Nov. 27, 2001
"Guinness to Purchase Closed Pabst Brewery to Produce Ice Malt Beverage"
FOGELSVILLE (AP)- Guinness UDV North America has purchased the closed Pabst Brewery near Fogelsville for $29.8 million and will refurbish it to produce Smirnoff Ice malt beverage, the company said Monday.
Pabst closed the brewery about 10 miles west of Allentown on Sept. 24, idling about 380 workers, citing difficulty competing in an industry dominated by three big beer brewers- Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors.
Guinness UDV North America, meanwhile, has been looking for ways to produce more Smirnoff Ice by expanding a plant in Plainfield, Ill., and purchasing the Fogelsville brewery, spokesman Gary Galanis said.
The citrus-flavored, lightly carbonated malt beverage, popular with young adults, has been sold in Europe and the U.K. for about three years and caught on quickly in the United States, with about 20 million cases sold since its introduction in January, Galanis said.
Guinness UDV North America, a division of the world's leading beer maker, will spend $15 million to prepare the plant for production of Smirnoff Ice, and expects to begin production in February, Galanis said.