One of the pioneers in American craft brewing is ceasing operations after 35 years.
Bridgeport was founded in 1984 by Richard and Nancy Ponzi who were local winemakers. Interestingly, the Ponzi family is one of the founding families that brought pinot noir to the Willamette Valley. Bridgeport Brewing was a way to bring in money to offset the long-play of winemaking at Ponzi Vineyards.
The original facility was called Columbia River Brewery, with a 600 barrel capacity. In 1995, Bridgeport was sold to Carlos Alvarez of the Gambrinus Company.
In April of 2017, declining sales sparked the brewery to restructure their operations, but sales continued to decline as the beer market became more competitive in the Pacific Northwest.
Today, Bridgeport announced their decision to close their doors after 35 years.
The decision to close was extremely difficult for all involved. Back in April 2017, declining sales caused the brewery to restructure its operations. However, sales and distribution continued declining in the extremely competitive craft beer market of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, which resulted in this final decision.
Bridgeport India Pale Ale is easily the brewery’s most well-known and award-winning beers, and one of the first IPAs in America.
Production operations will cease immediately, while the brewpub will close on March 10th, 2019. The brewery’s website has already been taken offline.