Here's my story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today:
After a two-decade drought, they'll finally be brewing Pabst again at Pabst.
Pabst Brewing Co. chairman and chief executive officer Eugene Kashper announced in 2015 that Pabst would brew again at 1037 W. Juneau Ave., on the site of the historic brewery. This week, the brewer disclosed that the new brewery, taproom and restaurant, called Pabst Milwaukee Brewery, will open in mid-April.
The new brewery will be in what was Milwaukee's first German Methodist church, built in 1874 and sold to Pabst in 1898. The company used part of the building as a bar and restaurant for its employees until 1971, and the rest of the building as a training center until the 1980s.
Master brewer Greg Deuhs and John Kimes, a senior staff brewer, expect to brew 4,000 barrels a year at the site. The beer list will include historical beers such as Andeker and Old Tankard; traditional beers such as Dunkelweiss; and contemporary beers such as a Northeast IPA, all produced in the basement. Pabst Blue Ribbon will be available on tap at the taproom.
RELATED: Guide to Milwaukee brewery tours
The main floor will hold the taproom and an upscale gastropub with a locally sourced, beer-infused menu. The choir loft will also be open to seating. A beer garden is planned for the south end of the building.
The new brewery is among the latest in a series of developments that have revived the 21-acre former Pabst complex, once the home of the world's largest beer producer.
A beer destination
It's also the first brewery for a part of Milwaukee that is on target to become a beer destination.
Milwaukee Brewing Co., the first craft brewery to plant a flag in Walker's Point, is renovating the former Pabst distribution center at 1131 N. 8th St. into a production brewery with a tasting room, brewery tours and a rooftop beer garden that takes advantage of its location on a hill overlooking downtown.
The Milwaukee Bucks also are considering a craft brewery to anchor the organization’s downtown entertainment center east of N. 4th St., between W. Highland and W. Juneau avenues, according to plans filed with the Department of City Development.
Plans call for a four-story building and a year-round beer garden.
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. plans to expand its satellite Milwaukee Brewing operations with a $50 million project at what used to be called the 10th Street Brewery, according to a news report in February. The project includes two additions to the property at 1515 N. 10th St. — a brewhouse expansion at one end and a tank cellar at the other.
The Pabst complex already includes the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, and its restaurant, Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub. The suites feature six antique copper brew kettles and a front desk made from 1,500 beer bottles.
It's also home to Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, a former public school turned into a beer hall and the starting point for a variety of beer tours. Tours of the building take visitors into the executive offices used by Pabst in the 1880s and Capt. Pabst's office with its crosstown view.
Other recent projects include Eleven25 at Pabst, a student apartment community that opened last August in the former Pabst bottling house; and The Brewery Lofts apartments, which are being developed within the former malt house.
Developers also are pursuing plans to build more apartments and a Hyatt Place hotel at The Brewery.
Stopped brewing in 1996
Pabst began brewing in Milwaukee in 1844 as Best & Co., owned by Jacob Best. Frederick Pabst took the reins of the brewery in 1888, and the brewery continued to produce beer in Milwaukee through 1996.
At the time the new brewery was announced in 2015, the plan was to have it operating by summer 2016, and to experiment with Pabst recipes for beers made before Prohibition. Old recipes are held in Pabst archives at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Golda Meir Library and at the Milwaukee County Historical Society.
As part of those plans, restaurateur Mike Eitel, who operates Nomad World Pub on Brady St., was to run a restaurant and tavern included with the brewery. In the current plans, the restaurant will not be managed separately.