Lompoc Brewing, one of Portland’s remaining connections to the city’s early craft-beer scene, is shutting down after a 23-year run, the North Portland-based brewery announced Thursday.
Owner Jerry Fechter said he will close Lompoc’s two pubs and a brewery. Fechter will continue to own and operate Oaks Bottom Public House as a neighborhood pub, though it will not have the Lompoc name nor serve Lompoc beers after they run out.
Lompoc’s last day of business will be Tuesday.
The brewery will hold a “garage sale” to sell off its beer inventory Nov. 2.
Head brewer Bryan Keilty, who started at Lompoc over a decade ago, will move on to another brewery, the company said in a news release without providing more details.
The company said it will be offering a severance package to remaining employees, though details were not made public. Lompoc also will try to absorb as many North Portland workers as possible at Oaks Bottom, the news release said.
In the news release, Fechter thanked all who supported Lompoc over more than two decades. “To quote another Jerry, ‘What a long strange trip it’s been.’ Cheers!”
The closure is the latest in a string of setbacks for longtime Portland breweries. In the past year, Portland’s once-beloved BridgePort Brewing closed, Portland Brewing and Widmer Brothers Brewing closed once-packed restaurants, and brewpubs Alameda Brewhouse, Columbia River Brewing and Burnside Brewing shut their doors. In addition, Laurelwood Brewing closed its Westmoreland pub and sold off its production side.
Lompoc has roots back to 1993, when partners Pete Goforth and Bob Rice opened the Old Lompoc Tavern in a Northwest Portland building that originally was a carriage house for the 1905 World’s Fair. In 1996, they decided to build a brewery and hired Fechter, a homebrewer, as their first brewer.
Then in 2000, Fechter, along with well-known Portland publican Don Younger, bought the brewpub and renamed it the New Old Lompoc. “The name was all Don’s idea,” Fechter says in the story of Lompoc’s history. “Every time we told somebody where it was going to be, they’d say ‘Oh, it’s where the Old Lompoc was.’”
The place flourished and was a favorite Portland hangout. An original 5-barrel system became a seven-barrel brewhouse, which would eventually grow to 15 barrels.
Lompoc had consistently produced over 2,000 barrels annually for most of the past decade, peaking with 2,779 in 2014, but it had dropped down to 1,992 in 2018.
Known for longtime favorite flagships C-Note IPA and Proletariat Red, Lompoc crafted and distributed its pub ales and lagers throughout Oregon and parts of Washington, including its Lomporter porter, Pamplemousse Citrus IPA and Parkways Pils. It had a significant barrel-aging program, and every year it would release anywhere from 25 to 40 seasonals, including its winter ale C-sons Greetings.