A Canadian company has purchased the Joseph Huber Brewing Co., one of America’s oldest brewing operations, and plans to expand the Monroe, Wis., brewery.
The Blumer Brewery was founded in Monroe in 1845, three years before Wisconsin became a state. The name changed to Humber in 1947 when Joseph Huber and other employees bought control of the company.
Mountain Crest Brewing Co., based in Calgary, Alberta, agreed to buy the Monroe brewery, as well as some of Huber Brewing’s beer and soda brands, for an undisclosed price. The sale is expected to close by Oct. 1.
Mountain Crest also acquired the Huber, Rhinelander and Wisconsin Club beer brands. A newly formed company, Berghoff Brewing Co., will own Huber’s Berghoff beer brands. The Berghoff brands account for around 30% of Huber Brewing’s annual beverage production and sales have been growing by double digits annually. The name change will allow the company to focus on the Berghoff brand in the United States.
Mountain Crest Brewing also plans to boost production of its own brands for sale in Canada, said Ravinder Minhas, Mountain Crest president. His company hired Huber Brewing in 2003 to produce the Mountain Crest brands and helped finance new canning equipment needed to handle that production increase.
Mountain Crest has made its market by selling beer at lower prices than Molson and Labatt, with sales up more than 30% so far this year.
Huber will produce about 235,000 barrels of beer in 2006 and employs about 70 workers. Mountain Crest plans to increase both production and the number of employees.