Central Waters Brewing Taking Over Pabst Church
Pilot brewery on Juneau Ave. in The Brewery District won't be vacant for long.
A former church will find new life — once again — as a brewery.
Pabst Brewing Company opened the Captain Pabst Pilot House, a small brewery and taproom, in the former church in 2017. But amidst the pandemic, the brewery was closed in December.
It was actually the second time Pabst had vacated the church. Pabst acquired the church in 1898 and used it for everything from the Forst Keller restaurant to an employee training facility. But in 1996, under a prior ownership group, Pabst vacated its campus of more than two-dozen buildings on the northwest side of downtown Milwaukee.
That campus was redeveloped starting in 2006 as The Brewery District under the leadership of Zilber Ltd. The church, originally constructed in 1872, was one of the last structures to be rehabilitated and Pabst was welcomed back with open arms by city officials.
The 7,927-square-foot facility houses a 4,000 barrel-per-year microbrewery on its first floor, with a taproom area and performance stage on the second floor. It also features an outdoor beer garden and a mezzanine area. A two-story addition was added to the rear of the building to accommodate an elevator and other accessibility improvements.
Central Waters, located east of Stevens Point, opened in 1998. The brewery has a significant environmental sustainability focus.
“How we make delicious brews matters just as much as their distinctive taste,” says the company’s website, noting its solar heating and water conservation techniques.
The building is owned by Blue Ribbon Management, a development firm specializing in the federal EB-5 financing program that allows foreign nationals to obtain green cards for investing in job-creating projects.
Any exterior changes to the building will require approval from the Historic Preservation Commission.