but bear with me, here), like less community socializing, less drinking, higher property values and higher labor costs.
It's a familiar story. Pubs close all the time in the United Kingdom, victims of changing lifestyles and the rising value of real estate. In fact, locals say the Packhorse would be worth twice as much as housing and office space as it was operating as a pub.
-- Frank Langfitt, NPR
Today, Portland's BridgePort Brewery closes its doors for the final time and of course I'm a bit melancholy over it, but I have so many more choices now than I had during the birth of PNW craft beer, in the 1980's. I'm happy that some of the UK communities are still community enough to band together and buy their local pubs, but they don't have any other options. Next week, here in Portland, we'll still have more than 70 local breweries (granted, not all of these are brewpubs, but you get the idea). As an aside, were there any 17th century brewpubs in Portland, you'd have better luck in the lottery, than ever getting permission to tear it down and turn it into condos - what's up with the UK?
So thanks to Bridgeport for all that you did, in blazing a trail for local craft beer. As I type this, I'm sipping on a pint of Sunriver's Rippin (dank? hardly. It's crisp and clean with hints of lemon zest) and thinking about what I'm going to get for next week's stay in Silicon Valley. Maybe a 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die, or perhaps a North Coast Scrimshaw (a current fav!). I'm glad I don't live there anymore, but at least the beer's a hella-lot better, now.