Captain Pabst Pilot House, which opened in 2017 as the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom, has announced it will permanently close on December 21. The brewery, located at 1037 W. Juneau Ave., will move its brewery operations to San Antonio.

“This has been an extremely difficult year for all hospitality and tourism businesses, and it has been no different for the Captain Pabst Pilot House,” said Matt Bruhn, GM, Pabst Brewing Company, in a press release. “Unfortunately, with no signs of the business improving, the company has come to the difficult decision to close the Captain Pabst Pilot House operation effective December 21.”

Back in 2015, following an ill-fated push to “Bring PBR Home,” it was announced that Pabst would be coming home. Sort of. A new Pabst brewery—Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom—would indeed be setting up shop in the shuttered Pabst Brewing site, though it would be a micro-brewery focusing on new craft beers and historical classics from the Pabst archives. The business rebranded as the Captain Pabst Pilot House in January 2020.

Sigh. Here’s the press release.


Captain Pabst Pilot House To Close Taproom in December
Brewery Operations Will Relocate To San Antonio

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (December 1, 2020) – The Pabst Brewing Company announced today that the Captain Pabst Pilot House, located in Milwaukee’s Brewery District, will close permanently in December. In addition, all associated brewing activities at the Milwaukee brewery will relocate to Pabst’s Head Office location San Antonio.

“This has been an extremely difficult year for all hospitality and tourism businesses, and it has been no different for the Captain Pabst Pilot House,” said Matt Bruhn, GM, Pabst Brewing Company. “Unfortunately, with no signs of the business improving, the company has come to the difficult decision to close the Captain Pabst Pilot House operation effective December 21.”

The Captain Pabst Pilot House is located in a historic 145-year old building on the original Pabst complex – the former First German Methodist Church at 1037 W. Juneau Ave.

Named for the iconic brewing legend, Frederick Pabst, the facility houses a 4,000 barrel per year microbrewery on its first floor, with a taproom area and performance stage on the second floor. It also features an outdoor beer garden and a mezzanine area.

“This is an amazing space,” said Pilot House General Manager Adam Powers. “It’s a sad day for me, my team and Pabst lovers here in Milwaukee. But it’s my sincere hope that once we move beyond the pandemic, that someone with a love of Milwaukee brewing history will work to make this facility a thriving, viable business moving forward.”

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.