The Brewhouse Inn & Suites, tracing its roots to 1848, evolved from a historic brewery into a boutique hotel and gained recognition on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, highlighting its unique past as the Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery. Take some time to explore over 175 years of history in our building.
Jacob Best established Empire Brewing Company in 1848 in Milwaukee after relocating from Mettenheim, Germany. Jacob and two of his sons, Jacob Jr. and Charles, brewed 300 barrels of Best Select Lager in their first year.
Phillip Best became the sole proprietor of the brewery in 1859 and established the Phillip Best Brewing Company.
Phillip Best's daughter marries Captain Frederick Pabst. Captain Pabst sells his shipping interest and bought a partnership stake in the brewery.
Pabst takes over as president of the company in 1872. The company was the second largest brewery in the US, producing 100,000 barrels and by 1874 was the nation's largest.
In 1876 Best Select Lager won its first gold medal. In 1882 Pabst began hand tying a blue ribbon to each bottle of Best Select to identify it as a first-place winner.
In 1889 Captain Pabst followed in his father in law’s footsteps and renamed the company to honor himself, the Pabst Brewing Company.1934 Pabst opens brewery in Peoria, Illinois.
A year after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Pabst's sales broke the one million barrel per year mark! It tripled sales in 1946 and nearly quadrupled them by 1968 after buying rival Blatz Brewing Company. Pabst's sales reached 15.6 million barrels per year in 1978, before beginning to decline.
By early 1996, Pabst laid-off 70% of its Milwaukee workforce. Later they announced they would shift production to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, ending Pabst's presence in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee brew house was shuttered by the end of 1996.
Building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more than a decade, historic structures in the Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewing complex deteriorated until Joseph A. Zilber, a Milwaukee real-estate developer and local philanthropist, purchases the buildings in August, 2006. His vision was to transform the iconic landmark into a beautiful, sustainable neighborhood known simply as The Brewery District.
Gorman & Company purchases, restores, and repurposes the building into the Brewhouse Inn & Suites. Designed by the architects Charles Hoffman and Otto Strack, the buildings are described as German Renaissance Revival. This style is characterized by elements like battlements and crenelated towers. It was constructed using cream city brick which were ubiquitous in Milwaukee at the time.
The Brewhouse Inn & Suites officially opens! he hotel's notable features include six massive copper brewing kettles and a stained-glass window depicting King Gambrinus, the patron saint of beer. The establishment pays homage to Milwaukee's brewing legacy by showcasing original features like the six massive copper brewing kettles and a stained-glass window featuring King Gambrinus, known as the patron saint of beer. The Brewhouse Inn & Suites stands as a living tribute to the brewing history of the region, offering a unique and memorable experience for its guests.