Trying to catch up with all the news fluttering around the beer world, I see that last week the Hardy Bottling plant in Memphis, Tennessee has finally found a buyer. The brewery was originally built by Schlitz in 1971 and then Stroh’s operated it for a time before selling it to Coors, where they brewed their Blue Moon line of stealth micros, along with Zima and Keystone. MolsonCoors shut it down in 2006 and I seem to recall there were some labor disputes there, too. Then later that same year it was sold for $9 million and it became the Hardy Bottling Co.
City Brewing, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, agreed to buy the brewery for $30 million, plus will invest an additional $11 million to renovate and update the facility. When it reopens this summer, it will be renamed Blues City Brewery.
From the press release:
City Brewing Company is the 4th largest brewer in the United States. Prior to this acquisition, City Brewing had over 6,000,000 barrels of capacity between its breweries in La Crosse, Wis. and Latrobe, Pa. The Company currently has approximately 720 employees. With the addition of the Memphis brewery, City Brewing will exceed 10,000,000 barrels (135 million cases) of brewing capacity. The acquisition of the Hardy Bottling Plant in Memphis offers City Brewing the ability to rapidly increase its capacity for brewing, packaging and distribution for its existing customer base as well as to expand its brewing and packaging services to new customers and markets, including those currently served by Hardy. “City Brewing Company welcomes the opportunity to work with Carolyn Hardy and the current staff to fully develop the brewing and packaging capabilities of the Memphis facility.” stated City Brewing President George Parke. “This is truly a significant occasion for our industry and a unique and remarkable opportunity for Memphis, Tennessee.” Carolyn Hardy added.