Eagle Park Brewing has purchased the recipes, branding and intellectual property of Milwaukee Brewing Company and has already begun to brew some of the beers at its Muskego brewery.
A new taproom and brewery location in Milwaukee will also be sought in the coming months.
Eagle Park also bought some of the remaining Milwaukee Brewing Company inventory.
As reported here last month (and updated last week), Chicago’s Pilot Project Brewing reached a deal to purchase the Milwaukee Brewing Company brewery – a sale that closed last week after numerous delays.
Milwaukee Brewing Company founder Jim McCabe had initially intended to hold on to the brands and contract brew them with Pilot Project or another brewer, but, he says, ultimately that didn't work out.
“It wasn’t my decision,” he told me. “Partners wanted it to be done. (But) I am happy that these guys are doing this! The brand is in great hands – both quality and marketing.”
According to Eagle Park’s Jake Schinker, the packaging of the Milwaukee Brewing Company beers will change, including new label designs.
“We will be discontinuing bottles but they will be replaced by 12-ounce six-pack cans,” Schinker said. “People will see no change in availability of their favorite MKE beers!
“This transfer will take time but the mainstays like Louie’s Demise, Outboard, MKE IPA and Ogii are our first priority to keep this process as seamless as possible.”
Schinker added that brewing of the beers has already begun.
“There should be no gap (in availability),” he said. “MKE beer is already being made at our Muskego brewery!
“We started with a batch of Louie’s Demise last week. Two of our brewers actually came from MKE so it was definitely a cool feeling to have the beer which has been such a huge part of MKE’s success be the first made here.”
The beers should begin to appear in the two Eagle Park taprooms soon and will also go to retail.
According to a press release issued Monday morning, “In the coming months, we’ll begin searching for a new home for Milwaukee Brewing in the city of Milwaukee, including a new brewhouse and taproom location."
Eagle Park currently has two taprooms: one in Muskego at the brewery and one on Hamilton Street in the Brady Street area. The latter, formerly a brewhouse, is currently home to Eagle Park’s sour beer program.
“It’s important to us that the brand continues to be produced in the City of Milwaukee, and we want to make sure that happens as soon as possible,” the press release adds.
“When a brand carries the name of its home city, it carries a certain responsibility to the city and its fans, and that’s even more true in a storied beer city like Milwaukee.”
“We plan to brew at the new facility,” Schinker confirms, but was mum on potential locations in Milwaukee.
“Not at this time,” he said when asked if there were areas of interest for the search. “We will be focusing on making this transition as smooth as possible first.”
The Milwaukee Brewing Company website is still online, but has not yet been updated with the many recent changes. But stay tuned.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.