We had our hopes up when the deal was announced, but would have been more disappointed than surprised if it fell through like Pennsylvania brewer Yuengling’s recent failed bid.
Well, the deal is done, the ink is dry — City Brewing acquired the idle Memphis brewery yesterday — and there’s now speculation about what exactly the third-tier brewery is going to make.
The Commercial Appeal’s Wayne Risher writes about a beer historian who suggests a Goldcrest 51 redux would be a good beer to brew, if City Brewing aims to produce a local beer, like it does with LaCrosse Lager up in Wisconsin, from where the brewery hails.
From 1885 to 1954, the golden lager was the premier product of the Tennessee Brewery, a decaying landmark that still stands at 477 Tennessee Street in Downtown Memphis.
Goldcrest 51 went out of production when mass-market national beers eclipsed regional brands. [source]
We’re not the only ones curious about what the newly dubbed Blues City Brewing is going to do with its new infrastructure. JL Thompson, president of homebrew club Bluff City Brewers & Connoisseurs (of which we’re proud members — meetings every third Thursday 7 p.m. at Central BBQ on Summer Ave!), says:
“Their choices are pretty much wide open … Even if it is big and commercial, it’s still expanding brewing in Memphis.” [source]
Here’s to hoping our new Blues City Brewing company develops a good recipe Memphians can get behind, but this deal’s not just about beer. It’s about jobs, too, as many as 500 in the next five years. If you’re interested in a job with the brewery, call 545-2849 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Brewing Company LLC, a contract beverage company based in Wisconsin, has struck a deal to buy the former Coors brewery in Memphis, according to multiple reports.
The deal involves the purchase of all assets of Hardy Bottling Co., 5151 East Raines, for $30 million, with plans to restart the brewing operation at the plant, according to The Commercial Appeal newspaper. City Brewing would make another $11 million investment and would put 500 people to work over five years at the plant, which would operate as a contract brewer for other beer and beverage brands.
The Memphis facility was built in 1971 by Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company and was more recently owned by Coors Brewing Company. Since 2006, Hardy Bottling has used the facility for contract packaging of nonalcoholic drinks.
Blues City Brewery LLC, a subsidiary of City Brewing, is seeking a 15-year property tax freeze that would save the company about $6 million. The Memphis deal apparently hinges on approval of the tax break.
City Brewing has production facilities in La Crosse, Wis., where the company is based, and Latrobe, Pa., and has the capacity to package over 60 million cases annually, according to the company’s website.
City Brewing makes beer, malt beverages, teas and energy drinks, though it’s unclear what the company plans to brew in Memphis.
Yuengling, the oldest American-owned brewery, signed a letter of intent in October to buy the Hardy bottling plant for about $20 million, but that deal stalled soon after the much-publicized deal was announced.
There may be a new deal in the works for Hardy Bottling Co., the former Coors brewery in southeast Memphis.
According to The Commercial Appeal, a “mystery economic development project” tied to Hardy Bottling is expected to go for a tax break Wednesday. Part-owner Carolyn Hardy told the newspaper a deal was in the works but declined to provide details.
But the deal stalled soon thereafter, with Yuengling officials saying, “We’re a willing buyer. Right now, I guess there’s not a 100 percent certainty there’s a willing seller.”
Now it appears the Yuengling deal is kaput, and a new suitor may have emerged for Hardy bottling.