After a 20-year hiatus, the Pabst Brewing Company will brew beer in Milwaukee. The brewery, with an initial capacity of 4,000 barrels, will be located in the former Pabst brewing complex, in the basement of what used to be a bar and restaurant for brewery employees.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the beer selection will include “historical beers such as Andeker and Old Tankard; traditional beers such as Dunkelweiss; and contemporary beers such as a Northeast IPA.” Of course, Pabst Blue Ribbon will be on tap as well.
The Pabst Milwaukee Brewery, which is scheduled to open next month, will eventually be part of a beer tourism district. The Pabst complex alone is already home to another brewery, a beer-themed hotel and restaurant, and a beer hall. The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is planning an expansion of its Milwaukee facility, and the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team is considering adding a brewpub to its arena.
In 2014, businessman Eugene Kashper and two other investors bought the Pabst Brewing Company for $700 million. Under the previous owners, Pabst was a virtual brewery; it contract-brewed all of its beer—Pabst and a variety of other “legacy brands”–at MolsonCoors facilities and marketed those brands using nostalgia rather than advertising.
Kahsper aims to take Pabst in a different direction. It will open a microbrewery and tasting room at the site of the former Pabst brewing complex in Milwaukee. The company will also revive more of the 77 brands that it owns. It will also delve into its collection of beer recipes and bring back classic beers, some of which were last brewed before World War II.
Pabst recently made news by acquiring Small Town Brewery, whose Not Your Father’s Root Beer was the industry’s surprise success story of 2015. The product helped raise Pabst’s overall sales in 2015 by 20 percent and pushed its market share up by a percentage point, even as sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer itself fell off.