Deschutes to Acquire Henry Weinhard Label

Wow, I didn't see this coming:
BEND--Deschutes Brewing Company, one of America's strongest-performing craft breweries, plans to buy the venerable Henry Weinhard label from SABMiller. It marks the first time a craft brewery has purchased the label of a larger, regional brewery--although the Weinhard label hasn't been brewed in its original Portland plant since 1998. One industry expert quiped "micros are the new macros" upon hearing the news.

"We are delighted to restore the Weinhard name to its original Oregon roots," said Deschutes spokesperson April Primo. "Even though Full Sail has done a wonderful job of bringing some of the luster back to the brand, it has been drifting since its purchase by national companies. We're making sure it will be an Oregon brewery for the next 150 years."

The brewery plans to build a new plant in downtown Bend that will be devoted to the label. Masterbrewer Larry Sidor plans to revamp the recipes of all the beers "to give them some teeth." Deschutes will continue production of its current portfolio of Deschutes beers.

"We see this as a great opportunity to address a segment of the market that has been abandoned," said owner Gary Fish. "The budget consumer who doesn't like especially aggressive ales, but who dislikes the watery, tinny industrial lagers. We're looking to brew beer that may have been popular around the turn of the century, with a focus on lagers."

The brewery plans to break ground on the new plant later this year.