New Pabst CEO scouts Milwaukee for new brewery

Pabst Brewing Co. may be coming home to Milwaukee.

Eugene Kashper, Pabst’s new chairman and chief executive officer, plans to open a small brewery in Milwaukee, where the company was founded in 1844.

“It would be our test kitchen,” said Kashper, who recently toured the city and scouted locations.

Kashper intends to experiment with Pabst recipes for brands that were made before Prohibition.

Kashper’s trip to Milwaukee included a visit at the former Pabst Brewery mixed-use complex, now known as The Brewery, along West Juneau Avenue. The site also includes Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, which is operated by Jim and Karen Haertel.

“It would be awesome for Milwaukee’s soul to have Pabst come home. We’ve been waiting for this for 15 years,” Karen Haertel said.

The Pabst site also includes the Brew House Inn & Suites, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, other offices, apartments and taverns.

Kashper said the former Pabst Brewery is one of the sites under consideration for the new Milwaukee brewery.

Pabst Brewing was sold last November for an undisclosed price to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings LLC, a partnership between Kashper and San Francisco-based TSG Consumer Partners LLC.

In 1985, Pabst was sold to California-based S&P Co., operated by Paul Kalmanovitz. S&P closed the Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee in 1996. The site sat dormant for years until the Haertels acquired it.

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