Pabst Brewing Co. is returning its business headquarters to the Midwest, but not to the city where it began operations in 1844.
Pabst is moving its corporate offices from San Antonio, Texas, to suburban Chicago and the town of Woodridge. The state of Illinois has provided almost $1 million in financial assistance to facilitate the move. The company will spend nearly $2.5 million to lease an office building as well as moving jobs into the area.
“The Midwest has always been home for Pabst Brewing Company, so we are excited to be re-establishing roots in Chicago and Illinois, where we plan to be for years to come,” Pabst president Kevin Kotecki said in a statement. “I thank Governor Blagojevich and his team for facilitating this move and for the critical support to bring us here.” Kotecki, hired by Pabst last year, already has his home in Illinois.
Of about 90 people currently working in executive and national marketing and sales groups jobs at the corporate office in San Antonio, 15 will transfer to Woodridge. Others will stay in Texas, and 31 will be hired from the area to fill jobs.
Pabst, in addition to namesake Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and 40 other malt beverages also owns the Old Style, Special Export and Schlitz brands. While it is the nation’s fourth-largest beer company, it closed the last of its own breweries in 2001. Since then it has contracted brewing of its brands largely to Miller Brewing Co.
Pabst was founded in 1844 in Milwaukee and became one of the country’s largest brewers. In 1975, Pabst beer accounted for 45% of all beer sold in Wisconsin and in 1976 Pabst held 11.2% of the national market.
By 1996 sales had fallen so much that the company closed its Milwaukee brewery and moved its offices to San Antonio.
The closing resulted in the loss of about 250 jobs, down from about 500 not long before then.