Tag Archives: Brewhouse


By Cassandra Vinch, Internet Director, WAOW

We’re excited to bring you a brand new series here at Newsline 9. We are opening the doors and giving you the Inn-Side Story to unique and inn-teresting hotels in our state.

“I’d like to welcome you to the Brewhouse Inn and Suites,” said Sue Kinas.

This Milwaukee building has only been a hotel for a little more than a year, but the walls carry a much richer history.

“If you look straight up, you’ll be looking up into one of the six original brew kettles. These were the original kettles. These were put in here in 1882,” Kinas said.

Those six kettles brewed hundreds of barrels of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer a day – but they didn’t always look this way.
“Pabst left town in a very big hurry. They were operating here for many, many years.”

The brewery closed its doors in 1996, leaving an uncertain future for the area. That was until a Milwaukee man bought it in 2006. Then the restoration process began.

“That was part of the preservation project, that as much of the integrity of the original building was kept in tact,” Kinas told Newsline 9.

Many of the walls are part of the original architecture and the columns have been preserved as well. As you can imagine, turning it into a hotel had its challenges.

“It was a huge mix of making sure the original integrity of the building was kept in place, as well as making sure the sustainability of the neighborhood’s needs were met.”

If the brew kettles weren’t enough of an ode to beer, the more than 1,500 bottles on the front desk do the trick.
“All the different beer bottles represent the local breweries in Milwaukee, both old, new, large, small and the craft beers in the area too.”

Construction workers had the tough task of drinking the beer.

Also on the first floor – the Blue Room, which used to be a break room for Pabst employees and their guests.

“The Milwaukee Police Department would come in between their shifts and come and sip the beer and talk to the employees.”
So, it was named the Blue Room after Milwaukee’s finest.

Now, we head upstairs.

“The space you are looking at down here is the original brewing floor. And these were the six brewing kettles that were here.”

Milwaukee visitors who aren’t staying at the hotel say they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check it out.

“It’s quite awe inspiring to see the original architecture, some of it’s still in place with the brew kettles,” said Curtis Polley from Coerdalene, Idaho.

So we’ve seen the lobby and we’ve seen the former brewery floor. Now it’s time to check out the rooms.

“A lot of the kitchen tables throughout the building are re purposed. And a lot of the headboards in the suites are all re purposed from the building too,” Kinas said.

Pieces of wood left here and there, given new life. There are plenty of rooms to choose from – from standard to king suites – 90 in all.

“One of the things that we always tell everybody when they come for a tour is that they can come and stay here 90 times because we have 90 suites and every time you stay your experience will be great. But it will be different every time.”

The front of the Brewhouse Inn and Suites is no different. The interior may have change, but architects ensured the outside was just as recognizable as it was years ago.

The average room will cost you between $189, up to $459.

2014 Historic Restoration Award Winner Announced, Wisconsin Historical Society

Gorman and Company Inc. of Oregon, Wisconsin, has been awarded the Society’s 2014 Historic Restoration Award for the interior and exterior restoration of The Brewhouse Inn and Suites in downtown Milwaukee.

About the Restoration Award

The award goes to the best restoration work of a Wisconsin historic property that involves comprehensive work to restore a historic building, structure, object, or site.

About the Restoration Project

The project converted the vacant brewhouse, formerly the Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery, into a 90-room, extended stay hotel while maintaining the character of the original brewhouse. The restoration even retained and reused the original copper brew kettles, as seen pictured here.

The restoration was also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified project for saving or reusing much of the building’s historic fabric. A prime example was making all of the headboards and tables in the suites from salvaged heavy timbers removed from the building during its rehabilitation.

A panel of judges from the Wisconsin Historical Society recommended Gorman and Company for the award, which the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Board of Curators approved at its June meeting.

Old Pabst Brewery gets new life as beer lover’s dream hotel

By Nate Kuester, Channel 58, Milwaukee, WI
December 16, 2013

MILWAUKEE — In 1996, the pabst brewing complex shut down. Suddenly ending production of one of the most iconic American beers at the facility. Now a unique hotel experience awaits the beer enthusiast.

“[The hotel is] Housed in the former Pabst brewery building,” said Brewhouse Inn & Suites general manager Peter Northard.

That’s where you’ll find the Brewhouse Inn and Suites, in the heart of Milwaukee. The brewery facility is now home to a truly unique hotel experience that celebrates the beer-crafting history.

“The building was actually built in 1882,” said Northard. “So this operated from 1882 to 1996 as the building in the Pabst complex of Milwaukee, that is actually where they brewed the beer.”

The amount of restoration and work to preserve the original life of the building is obvious from the amazing stained glass window–depicting King Gambrinus, to the brewing equipment still present, to the overall feel right from the moment you walk throught the front door.

“We actually took 1,530 bottles of beer, that our construction crew graciously agreed to empty for us, [and] we cut the bottoms off of them,” said Northard. “And we put those on the fromt of the front desk. So that way, it looks very much like a bar with 1,530 bottoms of beer bottles.”

Elements from the brewery appear even in the most unlikely of places.

“We basically took this old growth lumber, that was used for beams, and we repurposed it to all the kitchen tables in the guest rooms as well as the tables in our Jackson’s Blue Ribbon pub,” said Northard.

Of course, if you’re going to re-purpose the old Pabst brewery, then you have to have your priorities straight as to what you are going to include. And Northard told CBS 58 there wes no question about i where the priority stood.

“A bar was number one,”he said.” “It was essential. It had to be. You cannot reopen the Pabst brewhouse without a bar, serving Pabst Blue Ribbon.”

The work to preserve the former glory of the facilty, in its new incarnation, carries particular appeal for those who knew the brewery in it’s past life. That’s apparent when you visit Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, located in an area that was once referred to as the ‘blue room.’

“We have Pabst workers, former Pabst workers come in here all the time,” said Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub co-owner Mark Zierath. “Actually current workers as well. And they’re all just completely blown away by the space. … It’s great to hear the history of these buildings, and how they once produced the great beer here.”

“To hear the stories that they tell about their times in the brewhouse, and just to see in their eyes how they’re kind of reliving a lot of the past, has just been a really great thing to witness,” said Northard.

“Everyone knew someone who worked at Pabst, or had a relative that worked at Pabst, and that’s the beer I drank when I came of age,” said Zierath.

The unique hotel, owned by Wisconin’s Gorman & Company, Inc., recently won a national ‘Timmy’ award — acknowledging their work for rehabilitating the historic buildings at the pabst complex. you can find out more information about the brewhouse inn & suites here.

Brewhouse Inn offers outpourings of luxury, history

By Molly Snyder, onmilwaukee.com, December 5, 2013

Perhaps the coolest part of staying at a hotel built inside a former brewery is that it really feels like you’re staying at a hotel built inside a former brewery.

From the moment we walked into the Brewhouse Inn Suites – in the former Pabst brewhouse – we were swept up in brewing history.

At times, it actually felt like we were on a brewery tour instead of an overnight excursion in a brewery hotel. This is, in part, due to the seven brewing kettles which remain in the building and are the heart of the hotel.

Directly over the check-in desk, there’s a kettle doubling as a polished dome in the ceiling and six more kettles stand in the atrium of the hotel.

Even though it has been more than 17 years since beer was actually brewed in the Pabst building – known as building #20 – the kettles give the space a very active, industrial feel, almost as if they might spontaneously fire up at any moment.

The atrium also features a large stained glass window depicting King Gambrinus, the unofficial patron saint of brewing, and an assortment of vintage furniture to pay homage to the brewski king, watch vintage Pabst commercials or just hang out in the history-rich splendor.

The hotel has 90 guest rooms that are either one- or two-bedroom suites. The sixth (top) floor features the Baron suites which have terraces and incredible views.

The rooms run between $189 and $399 per night and are designed for short- or long-term guests with an almost full kitchen stocked with a stovetop, full-sized fridge and an assortment of cooking and eating utensils.

“While the hotel was designed for guests staying longer than five days, it is a great location for girls’ weekends, family gatherings, wedding groups and corporate groups looking for a unique hotel experience that speaks ‘Milwaukee,’” says Sue Kinas of the Brewhouse Inn.

The steampunky decor includes exposed hardware, deep brown tones, distressed furniture and pipes repurposed as towel holders. Plus, the tables and headboards are made from wood originally harvested in Sheboygan in the 1880s.

There are plenty of modern luxuries, too. The bed, for example, was one of the most comfortable we’ve ever slept on and the shower was perfect in pressure and temperature.

Guests are also invited to a continental breakfast in the Blue Room, which was the brewery’s break room that included beer taps. Today, Stone Creek coffee is served instead, but the centerpieces on the table are Pabst bottles used as vases for stalks of wheat.

Quite possibly the Brewhouse’s best feature, however, is the number of windows. Originally constructed in 1882, the brewhouse required more than 300 windows at the time because the city had limited electricity. Today, the plethora of windows provide an incredible amount of natural light in the space and great views of Downtown.

“The Brewhouse is a one-of-a-kind property designed to celebrate the history of Milwaukee’s brewing and reignite the passion of beer and remind everyone about Milwaukee’s roots,” says Kinas.

The Brewhouse Inn & Suites is on the National Registry of Historic Places and part of The Brewery, a sustainable neighborhood that is LEED Platinum certified.

The complex was purchased by Joseph Zilber in 2006. The $20 million construction project began in October 2011 and the hotel opened in late April 2013.

Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub – which was once the milling house known as building #21 – is connected to the hotel and offers a large selection of food items, including an excellent Friday night fish fry.

The space has 30-foot ceilings, a tin ceiling, large screens for game watching and a full bar. (Note the hilarity of the Pabst tapper, which was once a railing spindle and is massive in comparison to the others.)

The other appealing aspect of the Brewhouse is the location. The restored buildings – and those currently under construction – give the gritty, sprawling space a rush of warmth and fresh life. It feels both eerie and abandoned as well as urban and bustling.

Best Place, which once housed Pabst’s offices, is located across the street from the hotel and is well worth a visit for beer drinking and more history. Building owner Jim Haertel gives an extremely entertaining tour.

And if you’re not too Pabst-ed out, the Pabst Mansion – the 1892 home of Capt. Pabst – is just a mile away.

History buffs and beer geeks will most appreciate the experience because of their ability to access so much of Milwaukee’s brewing history. The many artifacts and literature to examine make the hotel part museum.

“Guests interested in history, beer and an environment where they will be treated with customer service otherwise long gone will find The Brewhouse a delight,” says Kinas.

Of Hope and Heritage

Of Hope and Heritage




They are inconspicuously known as Buildings 20 and 21, part of a 21-acre industrial complex perched atop a hill on the north end of downtown that once was a symbol of prosperity, hard work and civic identity. But when the Pabst Brewing Co. abruptly closed its doors in December 1996, the once shining symbol that had long been in decline, stood vacant, deteriorating, and festering on the consciousness of our collective and proud German heritage. Even as other areas of the city were reborn through redevelopment, the Pabst site remained untouched, its Cream City brick facades darkening over time.


In 2006, Milwaukee entrepreneur and philanthropist Joseph Zilber purchased the property for $13 million with the goal of revitalizing the former manufacturing site into a mixed-use urban neighborhood formed on the ideals of historic preservation and sustainability.

Since that time, a handful of the remaining buildings (some of the 25 were torn down) have been purchased by developers and universities for use as apartments, offices and educational facilities. But when Buildings 20 and 21 open this spring as the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, they are sure to bring Milwaukeeans to the site of the former brewery graveyard to see for themselves the hope and heritage that are alive there.


For more than 15 years, he was trapped in the dark, behind planks of plywood and layers of soot. Today, King Gambrinus, the unofficial patron saint of brewers, holds court in a stained glass masterpiece two stories tall, raising his glass in a friendly toast to visitors at the new Brewhouse Inn & Suites.

The Gambrinus window is more than 125 years old, says Peter Northard, the hotel’s general manager, and was created by the Milwaukee artist Frederick Wilhelm Heine and manufactured by the Charles Baumbach Co. of Milwaukee. It was uncovered during the repurposing of two of the Pabst Brewing Co.’s old brewhouse buildings at 1015 N. 10th St.

The Cream City brick buildings, originally known as Buildings 20 and 21, were built in the late 1870s and early 1880s and are on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. They have been joined together and renovated by owners Gorman & Co. into the city’s newest destination hotel.

The resurrection of the Pabst buildings was a monumental task. They had been boarded up and maintenance had been neglected since the Milwaukee brewery closed shop in 1996. One of the biggest challenges after Gorman & Co. bought the property in 2011, Northard says, was retrofitting the buildings with energy-efficient electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems.

Northard, who has been working for Gorman & Co. since April 2012, says he was attracted to the project because of the property’s history and the important role that Pabst Brewing played in Milwaukee’s development during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“Capt. Frederick Pabst built it with the intent of having the building be a symbol of the brewery as much as a place to brew the beer itself,” Northard explains. As he was researching its history, Northard learned that Pabst not only wanted a brewery that his employees would be proud to work in, “but one that he could show off to visitors and potential customers. Pabst was one of the first breweries in the world to give public tours, and at one time was the largest brewer in the world.”

Pabst hired some of Milwaukee’s finest masons, ironworkers and craftsmen to build his showplace. “Those who built the various components of the brewery went on to start other industries in the city, especially in the metalworking and machinery areas,” Northard says.

Much of their impressive work at the Pabst Brewery has been integrated into the interior design of the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, giving the hotel its uniquely Milwaukee character.
Two enormous copper brewing kettles have been converted into shimmering domes presiding over the hotel’s lobby. The front desk was constructed using more than 1,500 amber beer bottles. The balusters of a sweeping staircase just inside the main entrance feature the original pounded-iron barley design.

Perhaps the most storied space, though, is just north of the main entrance. Known as the “Blue Room,” it was originally a break room where employees could relax and enjoy a beer. Sue Kinas, sales manager for the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, says when the building was still an active brewery, police officers from the First District would drop by after their shifts and have a drink with Pabst employees in the break room. “That’s why they called it the Blue Room,” she notes.

https://asoft493.securesites.net/secure/mmagazines/clientuploads/Interior_Taste/May_2013/Dining_brewhouse4_05.jpgA doorway in the room, which is now used as a breakfast space for the hotel, has been painted blue as a nod to its past.

Since the buildings were built before the widespread use of electricity, more than 300 windows let the sun shine into 90 guest suites on six floors. Each of the suites, from studio styles to two-bedroom lofts, is a bit different, Kinas says.

The rooms are designed for the extended stay traveler, Kinas says, and include fully equipped kitchens. Tables are topped with repurposed joists from the building, and some joists also were used to create one-of-a-kind headboards. Rooms are outfitted with a stunning combination of antique furnishings, such as four-poster beds and contemporary, steampunk-inspired pieces.

Views of downtown Milwaukee from the spacious sixth-floor “Baron Terrace Suites” are outstanding, especially from the rooms’ private terraces.

One of the show-stopping public spaces in the Brewhouse Inn & Suites is the Kettle Atrium on the second floor. It features the brewery’s original copper kettles, polished to a fine sheen, as well as the original terra cotta floor and subway tiles lining the walls. A spiraling iron stairwell, which was once used to connect the fourth and sixth floors, is now a towering piece of sculpture in a corner of the space. Artist Adam Nilson painted the huge Brewhouse logo on one of the Kettle Atrium’s walls; he also is the artist who created the convincing faux finishes in the lobby and throughout the hotel. Kinas says the Kettle Atrium is used for cocktail parties and other social events.

It seems fitting that Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub is also an attraction at the Brewhouse Inn & Suites, due to open later this month. The restaurant and bar features 30-foot ceilings, and the space’s original tin ceiling, which had been destroyed, has been reproduced and installed in the pub. The bar offers a number of local microbrews as well as well-known beer brands. An outdoor beer garden welcomes visitors seasonally.

“If there is one part of Capt. Pabst’s legacy that we want guests to take away after their stay at the Brewhouse,” says Northard, “it’s that the Pabst Brewing Co. was an integral part of Milwaukee’s early history. Generations of Milwaukeeans worked and toured the brewery, and we intend to keep that history alive through some of the architectural elements that we have retained.”

Northard says the hotel plans to add some multimedia exhibits that will tell the story of the Pabst brewery through the words of people who spent their lives working there.

Of Hope and Heritage


The conversion of the 1877 Pabst Brewhouse into The Brewhouse Inn & Suites is nearing completion. The scheduled opening date for the new hotel located at the The Brewery complex is Thursday, April 25th. The hotel will mix history, beer, and fantasy into a Steampunk dream. When complete, the four-story, Cream City brick building will have 90 suites and feature exposed brick, copper, and wood throughout the hotel. Visual highlights of the hotel include a five-story atrium, which is home to the original six brew kettles, a stained glass window of the patron saint of brewing, King Gambrinus, and a front desk that’s a PBR dream — it’s built out of countless Pabst Blue Ribbon bottles.


Brewhouse Inn preps for opening in two weeks

Apr 10, 2013, 9:10am CDT

Brewhouse Inn preps for opening in two weeks:

Scott Paulus

The 90-room Brewhouse Inn & Suites is set to open later this month in the former Pabst Brewery in downtown Milwaukee.

Sean RyanReporter- The Business JournalEmail | Twitter | Google+
The 90-room Brewhouse Inn & Suites is set to open later this month in the former Pabst Brewery in downtown Milwaukee, making it the second new hotel to recently open in a historic downtown building.

The hotel, developed by Gorman & Co. Inc., is at 1215 N. 10th St in The Brewery area. Like other former Pabst buildings, the hotel was once a dark and shuttered former brewery building that will return to life and bring new visitors to the area.

It joins a rush of new hotels being developed in the downtown area, but is the only extended-stay hotel in the bunch. Developers renovated the Loyalty Building on North Broadway in downtown Milwaukee to a Hilton Garden Inn in 2012.

The hotel managers are gathering material to display in the hotel, including a photo from comedian Will Ferrell standing on the historic Pabst sign that spans West Juneau Avenue. They’ve also painted a small bus in the Pabst colors to shuttle people from the hotel to sporting events, such as Milwaukee Brewers games.

Restaurateurs Mark and Dan Zierath will open a Blue Ribbon Pub in the building’s first floor.

Sean Ryan reports on real estate, construction and public transit in southeast Wisconsin


New life being breathed into Milwaukee’s former Pabst Brewery

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The recent history of the historic Pabst Brewery’s buildings 20 and 21 does not provide particularly pretty pictures. But these days, what was old is new again.

Laura Narduzzi is with Madison-based developers, Gorman and Company. It is responsible for developing portions of the former brewery into the current Brewhouse Inn and Suites.

“Everything that we did, in the design and construction process, was to try and preserve as much of we could of what this building originally was,” said Narduzzi.

Visitors can see the fruit of that labor in everything from the restored, stained glass to the old brewery kettles — from the spiral staircase to the Cream City brick.

Brewhouse Inn and Suites

“We’re just thinking the vision of what this can be, and what it can mean to Milwaukee — to start to bring people to this area, again, because it’s so important to the history of Milwaukee,” said Narduzzi.

Narduzzi says even weeks away from the hotel’s opening, the buzz is getting bigger and bringing folks around to take a peek at the progress.

“They’re saying, ‘We’re so glad this is what you’re doing. We’re so glad you preserved that building, and you’re keeping the history of Milwaukee alive,’” said Narduzzi.

The Brewhouse Inn and Suites is set to open on Thursday, April 25th.

Pabst and Milwaukee Becoming Synonymous Again

Peter Northard is the General Manager of The Brewhouse Inn & Suites in Milwaukee. He has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including VISIT Milwaukee, and the Greater Milwaukee Hotel Lodging Association, twice serving as President of the WHLMA.

In 1996, the Pabst Brewing Company shuttered their operations in Milwaukee, ending the company’s more than a century of brewing beer in the city. In Milwaukee’s early days, Pabst had been an integral part of the growth of the city. At one time it was the largest brewer in the world, one of the city’s leading employers and hosted countless visitors to Milwaukee for brewery tours. Pabst was more than a brewery, it was a Milwaukee icon. In its heyday the brewery covered 20 acres of downtown Milwaukee, and at the time of the closing, included 21 buildings, many of which were built before the turn of the 20th century.

As the fortunes of the Pabst Beer brand declined, so did the site of the former brewery. Abandoned for a decade, it was not until 2006, when Milwaukee philanthropist Joseph Zilber bought the entire Pabst complex that the rebirth of the site began. Determined to give back to the city that had given so much to him, Zilber set out to create an entire community at the Pabst complex, one built with sustainable building practices, which would save and repurpose as many of the historic buildings as possible.

The result of Zilber’s vision was The Brewery, one of five LEED Platinum sustainable neighborhoods in the world. Home to the UWM Zilber School of Public Health, Cardinal Stritch University, apartments, professional offices, and the soon to open Brewhouse Inn & Suites and Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub, The Brewery fulfilled the late Mr. Zilber’s dream for the area.

As The Brewery began to rise from the rubble, the Pabst brand had a rebirth of its own. Discovered by the twenty something crowd, in recent years PBR has experienced some of the fastest growth of any mainstream beer in the country. It is only fitting that as the Pabst brand has risen, the building where it was brewed for over a hundred years is coming back to life as well.

Opening on April 25th, The Brewhouse Inn and Suites occupy the former brewhouse and mill house buildings at The Brewery. The Brewhouse retains many of the original features including the five-story kettle atrium with six enormous copper brewing kettles, wrought iron spiral staircase, and the two-story stained glass window of King Gambrinus, the patron saint of brewing.

Built in 1882, the hotel now has modern room amenities including a fully equipped kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, electric cooktop, and dishwasher. The headboards and dining tables in each room are made from timbers repurposed from the building during the renovation. Harvested near Sheboygan in the 1880’s, they are a perfect example of how the hotel has reused as much of the original building as possible during the process of converting it from a brewery into a hotel. The Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub is perfect for a quick refreshment or a full meal. In summer, the outdoor beer garden will be the perfect spot to end the day and take in some live entertainment.

The Pabst name is associated with several other must see attractions in Milwaukee.

The Pabst Mansion, located just west of The Brewery, was the home of the brewery’s namesake Captain Frederick Pabst. Built in 1892, this 20,000 square mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been meticulously restored to its original splendor. It houses many of the families original papers and photographs, which offer a unique perspective on the life and times of one of Milwaukee’s original beer barons.

Another must see is the Pabst Theater, which was built in 1895 by Captain Pabst as a gift to the community after the opera house, Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theater burned down. Today a non-profit corporation spearheaded by another Milwaukee philanthropist, Michael Cudahy runs the Pabst Theater. It is a perfect place to catch new musical talent or get reacquainted with old favorites making a regular stop on national tours.

Finally, The Best Place at The Pabst Brewery is a great spot to learn more about Pabst and the brewing history of the city. Proprietor Jim Haertel gives tours and explains the history from the founding in 1844 by Jacob Best, to its spot today as the twenty something beer of choice. Each tour includes a large sample of PBR or Schlitz, two of Milwaukee’s most famous products. With a gift shop stocked with Pabst memorabilia, visitors are certain to find a part of Milwaukee to take home with them.

If you like history, or enjoy a cold brew now and then, be sure to make a visit to Milwaukee part of your plans this summer.

Peter Northard is the General Manager of The Brewhouse Inn & Suites in Milwaukee. In his thirty-year hotel career, Northard has managed numerous branded properties such as Holiday Inn and Radisson, as well as boutique hotels including The Brewhouse Inn & Suites. He has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including VISIT Milwaukee, and the Greater Milwaukee Hotel Lodging Association, twice serving as President of the WHLMA. He currently resides in Grafton with his wife Lynne and their Bichon Frise Sophie. A lover of Wisconsin summers, when not working, he can be found biking the Ozaukee Interurban Trail or golfing on one of Wisconsin’s many magnificent golf courses.

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