Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:24 pm
Walker’s Point-based Milwaukee Brewing Co. (MKE Brewing) is leasing 58,000 square feet of space in the Shipping Center building in the former Pabst Brewery complex in downtown Milwaukee.
The immediate use of the brewery space will be warehouse and cold storage to take pressure off of MKE Brewing’s expanding operations at its 15,000-square-foot facility at 613 S. 2nd St. in the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.
But the company’s long term plans of the building may include brewing operations, a tasting room, event space and a beer garden, according to Jim McCabe, Milwaukee Brewing Co. founder.
BizTimes first reported that MKE Brewing was planning to move to the former Pabst complex in March. At the time, MKE Brewing was considering purchasing the building.
The 170,000 square-foot building, located on Juneau Ave between 8th and 9th streets, was purchased by SSL Milwaukee, LLC and will also house an 85,000-square-foot self-storage facility and 28,000 square-foot office space tenant.
“We believe in this city and always look for opportunities to invest in up-and-coming areas as with the 1997 opening of the Ale House in the Third Ward and our packing and brewing facilities in Walker’s Point,” McCabe said. “We saw huge development around us in those areas and given the quality of this new location, we expect the same here.”
The new facility and destination brewery would not replace the current brewing operations, but would allow for the brewer to expand on and experiment with offerings, like its Rishi Tea infusions, and help support the brand’s significant annual growth.
Sales and production are up almost 30 percent this year and at capacity, according to Mike Christensen, vice president of sales for MKE Brewing.
“This is a new chapter for Milwaukee and an exciting time as we continue to see a surge in craft beer offerings, making the city even more of a beer destination,” McCabe said. “With the pressure of producing beer under the name of our great city, we are extremely proud that MKE Brewing will be a part of the new Brew City, while still paying homage to its roots.”
McCabe opened the Milwaukee Ale House in the Third Ward in 1997, and has since grown the company. It now produces more than 13,000 barrels of beer annually with Milwaukee Brewing Co. He said in December that the company has outgrown the 15,000-square-foot Walker’s Point brewery at 631 S. Second Street.