Breweries That Made Milwaukee Famous
Milwaukee is very well known for their breweries. Breweries that started here are Blatz, Miller, Pabst, Schlitz started here and helped put Milwaukee on the map as the beer capital of the United States.
Milwaukee And Beer
Milwaukee has a interesting history when it comes to beer. The main contributors to help put Milwaukee on the map as the beer capital of the United States are Pabst, Miller, Blatz and Schlitz. The following is a short story on each brewery that their impact in Milwaukee and in the United States.
In 1882- 1892 the beer was actually called Best Select and also Pabst Select. Then after winning as "America's Best" at the World's Columbian Exposition which was held in Chicago in 1893 changed their flagship beer to Pabst Blur Ribbon. Sale for Pabst peak around 1977 when they sold over 18 million barrels of beer. But since then the sales of Pabst since dropped off dramatically and by 1991 it was producing below one million barrels of beer. But the Pabst moved from Milwaukee to Los Angeles and the last report that I heard they moved again and moved to Woodridge, IL. They no longer have any breweries to brew their beer but now they contract all their beer to Miller to brew their beer.
Blatz was one of premier breweries in Milwaukee. The brewery was founded by John Braun in 1846, just before Wisconsin became a state. The original name for the brewery was City Brewery and the brewery was producing about 150 barrels of beer annually. In 1851 a former employee of Braun, name Valentine Blatz started his own brewery next to his. Braun later died during that year and Valentine married his widow and soon after that combined City Brewery with his brewery and name it Blatz Brewery.
With both breweries it combined for 350 barrels of beer yearly. by 1880 total production came to 125,000 barrels of beer per year. The brewery continued to grow and the brewery became third largest in Milwaukee by 1884.
Blatz became the first brewery to market the beer on a national level. Valentine Blatz had set up distribution centers in seven different cities like in Chicago, New York, Boston, New Orleans, Memphis, Charleston, and Savannah.
In 1955 only six breweries was left in Milwaukee. Some of them was Schlitz, Pabst, Miller and Blatz being the strongest at the time. Blatz was known as "Milwaukee's Finest Beers".
Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company
The brewery was founded by August Krug in 1849 but acquired by Joseph Schlitz in 1858 and renamed Schlitz. The brewery was the nation's second largest brewery and remained so up to 1976. But the brewery had changed their formula and process in the 1970's for cost saving purposes. That began a downward spiral for the company. The final blow for them was a crippling strike in 1981 at the Milwaukee plant ended up closing the business down. The products was sold to Stroh Brewing Company in 1982. Eventually ended up being sold to Pabst Brewing Company.
Schlitz has rebounded in sales with rebirth of the original formula of the beer. It was done by taste tests of from people that used to work for Schlitz Brewery, due to fact the original recipe was never included in the sale of the brands.
Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Fredrick Miller when he bought the small Plank Road Brewery. Their location in the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee provided easy access to raw materials produced on nearby farms. It is currently second in the nation behind Anheuser-Busch. Their most popular brands are Miller, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft (MGD).
They are currently owned by United Kingdom-based SABMiller on October 10, 2007 and formed a partnership with Coors on July 1, 2008. The reason for the partnership is to consolidate the production and distribution of its products in the United States, with each parent company's corporate operations and international operations remaining separate and independent of the joint venture.