Milwaukee Brewing Is Selling Its Brewery, but Beers Will Live On

The sale of the 4-year-old brewery will not mean the demise of Milwaukee Brewing beers, its co-founder says.

A week after announcing the closure of its 25-year-old brewpub, Milwaukee Ale House, Milwaukee Brewing Co. has sold its 4-year-old brewery on Ninth Street to an undisclosed buyer. The taproom will close Aug. 30. 

“We want to send out a very heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you that have enjoyed our tours and taproom over the years,” the company said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “We are so proud to represent the city that we are named after, and grateful that we’ve been able to share a taste of Milwaukee with folks from all over the world.” 

But co-founder and former CEO Jim McCabe, who is now in a production and marketing role at the brewery, said by phone Tuesday that the company and the brand will continue, with MKE a client of the facility’s new owner.

That means beers like Louie’s Demise amber ale, Outboard cream ale, MKE IPA and O-Gii imperial witbier will continue to be available, even if the taproom and facility in the Brewery District will have a new identity.  


 

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“While we can’t share who the [purchasing] brewery is just yet, we’d love to share that their innovation in the craft brewing industry, passion for sharing beer with others and creativity make them the perfect brewery to take over this space,” Milwaukee Brewing said in its announcement.  

Milwaukee Brewing began with the opening of the Ale House in October 1997, expanding to a production brewery kicking out bottles, cans and kegs on South Second Street before opening a massive, state-of-the-art facility in a former Pabst warehouse in 2018. The 43,000-square-foot brewery, 1128 N. Ninth St., had a brewing capacity of about 20,000 barrels a year upon its opening, and the space was expandable to as many as 70,000 barrels with additional equipment. According to reports to the state Department of Revenue, the company produced about 10,000 barrels in 2021, though that figure may not include beer produced for other companies at the facility. 

The news comes just a week after the company announced it was closing the Ale House next month, citing an inability to renew the lease at its riverfront space in the Historic Third Ward. McCabe said the company is still looking for a new space for the Ale House and that the hopefully temporary closure was unrelated to the sale of the brewery announced Tuesday. “The Ale House was just coincidental timing,” he said. 

The last day of tours and taproom operation on Ninth Street taproom will be Tuesday, Aug. 30, concluding with an open house from 7-9 p.m. featuring “tappings of some awesome beers that we’ve been aging.”    

The brewhouse at Milwaukee Brewing, shown at its opening in 2018, features four vessels capable of producing 60 barrels of wort (unfermented beer) in about two hours. Photo by Ashley Doelger

  

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Executive editor, Milwaukee Magazine. Aficionado of news, sports and beer. Dog and cat guy. (Yes, both.)