Remember when I wrote, a few weeks ago, about bringing King Gambrinus back to Albany? Well, Milwaukee has trumped me.
According to the Associated Press' Carrie Antlfinger via the Minneapolis Star Tribunes website, a small group of Milwaukeeans have launched, an albeit long shot, campaign to bring back one of the cities iconic breweries—Pabst.
Milwaukee and beer are indelibly tied to each other in the American collective conscience. SAB Miller's regional headquarters, and Miller's original brewery are located there; the city's Major League Baseball franchise is named the Brewers, and of course how could we forget, that Laverne & Shirley worked at the Schotz Brewery, in a fictionalized version of Milwaukee's Schlitz Brewery, on their namesake television show.
In any case, as tied to beer as Milwaukee is, over the last 15 years, one of the cities iconic breweries, Pabst Brewing Company, has all but lost it's connection to the city. Pabst has been bought and sold about as much as the U.S. Congress, and has relocated or has been contacted brewed in so many places, I've lost track. It's now now anchored in Los Angeles, California, owned by Dean Metropoulous, who bought it in 2010 for a pittance—$250 million dollars. All that's left of Pabst in Milwaukee is a rotting building.
So, some citizens of the city have mounted an effort to "Bring Pabst Blue Ribbon Home" Susie Seudleman, an organizer of the effort is quoted in the article.
"When I think about Pabst being anywhere else but Milwaukee, it just doesn't make sense. Milwaukee made this beer what it is. ... It's right on the can.
She also notes that the effort is as much about investing in the city of Milwaukee as it is the novelty of bring back a home town beer. The group is asking for all Milwaukeeans to give as much or as little as they can, in a plan similar to how the citizens of Green Bay, Wisconsin own the NFL franchise, the Green Bay Packers. It will be an uphill battle, though. Potential cost estimates by the Brewers Association, reach as high as $700 million to $1 billion dollars. The BPBRH campaigners, are un-phased. A town-hall-style brainstorming session is planned for April 23.
Is it going to work? I don't know. That's a lot of semolians.
But I will say this, and not to beat a dead horse, I think an effort to bring a wayward brewery home—a brewery which will could possibly bring jobs, and substantive change to a community—is far more laudable than some of the gimmicks and schemes many craft breweries do in the name of beer.
For all you FBers out there (I heard there are a few of you) check out Milwaukee Should Own Pabst Blue Ribbon, here.