Craft beers and soccer: This must be Portland

Green Bay Packers fans have the cheese head. For fans of the

Detroit Red Wings, there’s octopus.

Portland Timbers supporters? They have their own beer.

It seems only natural that the Rose City’s love affair with

microbrews and soccer would somehow intersect.

But Widmer Brothers Brewing’s new Green & Gold Kolsch is not

just a random beer with the Timbers’ colors slapped on the label:

It was actually created by a longtime member of the Timbers Army

supporters group. Abram Goldman-Armstrong’s recipe won last year’s

Timbers Army Homebrew Competition.

”I imagine that some folks may be surprised that a group like

the Timbers Army has a homebrew competition, but in Portland that’s

completely normal,” said Rob Widmer, who with his brother Kurt

founded Widmer Brothers in 1984. ”Everybody either brews or knows

somebody who brews. It’s part of the fabric of what makes Portland


Goldman-Armstrong got the idea for the Kolsch during a trip to

Cologne, Germany, for the 2006 World Cup. Even some of his backyard

hops – he’s been crafting his own beers for decades – went into the

Green & Gold batch. Just for effect.

”I obviously can’t grow enough to supply Widmer,” he


The special beer is another example of how the Timbers have

really become ingrained in the city’s identity. The team itself has

embraced the relationship, like last season when they invited

different food carts from around Portland to offer menu items at

home games.

Green & Gold Kolsch, which Goldman-Armstrong described as a

lighter, straw-colored ale with both fruity and spicy aromas, will

be on tap at all Timbers games at Jeld-Wen Field this season,

starting at the opener on Sunday against the New York Red


Goldman-Armstrong and the Widmer brothers – already sponsors of

the Timbers – will be at the game for first toast.

The beer will also be available in pubs and retail stores in the

Pacific Northwest, including Washington. Just don’t tell supporters

of the rival Seattle Sounders.