ommercial brewing in the Pacific Northwest began in 1852, when a German immigrant named Henry Saxer established his Liberty Brewery at the new village called Portland in the Oregon Territory. Henry Saxer missed being the first brewer on the Pacific Coast by three years; that honor went to San Francisco brewer Adam Schuppert in 1849.
Henry Saxer was among the vanguard in a growing parade of pioneer Northwest brewers who brought their art to a thirsty frontier. Introducing the careful brewing methods of the Old Country, these adventurous brewers set themselves to the task of satisfying what seemed to be a limitless demand. Saxer’s modest beer plant was near First and Davis Streets in downtown Portland. It was the first of a number of early breweries in the Northwest Territory.
ight years after beginning brewing in 1852, Henry Saxer’s original small wooden house had grown to three large adjoining two-story buildings. In 1862 Saxer sold his brewery to a young German brewer named Henry Weinhard from neighboring Fort Vancouver, across the Columbia River. Thus began the epoch of Oregon’s largest and longest-running brewing company.
Today, Saxer Brewing Company carries the name of its pioneer namesake because he embodies the spirit and tradition of making the finest hand-crafted beer in the Pacific Northwest.