History of Best Place and the Historic Pabst Brewery

Pabst Brewing Company was the first of the great Milwaukee brewers.

The Pabst Brewing Company was the first of the great Milwaukee brewers. Quality, pride, tradition, and hops were the ingredients in the legacy left by German immigrant Jacob Best Sr., (left) who established the brewery in 1844. Under the guidance of his son Phillip Best (middle) and Phillip’s son-in-law, Captain Frederick Pabst (right), a small local producer became America’s largest brewer from the late 1800s until 1946.

With the closing of the brewery in 1996 came the opening of opportunity. After many years of blood, sweat, and beers, the “Best” use of these buildings has fermented into Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery. Taking its name from the founders, Jacob Best, Phillip Best and its spirit from the Captain, Frederick Pabst. And the rest is, well, a history we’d love to share with you on one of our tours!

Captain Frederick PabstPhilip Best, founder of the Pabst Brewery

Jacob Best, founder of the Pabst Brewery

After the Pabst Brewery closed in Milwaukee in December 1996, it sat empty until 2001. It was at that time that Jim Haertel received his accepted offer to purchase the Pabst Brewery on September 11, 2001. Great care has been taken to ensure that Blue Ribbon Hall, The Great Hall, Captain's Corner, Captain’s Courtyard, Guest Center, King’s Courtyard, and the original Gift Shop have all been restored to their original glory. Since the first phone call was placed inquiring about buying the property, the brewery is once again full of life and laughter as "Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery" and is once again open and ready to welcome you.

With your first step into Blue Ribbon Hall, you will instantly be transported back to time when things were a little tougher and yet life was simpler. Experience a small piece of Americana and enjoy yourself surrounded by Old World Charm and Hospitality. If you’re looking for a unique, one of a kind, “BEST PLACE” for your corporate or individual event, or simply a tall cold one, look no further than Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery!

Historical Photos