Jeramey Jannene

MKE Brewing Selling 9th Street Brewery

Brewery and taproom will close on Aug. 30, but beers are expected to live on.

By - Aug 23rd, 2022 02:55 pm
Milwaukee Brewing Company in 2018. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Brewing Company in 2018. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Brewing Company will soon lack a physical presence, but its beer is expected to live on.

The company announced Tuesday that it is selling its physical brewery and taproom inside The Forty Two, 1128 N. 9th St. Last week the company announced that it was closing the Milwaukee Ale House because it wasn’t able to reach an agreement on renewing the lease.

Both announcements follow the company publicly being listed for sale with New Mill Capital in March. A last call for prospective buyers was issued in May.

“While we can’t share who the brewery is just yet, we’d love to share that their innovation in the craft brewing industry, passion for sharing with others and creativity make them the perfect brewery to take over this space,” the company said in a statement.

The brewery is to close on Aug. 30. The restaurant will close on Sept. 11.

The approximately 60,000-square-foot 9th Street brewery opened in 2018 in a former Pabst distribution facility. The brewery is capable of producing 75,000 barrels per year and licensed for up to 200,000 barrels, New Mill reports. The brewery includes a catwalk system used as part of brewery tours.

“We want to out a very heartfelt thank you to all of you that have enjoyed our tours and taproom over the years,” the brewery said. “You might have learned something about innovative brewing, sustainable manufacturing, or Milwaukee’s amazing beer history while sampling fresh beer brewed with passion.”

The unnamed buyer is acquiring the physical brewery, not the brand, co-founder Jim McCabe told Chris Drosner. The buyer is expected is to brew MKE Brewing’s beers on a contract basis.

“We put our heart and soul into this brewery, building it into the operation it is today,” said Jim Hughes, the primary shareholder, in a March statement announcing the sale. “We believe in the brewery and people who have been critical to our success but have made the decision to search for a strategic buyer to satisfy internal needs and secure the future of Milwaukee Brewing for decades to come.”

McCabe launched the brewery as a brewpub in the Historic Third Ward in 1997, added a standalone brewery in Walker’s Point in 2007 (sold in 2019), and gained Hughes as an investor in 2010.

McCabe was replaced as CEO by David Hock in 2019, and the new CEO announced an expansion into seltzer products that would utilize all of the brewery’s capacity. Recent state reports and data from New Mill indicates that hasn’t happened.

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