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Pabst Blue Ribbon May Return To Milwaukee

Pabst Blue Ribbon may return to Milwaukee if a group of citizens of the town are able to buy the company from a California executive and move it back to it’s original birth town.

Pabst Blue Ribbon May Return To Milwaukee

Pabst Blue Ribbon May Return To Milwaukee

The old Pabst Brewing facility building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Pabst Blue Ribbon, also known as PBR, is a 170 year old brewing company that was originally based out of Milwaukee Wisconsin.  It would take hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the company and relocate it back to it’s birth town, and though it is a long shot, it is not out of the question.

The Pabst Blue Ribbon brewing company was founded in 1844 was bought by C. Dean Metropoulos in 2010 for $250 million, who moved it to Los Angeles.  Last month reports surfaced about the company being up for sale again and residents of Milwaukee hoped that Metropoulos would allow them to have the first bid on the company.

Seven people in Milwaukee are heading the fight to bring the brewing company back to Milwaukee. They have started a Facebook page called Milwaukee Should Own Pabst Blue Ribbon and a website with an open letter to Metropoulos that anyone can sign.  The letter reads:

March 17, 2014

C. Dean Metropoulos
Pabst Brewing Company
10635 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Dear Sir,

Greetings from Milwaukee! It’s a nice place (really), and it has this crazy idea. Humor us for just a moment.

We want to bring PBR home. As you know, Pabst got its start here, but left us in phases (first in 1985, when new owner Paul Kalmanowitz shuttered the Milwaukee brewery operations, and for good in 1996 when the corporate office was closed). This was part of a greater brewing company shutdown in Milwaukee, and this mass exodus left a gaping hole in our city’s economy. When we talk about that around here, it’s often in the past tense. But here’s the thing – we’ve never fully recovered from this economic blow. This problem is as much a part of our present as it is our past, and believe me when I tell you it’s a big problem. When we heard you were putting Pabst on the market, we saw the opportunity to bring this story full circle, and with a delightfully happy ending.

We write today asking you to give us first crack at purchasing Pabst. We’re not a billionaire investor, but we are thousands of people with a plan. If you can give us the time and the opportunity, we can find the capital. We’ll make it worth your while.

We don’t know much about you, but based off your tremendous history of turning failing brands around, we know one thing – you appreciate an underdog. We’re that underdog, sir. Please give us the chance.

Thank you for your time. We really look forward to talking with you, and we appreciate your consideration.

The Undersigned


The campaign is less about the beer and more about bringing back Milwaukee’s economy.  It would be hard to raise the money from the Milwaukee residents, but not impossible especially if a private equity group stepped in.  Will Pabst be moving back to Milwaukee?  Only time, and may signatures, will tell.

Pabst Blue Ribbon May Return To Milwaukee

About Megan Cornelius