Group petitions to bring Pabst back to Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Pabst Brewing Company is for sale and there is now an online effort to bring the brewery back to its home, Milwaukee.

Two Milwaukeeans, Susie Seidelman and Nichali Ciaccio, recently started a Facebook group calling for community ownership of the brewery and its return home. Within 24 hours, the group had over 1,000 members, including Bridget Byrnes, the great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Pabst, the brewery’s founder. Byrnes volunteered her services as a website designer, and the website now houses two open letters the group is asking supporters to sign.

The first letter, to current Pabst owner C. Dean Metropoulos, asks him to grant Milwaukee first right of purchase. The second, to the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Milwaukee, asks for these leaders to take this idea seriously.

With hundreds of signatures collected on each letter within the first 24 hours, Bring PBR Home is gearing up for the next phase of the fight.

"We'd love to see the city sort of take over a non-profit, fiscal responsibility for the brewery, and then we'd like to sell shares--similar to the way the Packers have done," said Seidelman.

Seidelman says she's meeting with a Milwaukee alderman to discuss a strategy which has significant support on her team's Facebook page.

"This is about doing something new, and different, that could have a transformative, positive effect on the city," said Seidelman.

If successful, the group plans to bring the Pabst corporate offices back to Milwaukee.

CLICK HERE to sign the Bring PBR Home petition