BridgePort Brewing Company
|Founder||Richard and Nancy Ponzi|
BridgePort was founded in 1984 by local winemakers Richard and Nancy Ponzi, and the brewery claims in their trademark to be "Oregon's Oldest Craft Brewery". The initial brewing facility, the Columbia River Brewery, had a 600-barrel per year capacity. BridgePort was acquired by The Gambrinus Company, owned by Carlos Alvarez, in 1995, expanding its capacity in 2001 to 100,000 barrels. BridgePort's beers are distributed in 18 states nationwide. BridgePort beer production in 2005 ranked 41st in the nation; for 2009 beer sales, this ranking fell to number 47.
A fictionalized version of BridgePort appeared in the fifth season of the heist series Leverage in 2012. In the show, the brewery was a front company for the protagonists' elaborate cons. On-location filming included the exterior and some internal transition scenes.
The BridgePort India Pale Ale, perhaps the brewery's best known beer, has won a number of awards in the United States and abroad, including a Gold Medal at the 2005 Brewing Industry International Awards, in Munich, Germany; a Gold Medal and Category Champion Trophy at the 2000 Brewing Industry International Awards in London, England; and a Gold Medal for Classic English Style Pale Ale at the Great American Beer Festival, in Denver, Colorado, in 1997.
Blue Heron Pale Ale, named after Portland’s official city bird (the great blue heron), was first brewed in 1987 as a special release for the Audubon Society of Portland. The pale ale features Northwest ingredients, such as hops from the Willamette Valley and malted barley from Eastern Oregon, and won a gold medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup.
- "Five Oregon brewers among the largest", Portland Business Journal, April 4, 2006
- "Oregon brewers make Top 50 lists", Portland Business Journal, April 15, 2010
- "Kung Fu Monkey: LEVERAGE #508 "The Broken Wing Job" post-game", November 19, 2012.
- Craft Brewing Industry Statistics.
- Merrill, Jessica (January 13, 2006). "In Oregon, It's a Brew Pub World". The New York Times.
- "Bridgeport Blue Heron Pale Ale Takes Gold At World Beer Cup 2006"[permanent dead link], BeerAdvocate, April 18, 2006.