Eagle Park Brewing buys Milwaukee Brewing Co.’s beer recipes, branding

Last updated on December 2nd, 2022 at 06:32 pm

Eagle Park Brewing & Distilling Company has acquired Milwaukee Brewing Company’s intellectual property, recipes and branding.

Milwaukee-based Eagle Park announced Monday it has purchased the remaining Milwaukee Brewing Co. assets for an undisclosed price. Last week, Chicago-based Pilot Project Brewing closed on the sale of Milwaukee Brewing Co.’s 9th Street production facility and the attached Bottlehouse 42 restaurant.

When Eagle Park owners Max and Jack Borgardt learned earlier this year that Milwaukee Brewing Co. would be put up for sale, they were shocked and knew they had to take action right away.

“I grew up drinking all their beer, even before we had Eagle Park. Our first thought was it’s obviously terrible to hear, but then our second thought was we want those brands,” said Max Borgardt. “We didn’t want someone to come from out of state or some investor that just wanted to own a brewery and do their thing…that brand means a lot to the city.”

The company will produce Milwaukee Brewing’s flagship beers under the brand’s original name with a new, modern design. Eagle Park began doubling its beer production this week, with annual totals slated to reach 14,000 barrels. An estimated 6,500 barrels of Milwaukee Brewing beers will be produced in 2023. Louie’s Demise and Outboard are already being brewed and Milwaukee IPA and O-Gii will follow closely behind.

To help with the increase in production, Eagle Park expects to bring on an additional seven to 10 employees.

“We made it very known that we’re not just going to take it over and gut everything and change it all at once. That wouldn’t be doing the brand any justice. We’re going to do some tasteful updates to the labels and website,” Borgardt said.

Once the core brands have been restocked, new Milwaukee Brewing Co. products will be introduced. Those will eventually include a line of hard seltzers and spirits under the Milwaukee Brewing Company brand.

“We have some really good ideas for some very Milwaukee spirits that are a very big nod to our state and the city,” Borgardt said.

Production of Milwaukee Brewing brands has been temporarily moved to Eagle Park’s Muskego facility. The company’s Hamilton Street facility on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side will serve as a temporary taproom until a new Milwaukee location can be found. Borgardt said the Eagle Park team hasn’t begun looking for a new Milwaukee taproom location yet, but they’re open to any area in the city.

He believes Eagle Park acquiring Milwaukee Brewing Company’s brands makes sense because both entities can exist without necessarily crossing paths. Milwaukee Brewing is known for more traditional craft beers and Eagle Park has taken a more modern approach.

“I think what we’ve done in five and a half years with Eagle Park has kind of stood for itself….with our growth and the quality of products and the innovation and other things we’ve put into our brand, they knew we were capable of pushing the brand forward,” Borgardt said.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.

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