Back in 2014, a grassroots effort sprung up with the aim of bringing Pabst Brewing Co. back to Milwaukee. The so-called “Bring PBR Home” campaign turned out to be more froth than beer, but the dream remained: bringing the iconic company back to Milwaukee nearly 20 years after it packed up and left town.
Today, that dream has come true. Sort of. In a press conference, it was announced that Pabst Brewing Co. will open a new micro-brewery and tasting room at the company’s former downtown complex. According to the Journal Sentinel, the company will “use the brewery to experiment with Pabst recipes for discontinued brands such as Old Tankard Ale, Kloster Beer and other beers made before Prohibition.” The brewery will produce roughly 2,000 barrels per year, and will utilize old recipes from the archives in the Pabst Mansion, the Milwaukee County Historical Society, and the Golda Meir Library at UWM.
The brewery and tasting room will be housed on the ground floor of a former church at the southeast corner of W. Juneau Ave. and N. 11th St. The second floor will house a restaurant and tavern, operated by Milwaukee restauranteur Mike Eitel. The brewery and tasting room will employ around five to 10 people, while the restaurant will employ around 50. The new additions are expected to open in summer 2016.
Pabst was sold last November for an undisclosed sum to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings LLC. Although the Milwaukee brewery has been closed since 1996, Pabst brands—including PBR—are still partially brewed in Milwaukee by MillerCoors.