Wisconsin Brewer to Buy Memphis Bottling Facility, Creating 500 Jobs
The Associated Press reports that a Wisconsin brewing company said Wednesday it plans to buy a tornado-stricken bottling plant in Memphis, a $41 million venture that will employ 500 people. City Brewing Co. plans to purchase the Hardy Bottling facility for $30 million and will invest another $11 million to update the plant and restart beer production, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and company officials said. City Brewing CEO George Parke said the company hopes to begin beer production at the Memphis facility in July, if all the proper licenses are approved. As a contract beverage producer, City Brewing makes and packages beer, tea and energy drinks for large beverage companies. Parke said the company was looking for a third facility because its other locations in the Wisconsin cities of Latrobe and La Crosse are at or near capacity. The Memphis facility will be renamed Blues City Brewery. Operations at its Wisconsin facilities are not expected to be affected, Parke said. The deal is expected to close at the end of April. The plant was built in 1971 and has been owned by the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. and Stroh Brewery Co. Carolyn Hardy and other investors bought the plant from Molson Coors in 2006 for $9 million. A tornado damaged the plant in February 2008. It currently bottles only non-alcoholic beverages.