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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Widmer Bros. Pumping $22 Million into Hefeweizen Expansion

One of the largest craft brewers in the U.S., Widmer Bros. of Oregon, is spending $22 million on an expansion aimed at spreading the availability of Widmer Hefeweizen to additional markets.

New fermentation tanks and an additional keg line will nearly double Widmer's capacity. Anheuser-Busch, which has a 40 percent share in the brewery, handles distribution for Widmer. A-B has been on a mission to supply its distributors with craft products so they can grab a larger share of the growing segment. Hefeweizen is Widmer's flagship brand and accounts for the majority of brewery output. The company hopes the added capacity will also allow it to brew some other styles to broaden its appeal with craft beer fans.

The groundbreaking for the new facility has taken place and construction should take about 18 months. The company says the expansion could create up to 45 jobs.

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