Brett Kihlmire
Beer City

What New Beers Will Pabst Brew?

Its new Milwaukee brewery will revive quite a number of beers.

By - Aug 6th, 2015 03:48 pm


Vintage beer is all the rage with millennials tired of macro-brew products from the big three in American brewing. Yet, with the rebirth of Schlitz and the popularity of Pabst Blue Ribbon, old-line beers have also become cool.

Like Miller and Schlitz, Pabst is a Milwaukee legend. Though the brewery has long been shutdown and the company was most recently purchased by Russian-based Oasis Beverages, which brews the beer in Los Angeles, the classic blue ribbon is still a Milwaukee favorite. As such, portions of the former brewery have been purchased for preservation, while the brew house and mill house has been made into the Pabst-inspired Brewhouse Inn and Suites. Due to the redevelopment of the former brewery, there were hopes that Pabst might one day return to its old location, but it’s unlikely to happen. But as the old saying goes “history repeats itself.” Pabst is once again setting up shop in Milwaukee.

In the very same former Methodist Church purchased by Pabst in 1898 to be used as a bar and training center, Pabst will reestablish itself in Milwaukee at the southeast corner of 11th and Juneau. More than just a brewery, the new incarnation of the historic brewing company will feature a tasting room, and restaurant and tavern headed by Milwaukee restaurant mogul, Mike Eitel. The brewery is poised to open its doors next summer and will be something of a test lab for the company, for the revival of numerous discontinued Pabst recipes.  Some of these beers being considered date back before prohibition and can be found discussed in the Pabst Archives in UW-Milwaukee’s Golda Meir Library and the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

Despite the popular belief that it simply makes the legendary blue ribbon lager, Pabst, like many breweries, had many recipes in its arsenal, but discontinued them for a variety of reasons. The beers the company is currently looking to resurrect include pre-prohibition brews like Old Tankard Ale, Kloster Beer and Bock as well as Andeker. Bock at least goes back to 1890s.

Andeker, perhaps the best-known of these today, was first brewed in 1939. After dying out in the 1960s it was brought back from 1972 to 1986. The company described it as having a “continental” taste, being brewed from extra-rich malt, specially selected grain, and select hops, then given extra aging or lagering.

With the popularity of beer styles outside of the traditional pilsner made famous by Pabst and its competitors, Miller-Coors and Budweiser, there is a good chance that many other recipes, hopefully non-pilsner, will make a triumphant return for the modern generation of beer lovers to enjoy., Eugene Kashper, Pabst’s chairman and CEO, told the press that Pabst might also use the brewery to create some new brands.

In the spirit of enjoying the new old beers in an old world atmosphere, Pabst’s Milwaukee operation location will include a beer garden and a tavern, likely with a German beer hall theme like the beer hall found at Best Place at the The Brewery complex.

Given the close proximity of the new Pabst brewery, the Pabst inspired Brewhouse Inn and Suites, and the historic Pabst Brewery tour through the Best Place, come 2016 the area is likely to become a hotbed for Pabst fans from around the state and perhaps the world. Those new beers will be welcome indeed to all the tourists.

The Return of Pabst Brewing

Former Pabst Complex

7 thoughts on “Beer City: What New Beers Will Pabst Brew?”

  1. mbradleyc says:

    Pabst is headquartered in Los Angeles, but the beer is actually brewed in Milwaukee by Miller under contract, although it is also brewed by other Miller breweries around the country too I think. Schlitz too.

  2. Joe says:

    It is good to see Pabst still in biz and thinking of doing something more than milking the PBR cow some more, but the train has left the station when it comes to retro-brews. Doing some nostalgic reruns of fizzy, yellow domestic pilsners isn’t going to get more than a minor bump.

    The first “craft” beer I tasted was Andeker, not a bad beer for it’s time, 30 years ago. It sure beat Hamms, Blatz and Schlitz. When I walk into a bar, I will still order a PBR, just for old-times sake, after I run down the list of “What do you have that is local?” and What do you have that isn’t a Miller/Coors or A-B/Inbev product.

    Now, however, when there is a brewpub making much more interesting beer in almost every town, big and small, in Wisco-World, why bother to try to bring back retro-brews? They are very much a small niche market and unlikely to grow much.

    Pabst was a big deal. they were the first US brewery to make 1,000,000 barrels a year, in 1900 or so. Then…A-B and Miller ate their lunch. They had a bit of a renaissance as the kiddie-brew of the moment a few years ago, but that is now gone.

    They got traded around like a second-tier utility infielder for years and pretty much lost their brand-loyalty in the process. Now they are not even a domestic any-more, joining A-B (Belgian brand, owned by Brazilians) and Miller-Coors (owned by South Africans operating out of London) as just another commodity foreign-owned macro-brewed gutless American-style pilsner. Meh.

    I wish Pabst luck in trying to crack the craft-beer market, which is where all the growth in beer sales is these days. Recycling Kloster or Old Tankard isn’t going to sell much beer.

    Pabst…Think Hops!

  3. Frank Galvan says:

    I, like George Costanza (about something very different), am “into it!”
    I am very much looking forward to my next glass of Andeker.
    PS: is it just me or is Joe something of a “wet blanket?”

  4. jim says:

    I want PBR Bock! My all time favorite beer. PLEASE

  5. Mike says:

    Andeker Please!!! Best beer I ever drank at 10 AM at taste panel when I worked at the Newark brewery in the late 1970’s. We also brewed PBR, PBR Extra Light, Bock. Red White & Blue and Olde English 800. Miss those old days!

  6. Jim says:

    If Pabst makes a Bock as it was in the early 70s, I will buy it by the case. Everyone has their own taste, and to me it was the best beer ever. I do like Shiner Bock, but PBR Bock was better.
    I even messaged Pabst years ago and asked if they would ever make it again, and actually got a reply. “No plans to.”
    Happy days if they do this.. Please.

  7. Mike says:

    Andeker Please!!! Andeker!!!!! Andeker!!!!! Best beer I ever drank at 10 AM at taste panel when I worked at the Newark brewery in the late 1970’s. We also brewed PBR, PBR Extra Light, Bock. Red White & Blue and Olde English 800. Miss those old days! Can’t wait to taste my next Andeker!!!

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