City Brewing Co., the large La Crosse, Wisconsin-based company that mostly makes beer brands under contract has announced a “series of business updates” including a new investment group. The investor group includes Blue Ribbon Partners, makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
The company has also agreed to acquire and reopen the former Miller Coors Irwindale, California brewery now owned by Pabst. Once operational, the newly named “Irwindale Brew Yard” will be the largest full-service, low-alcohol beverage contract production facility in the western United States. The plant will have initial capacity of approximately 55 million 24 x 12-oz cases per year and is expected to grow to 110 million cases per year by 2024. The facility is expected to begin production in the third quarter of this year and to hire over 150 employees within the next 12 months.
There was a time, just a few years ago when there was a large surplus of brewing capacity in the US. Many in the industry wondered how that capacity would ever be put to use given the overall flat growth in beer. It seems that two new popular trends may be the answer; non and low alcohol beer and hard seltzer. This latest move by City Brewing indicates how a large shuttered brewery can be put to use cranking out new trendy styles. While they last.
See the full announcement from City Brewing here.