Central Waters Brewing to open brewery and taproom at former Pabst brewery complex

Captain Pabst Pilot House, located at 1037 W. Juneau Ave.

Last updated on June 8th, 2021 at 11:08 am

Amherst-based Central Water Brewing Co. plans to take over the former Captain Pabst Pilot House in downtown Milwaukee, where it will open a second brewery and taproom.

The Pilot House is located at 1037 W. Juneau Ave., in The Brewery district.

Central Waters announced yesterday on social media it will open the Central Waters Milwaukee Pilot Brewery and Taproom there. This is similar to how Pabst Brewing was using the space until late last year.

Central Waters is aiming to open in late summer or early fall. The company made it clear this will be a new location, and that it would remain based in Amherst. In fact, the Milwaukee location will be making different beers than the one in Amherst, Central Waters added.

“We cannot wait to become a part of the fabric of a city we love so much,” Central Waters wrote. “Cheers to you Milwaukee!”

The brewery has ties to the city. OnMilwaukee noted yesterday that Central Waters co-owner Anello Mollica was raised in Milwaukee.

The Pilot House was also formerly the First German Methodist Church. It is part of the former Pabst Brewery complex. Pabst abandoned the complex in 1996.

It is now known at The Brewery, a city neighborhood complete with housing, offices, restaurants, hotels, a university building and two public parks. It boasts a total assessed property value of $148.9 million, according to The Brewery Neighborhood Improvement District No. 1.

Pabst returned to Milwaukee in 2015 and spent the next two years renovating the church building to create the Pilot House.

But in December, Pabst closed its operation at the Pilot House.

Its first-floor brewing space has capacity for 4,000 barrels per year. It has a 140-seat taproom and performance stage on the second floor. It also has an outdoor beer garden and mezzanine area.

About a year ago, the venue rebranded as Captain Pabst Pilot House from its original Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom.

Central Waters Brewing will be added to a long list of craft breweries and beer-related attractions in Milwaukee, as highlighted in a 2019 BizTimes Milwaukee cover story.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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