Facts: Pabst Blue Ribbon Factory
- The brewing company got its start in Milwaukee after Jacob Best Sr. relocated his German brewery, and by 1844, his entire family had moved to Milwaukee to continue the company.
Once a Monomonee Valley brewery (renamed the South Side Brewery) and the Empire Brewery were purchased, the Phillip Best Brewing Company became the largest brewery in the nation by 1874.
Between 1879 and 1893, Best's Brewing Company had stretched across the country, opening 40 offices nationwide, 12 in Wisconsin alone.
- The Malt House, first built in 1882, had the capacity to process 500,000 bushels of grain, and was the largest of its kind.
- A near-death experience aboard his ship, the Huron, pushed Captain Pabst to join his father-in-law Phillip Best in the brewing business, despite having no brewing background.
- The Phillip Best Brewing Company was renamed the Pabst Brewing Company in 1889 with Captain Frederick Pabst and his brother-in-law Emil Schandein in control.
- The 'blue ribbon' emblem came from Pabst advertising efforts to distinguish its beer by tying blue ribbons around each bottle, and officially became a part of the name when Pabst won the blue ribbon at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
- The brewery laid off 70% of its Milwaukee workers by early 1996 and, shortly thereafter, shifted the rest of its production to Stroh Brewing Co.'s La Crosse Plant.
- The City of Milwaukee provided $29 million to fund The Brewery project, working to transform this building complex into apartments, offices, and even a restaurant called Best Place.
- Best Place, the restaurant that opened in 2009, is a small tavern in Blue Ribbon Hall, a room filled with Chicago artist Edgar Miller's 70-year-old frescoes that depict the history of Pabst and the brewing process.
- In 2001, the U.S. Department of the Interior added the brewery to the National Register of Historic Places.
- In May, 2010, billionaire C. Dean Metropoulos bought Pabst Brewing for $250 million, and intends to extend the brand name into more restaurants, supermarkets and bars.
Here is the truth about Pabst Brewing Company winning a Blue Ribbon at the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition.