PBR goes home, sort of

Until 1996, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer was brewed in Milwaukee; corporate headquarters were in a former school building on West Juneau Avenue, purchased by Captain Frederick Pabst himself. But Pabst closed down its Milwaukee operations and moved away, first to San Antonio, then to Los Angeles.

While they’re not actually reopening the brewery, the current incarnation of Pabst is going to be making some beer in the old complex:

The brewery behind Pabst Blue Ribbon intends to open a microbrewery and tasting room in their former complex, a mixed-use development located in downtown Milwaukee. The complex’s main building was constructed in 1871 as a German Methodist church and acquired by Pabst in 1898.

Pabst has previously used the building as a bar and restaurant for its employees, as well as a training and conference center. “The fact that Pabst is coming back to brew at the original site, but in such a unique spot, is thrilling for me,” said Milwaukee restaurateur Mike Eitel, who will operate a restaurant and tavern in the building, one floor above Pabst’s ground-floor microbrewery and tasting room.

As per Eugene Kashper, Pabst’s chairman and CEO, the company plans to use their new brewery to experiment with recipes for discontinued, pre-Prohibition beer brands, including Kloster Beer, Old Tankard Ale and others.

A Milwaukee ale house recently revived Old Tankard Ale on a limited basis.

To me, this seems a good sign, if only because Pabst, which owns a couple of dozen brand names from the past, hasn’t actually brewed any beer for some time now: production has been outsourced to various other brewers. PBR itself is brewed at a Miller facility.

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